The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has earned "good" marks in crash tests before, and new tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Program prove that the earlier results were not a fluke. The Volt scored a five-star overall safety rating, which is the highest-possible score in NHTSA's new and more strict safety tests for 2011 model year vehicles.
General Motors says that a comprehensive system of safety features – specifically the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system and a bunch of air bags – helped the Volt become the first electric vehicle to get five stars.
The "first" part might be simply because NHTSA has not yet tested a Nissan Leaf. The agency will soon smash and bash the electric machine from Japan, and we expect the all-electric hatch will match GM's plug-in hybrid for safety – as it has before. Until then, we can view with fascination the Chevy Volt crash videos after the jump.
First electric vehicle to receive highest-possible score in new, stricter safety testing
DETROIT – The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is the first electric vehicle to earn a five-star overall vehicle score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's New Car Assessment Program.
"Safety is a key consideration for all buyers no matter how a car is powered – gas, or in the case of the Volt, electricity," said Doug Parks, Volt global vehicle line executive.
The Volt also has been named a 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank for a total driving range of 379 miles.
Safety features on the Volt include:
GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability control system
Front-, side- , knee- air bags as well as roof-mounted head-curtain air bags that help protect occupants in a side or rollover crash
Optional rearview camera system featuring a display integrated into the navigation system screen
Five-year subscription to OnStar's Directions and Connections Plan including Automatic Crash Response, stolen vehicle assistance and connected navigation
Starting with 2011 models, NHTSA introduced tougher tests and more rigorous requirements for its five-star safety ratings program that provide more comprehensive information about safety performance and crash-avoidance technologies. Changes include a new side pole test simulating a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver's side.
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 120 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com