NHTSA announces updates to vehicle safety rating program

The traffic safety agency plans to propose some of the major upgrades to its New Car Assessment Program in 2020

October 17, 2019
NHTSA car safety rating program; crash safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced yesterday a plan to propose significant updates to its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in 2020.

NCAP is the government’s premier consumer information program for evaluating vehicle safety performance. The program tests vehicle performance in various crash scenarios and provides an objective rating on a five-star scale to clearly inform consumers of a vehicle’s safety performance.

“Our program has been a tremendous success and has saved many lives, but far too many American families still lose loved ones every year, and we firmly believe that vehicles can and should be even safer in the future,” NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens said in a statement. “That is why NHTSA is working on improving the program to make the Five-Star Safety Ratings Program even more dynamic, and to accelerate NCAP modernization to keep pace with advancements in safety technology. American car buyers want safety, and NHTSA wants to help by creating additional market-based incentives for automakers to continue investing in innovative safety technologies that will save lives and prevent injuries.”

NHTSA plans to propose some of the major upgrades to NCAP in 2020, which will draw in part from public comments and feedback the agency received late last year. These will involve new technologies, new test procedures, updates to vehicle labeling, advancements in crash-test dummies, and continued consumer research to ensure NCAP’s products are effectively meeting the public’s needs. NHTSA will also consider new technologies tied to the safety of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users such as cyclists.  

NHTSA is working to publish a Federal Register Notice in 2020 that will seek comment on upgrades to NCAP. 

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SOURCE: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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