New rule: every vehicle sold in the U.S. must have its crash rating displayed on its window sticker by September 1st, 2007. Sponsored by the Republican Senator from Ohio, Mike DeWine, the new law aims to provide consumers with information about the ability of a vehicle to protect its occupants in the event of front or side impact. The crash ratings being used will, of course, be provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and will likely use the star ratings we're all familiar with by now. Pickup trucks, however, have been mysteriously left off the list of vehicles that require crash test ratings to be displayed. Hmm... Ford and GM have already pledged to put the crash test ratings on their trucks anway.
We should assume that dealers are none to happy about this, despite the cooperative nature of their respective automakers thus far. Just imagine you're the guy trying to sell a car that got two stars on its frontal crash test. On account of this, the new requirement may have automakers trying even harder to build their vehicles to NHTSA crash test specs so as not to suffer the shame of a two-star crash test performance for all the world to see.