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NHTSA Delays New Crash Test Requirements

The government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has postponed the scheduled upgrades to its crash tests. Rather than going into effect for 2010 model year vehicles, the new rules will apply to 2011 vehicles. The "five-star" crash rating system has been little changed since it began in 1979. Here are the changes: The frontal crash speed of 35 mph will be retained, but the test dummies and the data they produce will be more realistic. Side impact tests will continue to be at 38.5 mph, but will also use new dummy data; adding a side crash into a telephone pole-like object with a small female crash test dummy as a sidekick. Vehicles will also be rated on whether they are equipped with certain advanced safety technology and there will also be a new overall vehicle safety score that combines front and side impacts and the rollover test. NHTSA say the delay "will give manufacturers another year to prepare for what are the most significant changes since the rating program began".
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