AGRR Magazine

NHTSA Reports New SUV Rollover Findings; Show Improvement

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced yesterday that the rollover ratings for 2006 model sport utility vehicles (SUV) show a marked improvement over 2005 models.

The improved rating results are indicative of an increased number of SUVs equipped with electronic stability control (ESC) features.

For the 2006 model year, 39 SUVs earned four stars in NHTSA's rollover rating, representing 42 percent of those rated and up from last year's 34 percent of vehicles rated to receive four stars. Sixty-nine percent of the current year models offer ESC as standard equipment, as compare to last year's 43 percent.

NHTSA research found that the benefits of ESC reduced single vehicle crashes by 63 percent for SUVs and 30 percent for passenger cars.

"We have worked hard to encourage automakers to install the kind of safety technology needed to make cars safer, prevent crashes and save lives," said acting NHTSA administrator, Jacqueline Glassman.

The highest rated 2006 model SUV was the Cheverolet HHR with four stars and a 14-percent chance of rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash. The 2006 Chrysler Pacifica and Ford Freestyles were also ranked near the top, each with four stars and a 13-percent chance of rollover. The Nissan Xterra 4x4 received the lowest ranking, three stars and a 25-percent chance of rollover.

For pickup trucks, the Honda Ridgeline 4x4 and Toyota Tacoma 4x2 each earned four stars and a 14-percent chance of rollover, coming in as the highest rated vehicles, while the Toyota Tundra 4x2, Nissan Titan 4x4 and Nissan Frontier 4x2 each received three stars and a 21-percent chance of rollover.

CLICK HERE to view the original press release and accompanying chart of the performance ratings earned by each SUV and pickup truck studied by NHTSA.

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