NHTSA proposes upgrading of its five-star rating system for new vehicles

NHTSA proposes upgrading of its five-star rating system for new vehicles

On Tuesday, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put forth a proposal for making significant revisions to its five-star rating system for new vehicles.

The NHTSA said that the system for rating vehicles for safety should include standards for new crash avoidance technologies as well as pedestrian protections which have witnessed increasing prevalence in vehicles in recent years. The agency also proposed the use of more human-like test dummies with additional sensors, so that the impacts of the crash on the body can be measured more effectively.

As a result of the changes proposed by the NHTSA, the agency’s five-star rating system for new vehicles -- which dates back to the year 1978 -- will be notably strengthened, starting with testing for 2019 model years.

Highlighting the fact that the NHTSA is “going to raise the bar for protecting vehicle occupants,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said during a news conference at the Department of Transportation on Tuesday: “We ultimately want to eliminate crashes altogether.”

Moreover, in reference to the significantly bolstered system for rating new vehicles for safety, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said that it will become “tougher than ever” for new vehicles to achieve the coveted five-star rating when testing begins under testing for 2019 model year; and added: “That’s just the way it should be.”