U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C.
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/


News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 62-98
September 15, 1998 Contact: Tim Hurd


Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

 

NHTSA RELEASES CRASH TEST

RESULTS FOR THREE NOTABLE CARS

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released the frontal crash test results for two model year 1998 cars and one model year 1999 car, including two cars with five stars for both driver and passenger protection and the first production electric car to be rated for safety in a frontal impact crash.

Frontal crash impact test results included are for the 1998 General Motors EV1 electric two-door car, 1998 Audi A8 four-door, and the 1999 Ford Taurus four-door. These new test results for the 1998 Audi A8 will also be valid for model year 1999. The 1999 Taurus has a redesigned frontal restraint system.

The EV1 is General Motors' first production electric vehicle in more than eighty years. General Motors put twenty-six advanced lead-acid batteries in the EV1. To reduce the risk of leakage in case of a collision, they stored the electrolyte in absorbing pads between the battery plates. The frontal crash test verified that the EV1 meets the recommended industry requirements for electrical isolation and limiting electrolyte spillage. The requirements are meant to protect passengers and rescue personnel from electrical shock and spilled electrolyte in the event of a crash.

In the frontal crashes, vehicles are crashed at 35 mph such that the entire front impacts against a rigid, fixed barrier. This crash is equivalent to a head-on collision between two identical vehicles, each moving at 35 mph, or with a 70 mph closing speed. Crash-test dummies are placed in the driver and front passenger seats. These instrumented dummies register forces and impacts during the crash, which NHTSA uses to predict frontal head and chest injuries.

For the frontal NCAP, crash test results are reported in a range of one to five stars, with five stars showing the best crash protection for vehicles within the same weight class. Head and chest data, which show the chance of a life-threatening injury, are combined into a single rating, reflected by the number of stars. These represent a vehicle's relative level of crash protection in a head-on collision. Thigh injury, though rarely life-threatening, is also measured in the tests. Such injury can be disabling, and if a high likelihood of thigh injury is shown in the tests, it will be noted in the charts.

NHTSA emphasized that the crash test results for frontal impact are meaningful only for comparing relative injury risk in frontal collisions between vehicles of similar weight, within an approximate weight range of 500 pounds. The test results for passenger cars are presented in separate tables for each weight class and listed alphabetically within each table. Separate tables are provided for sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks. In head-on collisions involving two vehicles of different weights, occupants in lighter weight vehicles usually experience greater risk of injury than those in heavier vehicles.

A side-impact crash test result is included for the Ford Taurus four-door. The side safety rating for the 1998 and the 1999 Ford Taurus are the same. The ratings in the two years are the same because the manufacturer is selling a vehicle in model year 1999 that has the same side design as in 1998.

The combination of frontal and side crash tests in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) gives consumers relative safety information on the two most common injury-causing crash events--frontal and side impacts. In the attached tables, safety information is provided for both the frontal and side NCAP tests.

The federal safety agency said the side crash used to test these passenger cars simulates a typical intersection collision between two vehicles. In the tests, forces are measured on two crash dummies when a moving, deformable barrier is impacted at an angle into the side of a car at 38.5 mph.

Crash-test dummies--designed specifically to measure human-like responses in the side direction--are placed in the driver position and in the rear seat position behind the driver. Instruments measure the force of impact to the dummy's chest and pelvis. The chest data, which shows the chance of life-threatening injury, is signified in a single rating reflected by the number of stars. Pelvic injury also is measured. If a high likelihood of pelvic injury occurs in the lateral test, the consumer is also informed of this possible injury by a pound symbol.

NHTSA advised consumers, in reviewing the front and lateral star ratings, to keep in mind that in real world crashes vehicles are twice as likely to be involved in severe frontal crashes as in severe side crashes. Test results show the relative crash protection provided to occupants using all of the vehicle's occupant protection equipment. Occupant protection equipment consists of safety belts and air bags. The results do not apply to unbelted occupants. The side air bag equipment provided on each tested vehicle is shown to the right of the vehicle's overall score. The side air bag column refers to what was in the vehicle tested and not to options that might be available from the manufacturer.

Consumers can obtain more detailed information on these crash results by visiting NHTSA's World Wide Web site: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov or by calling the agency's toll-free Auto Safety Hotline, 800-424-9393. NHTSA currently reports about 12,000 visitors per week , an indication of high consumer interest in auto safety information.

###

New Car Assessment Program

How To Use This Chart

In the frontal crash rating, vehicles are classified by the estimated chance of a life threatening head and/or chest injury for the driver or front seat passenger.

Frontal crash results should be compared against other vehicles in the same weight class. If a light vehicle collides head-on with a heavier vehicle at 35mph, the occupants in the lighter vehicle could experience a greater chance of injury than the results of this test indicate.

In the side crash rating, vehicles are classified by the estimated chance of a life threatening chest injury for the driver and the rear seat passenger. Head injury is not measured in the side crashes.

Drivers and passengers in both the frontal and side crash rating receive a one to five star rating with five stars star5indicating the best protection.

Vehicles are twice as likely to be involved in severe frontal crashes than in severe side crashes. Test results show the relative crash protection provided to occupants using all of the vehicle's occupant protection equipment. Occupant protection equipment consists of safety belts and air bags. The results do not apply to unbelted occupants.

All vehicles had safety belt systems for all occupants and frontal air bags for the driver and right front seat passenger. The side air bag equipment provided on each tested vehicle is shown to the right of the vehicle's overall score. The side air bag column refers to what was in the vehicle tested and not to options that might be available from the manufacturer.

Also, thigh injury is measured in the frontal crash tests and pelvic injury is measured in the side crash tests. If a high likelihood of a thigh injury or a pelvic injury occurs, the consumer is informed of these possible injuries by an asterisk or a pound symbol respectively.

SEPTEMBER 1998

1998 LIGHT PASSENGER CARS

(2000 - 2499 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER FRONT BACK
CHEVROLET PRISM 4DR 2498 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star3    
FORD ESCORT 4DR 2548 lbs. star3 star3 star3 star3    
HONDA CIVIC 2DR 2313 lbs. star4 star4 star2 star3    
HONDA CIVIC 4DR 2379 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star3    
HYUNDAI ACCENT 4DR 2254 lbs. star3 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
MAZDA PROTEGE 4DR 2429 lbs. star3 NO DATA NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
MERCURY TRACER 4DR 2458 lbs. star3 star3 star3 star3    
NISSAN SENTRA 4DR 2452 lbs. star3 star4 star3 star3    
SATURN SL 4DR 2269 lbs. star5 star4 star3 star3    
TOYOTA COROLLA 4DR 2498 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star3    
TOYOTA TERCEL 2DR 2070 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star3 star4    

# HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF PELVIC INJURY

1998 COMPACT PASSENGER CARS

(2500 - 2999 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER FRONT BACK
BUICK SKYLARK 4DR 2983 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star1 star3    
CHEVROLET CAVALIER 2DR 2708 lbs. star3 star4 star1 star2    
CHEVROLET CAVALIER 4DR 2750 lbs. star4 star4 star1 star3    
DODGE NEON 4DR 2520 lbs. star3 star4 star2 star3    
EAGLE TALON 2DR 2853 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star1 NO DATA    
FORD CONTOUR 4DR 2860 lbs. star5 star4 star3 star4    
FORD ESCORT ZX2 2DR 2541 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star1 star4    
GM EV1 2DR 2886 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
HYUNDAI ELANTRA 4DR 2706 lbs. star3 star3 star3 star1    
HYUNDAI SONATA 4DR 2761 lbs. star3 star4 star1 star2    
MAZDA 626 4DR 2762 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star3 star3    
MERCURY MYSTIQUE 4DR 2860 lbs. star5 star4 star3 star4    

# HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF PELVIC INJURY

1998 COMPACT PASSENGER CARS

(2500 - 2999 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER FRONT BACK
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE 2DR 2853 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star1 NO DATA    
MITSUBISHI GALANT 4DR 2860 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star2    
NISSAN ALTIMA 4DR 2990 lbs. star3 star2 star3 star3    
OLDSMOBILE ACHIEVA 4DR 2983 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star1 star3    
PLYMOUTH NEON 4DR 2520 lbs. star3 star4 star2 star3    
PONTIAC GRAND AM 4DR 2983 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star1 star3    
PONTIAC SUNFIRE 2DR 2708 lbs. star3 star4 star1 star2    
PONTIAC SUNFIRE 4DR 2750 lbs. star4 star4 star1 star3    
SUBARU LEGACY 4DR 2959 lbs. star4 star4 star3  NO DATA    
VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 4DR 2788 lbs. NOT TESTED NOT TESTED star3 star2 check  

# HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF PELVIC INJURY

1998 MEDIUM PASSENGER CARS

(3000 - 3499 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER FRONT BACK
ACURA TL 4DR 3285 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
BUICK CENTURY 4DR 3380 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star3    
BUICK LESABRE 4DR 3442 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star3    
BUICK REGAL 4DR 3380 lbs. TO BE TESTED TO BE TESTED star3 star3    
CHEVROLET CAMARO 2DR 3336 lbs. star4 star5 star3 star4    
CHEVROLET LUMINA 4DR 3367 lbs. star4 star5 star4 star3    
CHEVROLET MALIBU 4DR 3083 lbs. star4 star4 star1 star3    
CHRYSLER CIRRUS 4DR 3043 lbs. star3 star4 star3 star2    
DODGE STRATUS 4DR 3043 lbs. star3 star4 star3 star2    
FORD MUSTANG 2DR 3078 lbs. star5 star4 star3 star3    
FORD TAURUS 4DR 3308 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star3    
HONDA ACCORD 2DR 3175 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
HONDA ACCORD 4DR 3078 lbs. star4 star4 star4 star4    
INFINITI I30 4DR 3088 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
LEXUS ES300 4DR 3344 lbs. star4 star4 star5 star4 check  
MERCEDES-BENZ C230 4DR 3190 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star4 check  
1998 MEDIUM PASSENGER CARS

(3000 - 3499 lbs. Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER FRONT BACK
MERCURY SABLE 4DR 3308 lbs. star4 star4 star3 star3    
NISSAN MAXIMA 4DR 3088 lbs. star4 star4 star4 star3    
OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS 4DR 3083 lbs. star4 star4 star1 star3    
OLDSMOBILE INTRIGUE 4DR 3398 lbs. star4 star3 star3 star1    
PLYMOUTH BREEZE 4DR 3043 lbs. star3 star4 star3 star2    
PONTIAC FIREBIRD 2DR 3336 lbs. star4 star5 star3 star4    
SAAB 900 4DR 3064 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
TOYOTA AVALON 4DR 3319 lbs. star4 star5 star5 star4 check  
TOYOTA CAMRY 4DR 3098 lbs. star4 star5 star3 star3    
VOLVO S70 4DR 3126 lbs. star5 star5 star4 NO DATA check  
1998 HEAVY PASSENGER CARS

(3500 lbs. & over Curb Weight)

MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER FRONT BACK
AUDI A8 4DR 3751 lbs. star5 star5 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED check check
CADILLAC DEVILLE 4DR 4011 lbs. star4 star4 star4 star4 check  
FORD CROWN VICTORIA 4DR 3951 lbs. star5 star5 star4 star4    
MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS 4DR 3951 lbs. star5 star5 star4 star4    
OLDSMOBILE AURORA 4DR 3993 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
PONTIAC BONNEVILLE SSE 4DR 3558 lbs. star5 star3 star3 star2    
VOLVO S90 4DR 3521 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED check  
1998 SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER FRONT BACK
CHEVROLET BLAZER 4DR 4X4 4208 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
CHEVROLET SUBURBAN 4DR 4X4 5759 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
DODGE DURANGO 4DR 4X4 4694 lbs. star2 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
FORD EXPEDITION 4DR 4X4 5497 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
FORD EXPLORER 4DR 4X4 4258 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
GMC JIMMY 4DR 4X4 4208 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
GMC SUBURBAN 4DR 4X4 5759 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
HONDA CR-V 4DR 4X4 3149 lbs. star4 star5 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
HONDA PASSPORT 4DR 4X4 3966 lbs. star3 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
ISUZU RODEO 4DR 4X4 3966 lbs. star3 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 4DR 4X4 3871 lbs star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
LINCOLN NAVIGATOR 4DR 4X4 5497 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
MERCEDES ML320 4DR 4X4 4396 lbs. star4 star5 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED check  
MERCURY MOUNTAINEER 4DR 4X4 4258 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
OLDSMOBILE BRAVADA 4DR 4X4 4208 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
TOYOTA 4RUNNER 4DR 4X4 4029 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
TOYOTA RAV4 4DR 4X4 3005 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
1998 LIGHT TRUCKS
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER FRONT REAR
CHEVROLET C/K PU EXCAB 4518 lbs. star4 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
CHEVROLET S10 PU EXCAB 3497 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
DODGE DAKOTA PU EXCAB 3856 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
DODGE RAM PU EXCAB 4896 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
FORD F150 PU 3951 lbs. star5 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
FORD RANGER PU 3543 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
GMC SIERRA PU EXCAB 4518 lbs. star4 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
GMC SONOMA PU EXCAB 3497 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
MAZDA B-SERIES 3543 lbs star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
NISSAN FRONTIER PU EXCAB 3691 lbs. star3 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
TOYOTA TACOMA PU EXCAB 3601 lbs. star4 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
1998 VANS
MAKE & MODEL FRONTAL CRASH RATINGS SIDE CRASH RATING SIDE AIR BAG
DRIVER PASSENGER DRIVER REAR PASSENGER FRONT REAR
CHEVROLET ASTRO 4415 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
CHEVROLET VENTURE 3857 lbs. star4 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED check  
CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY SX 3709 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY LX 4017 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
DODGE CARAVAN 3709 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
DODGE GRAND CARAVAN 4017 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
FORD WINDSTAR 3810 lbs. star5 star5 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
GMC SAFARI 4415 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
MAZDA MPV 3821 lbs. star4 star4 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE 3857 lbs. star4 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED check  
PLYMOUTH GRAND VOYAGER 4017 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
PLYMOUTH VOYAGER 3709 lbs. star3 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED    
PONTIAC TRANSPORT 3857 lbs. star4 star3 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED check  
TOYOTA SIENNA 3973 lbs. star5 star5 NOT TESTED NOT TESTED