• Sep 7, 2006


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.

[Source: Reuters]


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  • 32 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      DRLs contribute to light pollution??? Doesn't the word "daytime" mean that, perhaps, the sun is more a contributor to "light pollution" than auto lights?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sigh, more regulations that affect weight and appearance all well.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mike,
      I am glad to hear you don't eat and chat on your hand-held phone. I have one more person to be slightly less worried about when I am driving on America's roads. For that...thanks!

      Driving around and seeing crashes on the side of the road tells you very little about crashes though. How do I know this? Because I have spent my entire adult life studying crashes as a crash safety engineer.

      I can throw you statistics all day about crashes. Yes, people hit deers and they may come through the windshield. Deer crashes (at least fatal ones) are not that common in the grand scheme of things.

      You sit here and put down the efforst of NHTSA, IIHS, and OEMS like Volvo, Toyota and Honda (all of which I have seen show up in these negative based comments...not just yours) to keep people safe. The fatal crash numbers HAVE decreased every year for the past 15+ years (except this year with a slight increase) due to the very hard work of people like myself.

      There will always be rare and very devastating crashes in the world and I wish they could be avoided. Especially when the drunk driver goes the wrong way on a highway and takes out some family or some kid steps out in the street and gets hit. We cannot be held accountable or pointed out as not trying to help the siutation when it pure lack of judgment, inclimate weather, or carelessness. If every person drove a tank, it would be the same as every one driving a compact car. Even when matched size cars collide, bad stuff happens. We try to improve your chances as best we can. And even with our best efforts we still lose sleep at night wishing we could do more!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jamal, why are you giving us a link to crash tests from 2001?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Rob,

      sorry about that bee in your bonnet.

      I'm glad you have such good skills with posting links and stuff; I have the computer skills of a four-year old. must be the result of all the "old man lies and biases". I'm a crotchety old 52.

      your links may be great, but they only help to reinforce my point. after your last post, I went to the Toyota web site (on my AOL dial-up computer), and LO AND BEHOLD...DRLs aren't standard on the Sienna until you move up to the Limited model, aren't standard on the Yaris, or the Prius, either. if you would like to read the post in question, I mentioned the Sienna and Yaris (and the now-departed Echo); not a peep from me about the Corolla.

      I'm certainly no hippocrite; I hate DRLs, but obviously all the Consumer Reports-reading sheep just have to have them. my only point is that the manufacturers (like Toyota) feel they are so important, they should be standard across the board, not an item that is included in "option package #4." even lowly GM makes then (annoyingly) standard on everything.

      at this point, it's probably time to change my Depends undergarment, and head off to bed.

      I think if we were playing chess, I just 'checkmated' your 'check'. keep up the good work. all the old men like me are counting on you.

      Mike
      • 8 Years Ago
      Does anyone know if this applies only to NEW cars? Or does it apply to used cars being sold on dealer lots as well?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Does anyone know if this applied only to NEW cars, or to used cars being sold on dealer lots as well?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mike,

      Nice story. Next you'll argue that because one guy got ejected from his car in a crash and survived while if he had been retained he would have died as an excuse for telling everyone to stop wearing seat belts.

      Fact: Crash tests in a controlled environment do correlate to real world performance.

      Are there cases that manufacturers fail to cover? Absolutely. Is corrosion an issue? Yes. If you are worried about the frame corroding by new cars every few years and pick manufacturers that have long-term proven reliability. Consumer Reports evaluates new and used car values. If a manufacturer has a proven track record for engine/electronics, their frame probably holds-up too.

      Question: What about rian, snow, or sleet changes the impact of a car into a tree? A vehicle's speed at impact is its speed. Period! The only thing weather changes is the likelihood of a crash

      The vehicle label is ONE source of easy-to-use information. Every vehicle could publish a novel that would put War and Peace to shame on its value and reliability. You would not read it and no one else would either.

      In MY younger years, I got to witness an autopsy of a 7 year old girl who was in the front seat of a car unrestrained. The other BELTED occupants were fine (not a scratch). Unfortunately her spinal cord was severed from her brain. CONCLUSION: Safety designs help! Consumers have to take some responsibility. If they drive a 20 year rust-bucket it is less safe. If you are unrestrained, you are at more risk for injury (20% of drivers are unbelted but make up 50% of fatalities..coincidence??) Don't get me started on alcohol. It doesn't take rocket science to tell you this.

      Please don't complain about efforts being made to help you when you are driving, talking on your cell phone with a Big Mac in the other hand, and the radio at full volume ignoring what you should be doing...paying attention to the road and the fact that you are operating a 3000lb machine moving at 70mph.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jeff,

      The civic outperformed these trucks:
      http://www.leasetips.com/f150crashtest.htm
      • 8 Years Ago
      don't know if you are familiar with what GM based their DRL tests on, but it was data from northern Canada and Scandanavia. they said the DRLs apperared to work best under conditions of extremely bright sunlight, and a blinding white snowcover. they also worked best in conditions of very light traffic on rural, two-lane highways. I don't drive in conditions like that, ever.

      another issue is the fact that the GM DRLs in the US are twice the brightness of the ones mandated by law in Canada. this can be extremely irritating when being followed by certain vehicles, with the most irritating being the Saturn SLs from 1996-on, which have the DRLs about a foot apart in the center of the front end.

      if they were so extremely effective, I'm sure they would be mandated by law here, too. I guess safety has a price at Toyota; they are only available if you buy ABS brakes.

      I'm certainly not the ony one who hates them; I see more and more GM cars on the road that have them disconnected. it's amazing how many GM vehicles in law enforcement use have them disabled, too.

      Mike

      • 8 Years Ago
      Rob,

      you might head on down to your Totoya dealer. I have a friend that is a gereral manager of one, than there are five different models that do not have them standard, or they are not available at all.

      my neighbor has a new Sienna CE, and there are no DRLs. the Echo never had them at all, and the Yaris doesn't either.

      Mike
      • 8 Years Ago
      Does anyone know if this applied only to NEW cars, or to used cars being sold on dealer lots as well?
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