Major Change To Five-Star Safety Ratings For New Cars

Wednesday, December 9th 2015, 9:25 am
By: News 9

A major change is ahead when it comes to five-star safety ratings for new cars. The government's about to add new crash tests and a new focus on technology.

This is considered the biggest update for the system since the 1970s. We're told the new standards are so strict, there is not a car on the roads today that would earn five or even four stars. Among the changes, adding new crash tests focused on angled frontal crashes.

There are also new high tech "smart" dummies designed to better reflect the injuries people can suffer during a crash from head to foot.

Starting with the 2019 model year, the new assessment program will also include rankings for crash avoidance technology and pedestrian protection.

"Every time NHTSA raises the bar, automakers get there. Because this is about saving lives, preventing injuries. And there have been discussions - what should their incentive be?  Save those lives, prevent those injuries, don't let these crashes happen," said Mark Rosekind, NHTSA.

The trade group representing carmakers said its members will review the proposals. However, they are generally supportive for the new changes.