December 5, 2003

Manufacturers agree to build safer vehicles

Toronto, ON – Members of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada announced an initiative to work with Transport Canada to voluntarily market vehicles designed to meet new performance criteria that will significantly improve occupant safety.

The new safety performance criteria have been designed to improve vehicle-to-vehicle crash compatibility and increase occupant protection in the event of frontal and side impacts. The changes, which are also being adopted by manufacturers in the U.S., will result in a range of improvements. To enhance safety in front-to-side crashes, automakers will improve head protection by incorporating features such as newly designed side airbags, airbag curtains and revised side impact structures. To enhance safety in head-on collisions, manufacturers will redesign vehicles to ensure that front structure heights are more closely aligned with each other.

Mark Nantais, president of the CVMA said, “Canadian vehicle manufacturers continue to make vehicle occupant safety their top priority. These proactive voluntary measures are just the latest in a long line of improvements that will save lives and reduce injuries on Canadian roads.”

The enhanced safety performance criteria were developed by the automotive industry in cooperation with industry safety experts, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with participation from Transport Canada, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other international research organizations.

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