June 23, 2005

New research shows vehicles becoming more stable, NHTSA reports

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the number of SUVs with four-star rollover ratings has increased substantially since it began rating them in 2001. That year, just one SUV earned four stars; in 2005, 24 earned the rating as part of the newly-released rollover test results for 2005 model year vehicles.

Assessing static stability factor (SSF) values, the predominant factor in the NHTSA’s rollover ratings, the agency found a significant improvement in SUV ratings. Passenger car and pickup truck scores have remained relatively constant.

For 2005 model year vehicles tested, the highest-rated SUV was the Ford Freestyle 4×4, earning four stars and a 13 per cent chance of rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash. The Freestyle matches the 2005 Chrysler Pacifica, which received the same rating in 2004 and has been carried over into 2005.

Among pickups, the highest-rated vehicles were the Chevrolet Colorado 4×4 and its twin GMC Canyon, the Dodge Dakota 4×4, and the Dodge Ram 1500 4×2, each earning four stars and a 17 per cent chance of rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash. For vans, the highest-rated vehicle was the Chrysler PT Cruiser, earning four stars and a 13 per cent chance. For passenger cars, the highest-rated was the Ford Mustang, earning five stars and an eight per cent chance of rollover.

The complete list of 2005 vehicle rollover results, including carryover results from previous model years, is available at www.safercar.gov.

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