Washington, D.C. – The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will test 53 model-year 2011 vehicles under its revamped and updated five-star safety ratings program. The new system includes tougher crash tests, provides information about new advanced crash avoidance technologies, and for the first time, will provide consumers with a single overall safety score per vehicle.

The tests will include 24 passenger cars, 20 SUVs, two vans and nine pickup trucks.

“The vehicles we are announcing today will be the first ones tested under the department’s tougher, more rigorous five-star ratings program,” said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. “This new testing program significantly raises the safety bar for all vehicle manufacturers and will provide consumers with a great deal more safety information about the cars and trucks they want to buy.”

The vehicles and their results will be posted on NHTSA’s Web site. The agency said that consumers will not be able to compare the new safety ratings to those of previous models, since the testing criteria has changed, but it will be more difficult for a vehicle to achieve a high safety rating in the new program.

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