The system, developed back in the late Seventies, assesses how a vehicle does when it crashes into a barrier at thirty five miles per hour. Standard dummies are used to simulate driver and passenger. Depending on damage and impact management, the car is given a rating from one to five stars.
Advocates for changing the system suggest increasing the speed to forty miles per hour, adding different sized dummies to simulate smaller passengers such as children, and adding a new test measuring side impact.
The NHTSA says further studies are needed before it will consider revising the current testing procedure.