Step Right Up: NHTSA announces list of 2012 models to be tested

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a list of 74 vehicles for the 2012 model year that it plans on crash testing. The vehicles include 42 passengers cars, 22 SUVs, eight trucks and two vans. NHTSA claims the list represents about 81 percent of the 2012 model year vehicles that will be on sold in the U.S., and further claims it will be performing rollover tests on 92 percent of the 2012 fleet.

You may remember that NHTSA released the first round of results from its new, tougher crash tests in October 2010, and that first batch of vehicles didn't fare too well. It's been almost one year exactly, which has given automakers ample time to tweak their vehicles in the hopes of achieving that coveted overall score of five stars.

Of the 74 vehicles being tested this year, we're particularly interested in a few like the Ford Transit Connect (we expect a fun crash video from that one) and a number of EVs including the 2012 Coda Sedan we just took for a Quick Spin, the Ford Focus BEV, little Mitsubishi i and Toyota Prius V. Other notable crash candidates are the Toyota Camry, which as a 2011 model could only manage a best overall score of four stars after some mid-model year tweaks raised it from three stars, and the 2012 Passat, which needs five stars to become the volume seller that Volkswagen hopes it will be after a complete redesign and significantly lower price.

Check out the full list for yourself after the jump.


NHTSA Announces Model Year 2012 Vehicles to be Rated Under Government 5-Star Safety Ratings Program

Auto safety agency unveils list of vehicles to be tested as part of revamped safety ratings program

WASHINGTON – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced the lineup of model year 2012 passenger vehicles that will be tested as part of the agency's 5-star safety ratings program. The program's crash tests will provide consumer safety information on approximately 81 percent of model year 2012 passenger vehicles sold in the United States, while rollover tests will provide information on 92 percent of the 2012 fleet.

NHTSA will rate 74 vehicles for the 2012 model year, including 42 passenger cars, 22 sport utility vehicles, two vans, and eight pickups. The testing will be conducted under NHTSA's enhanced program, which was revamped last year to include tougher crash tests and provide consumers with a single overall safety score for each vehicle. A number of model year 2012 vehicles had carry-over designs from the previous year or have already been tested, and these ratings are already posted online.

"Our 5-star ratings program is a critical resource to help consumers make the best possible decisions about the cars they want to buy," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "By revamping the tests and creating a more rigorous program last year, we raised the bar on safety for all vehicle manufacturers. People should remember: More stars, safer cars."

In addition to overall safety ratings, NHTSA's revamped testing program also provides recommendations to consumers on the most effective "crash avoidance" technologies available in new model year vehicles. For the 2012 model year, NHTSA has identified 68 vehicle models equipped with either lane departure warning (LDW), forward collision warning (FCW), or both features, which can help drivers avoid a collision. Of these equipped vehicles, 12 have LDW, 18 vehicles have FCW, and 38 vehicles have both features. Since NHTSA began identifying vehicles equipped with these crash avoidance technologies in 2011, availability of these features has risen, up from the 45 vehicles offering these technologies as optional equipment last model year.

"For more than three decades, NHTSA's 5-star ratings system has been the gold standard for consumers who want to purchase the safest vehicles on the market," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "Thanks to the upgrades we've made to the program, consumers can now readily compare the safety of vehicles not only in terms of crash survivability, but also when it comes to avoiding crashes in the first place."

Results for the 74 vehicles that will be tested under the enhanced Government 5-star safety ratings program and recommendations on the 68 vehicles with crash avoidance LDW or FCW will be posted online at

The list of vehicles selected for crash and rollover testing in model year 2012 is below.

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