More SUVs Score High on Rollover Ratings

Posted on July 6, 2005 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The number of SUVs with a four-star rollover rating has increased substantially since the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began rating them in 2001. That year, just one SUV earned four stars, whereas in 2005, 24 earned a four-star rating as part of the newly released rollover test results for 2005 model-year vehicles. Assessing static stability factor values – the predominant factor in NHTSA’s rollover ratings – the agency found a significant improvement in SUV ratings; passenger car and pickup truck scores have remained relatively constant.

For 2005 model-year tested vehicles, the highest-rated SUV was the Ford Freestyle 4x4, earning four stars and a 13% chance of rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash. The Freestyle matches the 2005 Chrysler Pacifica, a carryover vehicle from 2004, which also earned four stars and a 13% chance of rollover during the 2004 model-year testing.

For pickups, the highest-rated vehicles were the Chevrolet Colorado 4x4 and its twin the GMC Canyon, the Dodge Dakota 4x4, and the Dodge Ram 1500 4x2 – each earning four stars and a 17% chance of rollover if involved in a single- vehicle crash. For vans, the highest-rated vehicle was the Chrysler PT Cruiser, earning four stars and a 13% chance of rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash. For passenger cars, the highest-rated vehicle was the Ford Mustang, earning five stars and an 8% chance of rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash.

"It is encouraging to see the positive impact our rollover- rating program has had on making vehicles more stable, particularly on SUVs," said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey Runge, M.D. "Today we have 24 2005 model-year SUVs with a four star rollover rating, whereas two years ago, we had only five.”

The complete list of 2005 vehicles rollover results, including carryover results from previous model years, is also available at www.safercar.gov.

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