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Testimony of Joan Claybrook on suggestions for enhancements to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) at the NHTSA public meeting

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Department of Transportation Public Meeting in Washington, D.C. 
March 7, 2007

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) is long overdue for updating, and I applaud the agency for taking steps to enhance the program.   In this testimony I offer comments on how to improve NCAP, raising points that I know others in the consumer protection community share. 

The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), which NHTSA launched under my watch in 1978, provides consumers with information about vehicle performance under conditions which are more stringent than those used for safety standards.   NCAP has been quite successful in pushing manufacturers to improve safety.  Additionally, NCAP has helped educate consumers about the safety of available vehicles, empowering consumers to make educated choices about the vehicles they choose to purchase for themselves and their families.  NCAP’s success has even led to many other countries launching similar programs.   Embarrassingly, however, many of these other programs are more comprehensive than NHTSA’s NCAP program. 

As NHTSA notes in its January 2007 report, The New Car Assessment Program: Suggested Approaches for Future Program Enhancements, in order for NCAP to continue to be successful in motivating vehicle safety improvements, NCAP must be updated to ensure that auto manufacturers continue to be challenged.   For this reason, NHTSA’s report on suggested opportunities to enhance NCAP is admirable; however, the agency has omitted many critical issues necessary for NCAP to be adequately updated. 

These critical issues include rating vehicles for rear occupant protection, improving the current test used for rating rollover protection, adding an aggressivity rating system, rating child safety restraints, creating a pedestrian rating, rating vehicle performance in rear-impact crashes, and adding an offset frontal crash test rating.   I also urge the agency to test and rate both front and rear occupant seating positions in a vehicle through NCAP, which would provide consumers with critical information about vehicle safety that is currently not available.  Furthermore, the agency should reform its scoring system from stars to letter grades to assist in consumer understanding of the rating system.

These are improvements that are needed to ensure that NCAP is a truly effective consumer information program that breaks out of its current stagnation and becomes a stimulus for ongoing innovation in the auto industry.   To the extent that any of these improvements require increased funding, I call on NHTSA to ask Congress for the necessary funds—and not, as with the recent budget submission, to ask for less than the law has already authorized.

NHTSA Should Expand NCAP by Restructuring Testing Responsibility.

One of the program’s major shortcomings is NHTSA’s failure to have reported NCAP ratings for vehicles until many months after the vehicles have been made available for purchase.   An additional problem plaguing the program is that many vehicles are never even tested by NHTSA through NCAP.  Because the agency does not have enough funds, these two specific issues will become increasingly problematic for NHTSA following the passage of the Stars on Cars Act in 2005, which requires vehicles available for purchase to have NHTSA’s five-star NCAP rating visible on the vehicle at the point of sale. 

NHTSA has the authority to restructure NCAP and require auto manufacturers to crash test vehicle models before making them available for sale.   I urge NHSTA to use this authority and transfer the responsibility of testing vehicles through NCAP to the manufacturers.  All manufacturers currently administer these tests at their own testing facilities where they are already required to administer Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) tests, so this additional mandated responsibility would not be overly burdensome.  Through this new system, NHTSA would also be able to hold manufacturer NCAP testing accountable by running its own tests at random to independently verify manufacturer results. 

By transferring NCAP testing responsibilities to manufacturers, NHTSA will ensure that all new vehicle models have crash test ratings available on the vehicle window sticker and in the owners manual when the new models become available for sale.   This change will be incredibly valuable for consumers, and it will empower them to make educated decisions about the vehicles they purchase for themselves and their families. 

The NCAP Rating System Be Revised to Provide Clearer Information to Consumers.  

During the NCAP enhancement process, NHTSA should update its rating reporting format.   Currently, NCAP uses a five-star rating system.  In order to enhance consumer understanding of NCAP’s rating system, I recommend that NHTSA transfer to a letter grade system using letters A, B, C, D, and F.  A’s would be awarded to vehicles with the best performance, and F’s would be awarded for vehicles with the worst performance in any given test. 

A letter grade system would ensure that consumers fully understand the safety grades awarded to different vehicles.   Whereas currently a three-star rating can look favorable for a vehicle, a C rating would better reflect the vehicle’s average, less-than-stellar performance.  For these reasons, the letter grade system would provide even grater incentive for manufacturers to strive for the top safety ratings.  As well, the detailed testing results for each vehicle tested should be posted on the web. 

Furthermore, I encourage NHTSA to proceed carefully with the suggestion in its January 2007 report of producing a summary safety rating that incorporates a vehicle model’s safety score in all NCAP tests.   I do believe that a summary score could, in the right circumstances, be helpful to consumers, who already have quite a bit of information to sift through when making decisions about buying vehicles.  A summary score, weighted for priority with respect to saving lives and preventing injuries, might be a good addition, depending on how it is calculated.  Such a summary rating could, however, undermine consumer understanding of a vehicle’s safety if the summary calculation is not based on sound criteria or is reported in the five-star rating method instead of, say, numerical scores on a 0-100 scale.  For example, a rudimentary summary score could result in a vehicle receiving a rating of moderately safe if a dangerously low side-impact rating were effectively canceled out by a high rollover rating and a high frontal-impact rating.

NCAP Should Test and Rate Rear as Well as Front Seating Positions. 

The current NCAP only grades vehicles in regards to the safety protections they provide for occupants located in the driver’s seat and front passenger’s seat.   I urge NHSTA to begin testing and rating vehicles for the safety they provide to occupants in the rear seats as well.  Also, because parents are told to put youngsters into the rear seat, child as well as adult dummies should be tested in the rear seat.  The agency’s goal should be to test vehicles for the safety they provide to occupants in front and rear seating positions in rollover crashes, side-impact crashes, rear-impact crashes, frontal-impact crashes, and offset frontal-impact crashes. 

NHTSA should, at a minimum, justify any decision not to test and rate rear-seating positions.   The only comparison of front and rear occupant injuries in the agency’s 2007 report is for frontal impact crashes in low injury crashes.  NHTSA should not simply ignore rear-seat occupants in all other crash modes; it must at least consider the serious injury rates for those occupants in rear, side, and rollover crashes as well.

NHTSA Must Improve the Current Rollover Prevention NCAP Test, and Should Add a Rollover Crashworthiness NCAP Test. 

The GAO noted in a 2005 report that there is insufficient consumer information about occupant protection in the current rollover NCAP rating.[1]Currently, NHTSA only provides consumers with a rating on a vehicle’s likelihood to roll over, as was called for in the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act.  It is essential, however, for consumers to be aware of both a vehicle’s likelihood to roll over as well as the vehicle’s level of crashworthiness in a rollover crash.

The current rating system is based on a measure of the vehicle’s geometric rollover propensity, called the static stability factor, and the vehicle’s performance on the fishhook test, which measures “untripped” rollover propensity.  “Untripped” rollover crashes represent only 5% of total rollover crashes.[2]A vehicle’s rollover rating is based on a risk model developed by correlating these two measures against real-world crashes.[3]The rollover rating, however, gives no information about the crashworthiness of a vehicle in a rollover crash, instead merely rating a vehicle’s rollover propensity.  The dynamic portion of the rollover rating measures a vehicle’s rollover propensity only in understeer conditions, which represent only a small fraction of crashes.

Electronic stability control has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of single-vehicle rollover crashes.[4]While reducing rollover crashes in an important part of improving rollover safety, occupant protection in rollover is also an important consideration.  A rollover NCAP rating should be based on a vehicle’s ability to resist rollover and to protect occupants in a rollover crash.

The need for a rollover crash protection NCAP test is of great importance to consumers, becasue rollover crashes represent about 3% of tow-away crashes but over 20% of highway fatalities.[5]The number of rollover crashes has also been increasing over the past several years,[6] and NHTSA’s response to the rollover problem has been ineffective.

Both the GAO report and NHTSA’s January 2007 Report point out that the agency intends to address rollover occupant protection through rulemakings on roof crush, door locks and retention, and ejection mitigation.  These rulemakings are required by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) of 2005. So far, the agency’s implementation of SAFETEA-LU has been minimal and disappointing.  For example, the 2005 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on roof crush failed to adequately improve occupant safety in rollover crashes.[7]A comprehensive, whole-vehicle approach to improving occupant safety in rollover includes adequately informing consumers about the potential risks associated with vehicles involved in rollover crashes. 

Dynamic rollover testing is essential to achieve both the objectives of the rollover response outlined in SAFETEA-LU and the ideal of developing a rollover NCAP measure that reflects occupant protection. The agency has repeatedly argued that there is not a suitable dynamic rollover test.[8]Consumer groups have proven the agency wrong.[9]NCAP ratings for frontal and side impact are based on dynamic crash test results, which give the agency information about the survivability about different types of crashes.  It makes no sense not to be consistent and use dynamic tests for rollover as well.

 A dynamic test for rollover would provide a wealth of information about a vehicle’s safety in a rollover crash that cannot be measured by a static test or vehicle geometry.   The complex forces in a rollover crash are part of the specific safety concerns associated with rollover.  A dynamic test would be useful to test a variety of different safety standards, including roof strength, belt retention and performance, side impact airbags, door locks and retention, and retention of the vehicle glazing.  Many of these technologies fall under the category of ejection mitigation, which is an important consideration in rollover crashes, since nearly half of rollover fatalities involve partial or complete ejection from the vehicle.  A rollover NCAP rating that includes consideration of ejection mitigation would provide valuable information about a vehicle’s ability to prevent death or serious injury in a rollover crash.

The rollover NCAP rating should include a measure the rollover propensity, as well as crashworthiness measures of performance in a rollover crash.   The measure of vehicle crashworthiness in the cases of a rollover crash should be expressed by how much a vehicle exceeds the minimum performance standard for a given criterion.  For example, if the standard for roof crush is that the roof should withstand 2.5 times the vehicle weight, the NCAP rating should be based on how much stronger than the minimum standard a vehicle’s roof is (or ideally, on roof crush velocity).  The rollover rating should be weighted such that the crashworthiness of the vehicle is weighted higher than the rollover resistance of a vehicle.

NHTSA Should Refine Its Approach to Including Crash Avoidance Technology in NCAP Ratings.

Crash avoidance technologies are an important part of improved highway safety.  Including crash avoidance technology in NCAP ratings would give consumers a more complete picture of a vehicle’s safety.  The GAO report notes that brake tests are included in the Japanese NCAP program, and that the Euro NCAP program is currently evaluating whether it is appropriate to include crash avoidance technologies in their NCAP program.[10]

NHTSA’s January 2007 report on potential improvements to the NCAP system proposes two schemes for including crash avoidance technologies in the NCAP program,[11]each focusing on three crash avoidance technologies NHTSA has identified as being promising: electronic stability control, lane departure avoidance, and rear end collision avoidance.  The first scheme for NCAP ratings for crash avoidance technologies would give a letter grade of A, B, or C based on the absence or presence of these three technologies.  That is, that if a vehicle is equipped with all three of the technologies, it would receive a crash avoidance rating of “A,” but a vehicle that was equipped with only one of these technologies would be given a grade of “C.”  A rating system based on simple absence-presence is effectively meaningless, because it gives no information on how much protection the technologies give against crashes. 

The second scheme would give ratings of A, B or C, but would be weighted based on a given technology’s ability to reduce the crash risk.  The example given by NHTSA is that a vehicle equipped with only electronic stability control would receive a rating of “B,” but that a vehicle equipped only with lane departure avoidance would receive a rating of “C,” based on the difference in crash avoidance potential.[12]This plan, though favorable over the first suggested scheme, is very complicated, and the agency should consider this plan as a long-term goal. 

The agency outlines a plan that would phase-in crash avoidance NCAP ratings as market penetration and information about the crash avoidance potential becomes more available.  The agency outlines a situation in which the letter-grade system would be phased into a star rating as more information became available, and performance standards could be set for various crash avoidance technologies.[13]

This approach has the potential to be misleading and confusing to consumers.   Until performance standards are developed for crash avoidance technologies, it is difficult to provide consumers with appropriate information about the range of potential performance for crash avoidance technologies.

One problem with making broad proclamations about a class of crash avoidance technology is that there is a range of effectiveness of different configurations of the same technology, and a given technology’s ability to prevent a crash for a particular vehicle.  There is not enough information about the different configurations of electronic stability control on different vehicles for example to make statements about a particular system’s ability to prevent a crash for a particular vehicle.[14]

Giving consumers more information is important; however, NCAP alone is not enough. Developing performance standards for crash avoidance technologies is an important part of the agency’s recommendation that crash avoidance technology play a greater role in ensuring highway safety.   Until these performance standards are developed, there is little useful consumer information on these technologies.

An Upgraded NCAP Would Include an Aggressivity Standard.

Consumers need information about the risks their choices pose to others on the roadway.  When a consumer chooses a vehicle, he is primarily concerned with the safety of an occupant in that vehicle but often does not consider the safety to occupants of other vehicles.  The incompatibility of the vehicle fleet has been exacerbated by the increasing share of SUVs and light trucks in the vehicle fleet – 53% of the fleet was classified as light trucks (which includes SUVs) in 2005.[15]In addition to simply the weight and size concerns, vehicle attributes such as height and aggressive bumpers and menacing front grilles add to the aggressivity of these large vehicles with respect to smaller cars.  Former NHTSA Administrator Ricardo Martinez said in 1997 that the aggressive design of light trucks has caused over 2,000 unnecessary deaths.[16]

Addressing vehicle incompatibility and aggressivity is an important safety concern.  When two vehicles collide, the larger, heavier vehicle will sustain less damage, and its occupants are often not as seriously injured. Occupants of cars are twice as likely to be injured or killed in side impact crashes with SUVs as with other cars.[17] In a frontal collision between a car and an SUV, the car driver is 4.3 times more likely to die than the SUV driver.[18]This is a basic principle of physics – that in a collision between a heavier object and a lighter object, the lighter object will be subjected to a greater force than the heavier object.  The public should be fully informed of this issue when it purchases a new vehicle.

Vehicle attributes tied to aggressivity are weight, height of center of force, static stiffness, and dynamic stiffness.[19]  Weight and height are two of the biggest concerns for incompatibility.  The difference in weight between the largest and smallest cars has increased since the 1970s, but other factors have subsequently become more prominent in the aggressivity problem.[20]

Vehicle height is also a concern, because the higher SUVs and light trucks do not meet with the bumper of smaller cars in a frontal collision, and therefore the forces of the crash are not dissipated through the bumper.  In a side impact between a light truck or SUV and a car, height is a factor because often the light truck or SUV impacts the car above the door sill, and when such an impact occurs, the occupant is more likely to sustain severe injury.[21]

Consumer education about vehicle incompatibility and aggressivity will help consumers make choices that will be responsible for both themselves and others on the road.  For every Ford Explorer driver saved in a two-vehicle crash, five drivers in other vehicles are killed by Ford Explorers.[22]If consumers knew of the risks to other drivers that large, aggressive vehicles caused, then they might rethink their choice.  Alerting consumers to the risks to occupants of other vehicles will educate consumers of the problems associated with vehicle incompatibility and perhaps motivate them to choose less aggressive vehicles, such as crossover vehicles which are built on car frames instead of truck frames, thus improving compatibility.

An NCAP rating should be developed addressing incompatibility based on the vehicle geometry and attributes, center-of-force height and static and dynamic stiffness.   NHTSA should conduct research into the correlations between these metrics and real-world crashes to best assign ratings based on real-world crash data.  NCAP testing should also include more complete data on deformation of frame rails, engine components, firewall, and pillars to better estimate the consequences of a two-vehicle crash.

Finally, the research and development for an NCAP incompatibility test would also be directly useful in the design of a safety standard, which an NCAP test should accompany.

NCAP Should Rate Child Safety Restraints on Their Safety Performance. 

NHTSA’s January 2007 report mentions NHTSA’s intent to improve the agency’s ease-of-use ratings program for child restraints, which rates child restraints on how consumer-friendly and easy to use they are.   The report also mentions NHTSA’s interest in providing consumers with additional information about the child restraint and vehicle interfaces.  Although important for consumers, child restraint ease-of-use and child restraint/vehicle interface ease-of-use should not be NHTSA’s top rating priorities for child restraints, given that the safety of these restraint systems is left unevaluated.

NHTSA’s failure to test child restraints for crashworthiness through the NCAP program leaves parents and caregivers at a great loss and children at great risk.   Currently, with the exception of Consumers Union’s periodic studies, American consumers have no available information to help them evaluate the safety of available child safety restraints.  Consumer interest in the addition of child restraint tests to NCAP would be tremendous.  NHTSA should incorporate child safety restraint crash tests into the NCAP program during its NCAP enhancement process. 

In both the European and Japanese NCAP programs, child restraints are tested, and consumers are provided with a safety rating system that informs them of the different products’ safety performance levels.[23]In Europe, child restraints are tested and rated in both frontal and side impact crashes, and in Japan child restraints are tested and rated in frontal impact tests.[24]Although it would be ideal for these programs to test and rate child restraint performances in a greater variety of crash scenarios, these programs are still admirably providing people with some knowledge about the safety of available child restraint systems.  If Europe and Japan can provide their citizens with this valuable safety information, the United States can do so as well.

Ideally, NHTSA should crash test child safety seats in all potential crash modes, including frontal-impact crashes, rollover crashes, side-impact crashes, and rear-impact crashes, so that caregivers are provided with comprehensive safety ratings about available child restraint systems.   Through these crash tests NHTSA would encourage child safety restraint manufacturers to build better and safer systems as they strive to achieve the highest safety ratings, ultimately leading to better and safer child restraints.  A consumer information program for child restraints would be greatly aided if the agency also mandated, through the motor vehicle safety standards, integrated child restraints built into the vehicle, which would eliminate the possibility of the sheer multiplicity of types and varieties of child restraint systems on the market making any meaningful NCAP testing infeasible.

NCAP Should Include Pedestrian Safety Ratings.

In 2005, 4,881 pedestrians were killed and 64,000 pedestrians were injured in motor vehicle crashes.[25]Despite these high numbers of fatalities and injuries, NHTSA currently does not issue NCAP pedestrian ratings.  In NHTSA’s January 2007 report, the agency acknowledges that it did consider incorporating pedestrian safety ratings into the NCAP program, explaining that it decided to delay action in this area because the agency is participating in the development of a Global Technical Regulation for pedestrian safety.  International discussions should not preempt a U.S. agency from protecting U.S. pedestrians. This issue is too important of a safety concern to delay taking any action to mitigate the dangers motor vehicles pose to pedestrians.  By developing and issuing a pedestrian NCAP test (and an accompanying safety standard), NHTSA will help to speed the development of life saving technologies and help to educate motorists about pedestrian safety. 

In Japan and Europe, motor vehicles are routinely tested and rated for their performance in crashes with pedestrians.[26] Vehicles receive stars based on their ability to inflict the least amount of possible injury on a pedestrian.  These ratings, which are a part of Europe and Japan’s New Car Assessment Programs (NCAP), help to encourage auto manufacturers to invest in design and technology innovations for pedestrian safety.  Additionally, the European Union has also issued a pedestrian safety directive, in which European, Japanese, and Korean (but not, notably, U.S.) auto manufacturers have agreed to voluntarily improve pedestrian protections in their vehicles.[27]

Although a voluntary agreement is inadequate to address the importance of pedestrian safety (and European safety groups, accordingly, are advocating mandatory pedestrian safety standards), the European Union is still taking greater steps to address the importance of pedestrian safety than the United States.   Pedestrian protection is not rocket science:  numerous technologies already exist which auto manufacturers could incorporate into new vehicles, such as sensor systems that detect pedestrians and automatically reduce vehicle speeds and vehicle hoods that give way, thereby reducing impact forces, when they collide with pedestrians. I challenge NHTSA to follow the lead of the rest of the world by taking a far more aggressive stand against the dangers vehicles pose to pedestrians— and to raise the bar for pedestrian safety in the discussions about a Global Technical Regulation. 

NHTSA Should Consider NCAP Tests for Rear-Impact Crashes Over 30 mph.

In the agency’s January 2007 report, NHTSA admits that “consumers are concerned with rear impact crashes.” [28]According to a Frost and Sullivan study cited by NHTSA, 48% of consumers polled in a recent study feel the most vulnerable when they are involved in rear-impact crashes.[29]In order to address these consumer concerns, NHTSA’s report suggests providing links to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) website where vehicles are rated for their performance in rear-impact crashes, providing safety tips about rear-impact crashes, and by providing information on available safety data.  The agency then states that in the long term a rear-impact crash NCAP standard “could be investigated for a possible ratings program.”[30]

This is not sufficient given the severity of potential injuries from rear end crashes, especially fires and seat back failure. Specifically, NHTSA should set an NCAP rating for the strength of seat backs in rear-impact collisions.    NHTSA has known, ever since fuel integrity testing in rear-impact crashes above 30 miles per hour revealed widespread failure of front seat backs, that these seat have a dangerous tendency to collapse rearward. The result is not just back injury, paraplegia, or quadriplegia for the front-seat occupant:  the rearward collapse of the back of the front seat injures any occupants behind it, in the rear seat.  NHTSA does currently have a seat strength standard, but it remains so pathetically inadequate that some believe vehicle seats are held to a weaker standard than lawn chairs. 

If NHTSA began including rear-impact crashes in NCAP, especially at speeds at 35 to 40 miles per hour, manufacturers would have an immediate market incentive to improve rear-impact occupant protection and seat back strength. Clearly, it is long overdue for NHTSA to include a rear-impact crash test rating in NCAP. 

NCAP Should Include Offset Frontal Crash Test Ratings.

NHTSA’s current NCAP ratings include full frontal crash test ratings; however, they do not include offset frontal crash test ratings.  Full frontal and offset frontal crash tests reflect different aspects of vehicle crashworthiness.  Full frontal crash tests measure the ability of a vehicle’s restraint systems to protect vehicle occupants, while offset frontal crash tests measure a vehicle’s structural integrity and ability to manage the energy generated by a crash on entirely one side of the vehicle.  The offset frontal crash test differs from the full frontal crash test because only one side of the vehicle’s front hits a barrier rather than the full front of the vehicle.  This offset usually results in greater intrusion into the occupant compartment, which is the reason that offset frontal tests are far more useful in assessing a vehicle’s structural integrity. [31]

European and Japanese NCAPs, as well as the IIHS and Australia’s NCAP program, all rate a vehicle on its performance in offset frontal impact crashes.  A report published in 2005 by the Government Accountability (GAO) office found that these programs included offset frontal ratings because they found this test form to be more representative of real world crashes. [32]

NHTSA should include offset frontal crash tests in its NCAP ratings program so that consumers can gain insight about the structural integrity of different vehicle models. 

[1] GAO Report, “Vehicle Safety: Opportunities Exist to Enhance NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program,” April 2005, GAO-05-370.

[2] 71 FR 54712, 54753 at 54716, Sept. 18, 2006.

[3] NHTSA Report, “The New Car Assessment Program Suggested Approaches for Future Program Enhancements,” January 2007.

[4] 71 FR 54712.

[5] NHTSA Technical Report. “Characteristics of Fatal Rollover Crashes,” April 2002, DOT HS 809 438.

[6] NHTSA, “Traffic Safety Facts” DOT HS 810 623.

[7] Public Citizen and VPIRG Comments to Roof Crush Docket, Docket No. NHTSA-2005-22143, Nov. 21, 2005 at 152.

[8] 70 FR 49223-49248, August 23, 2005.

[10] GAO Report, “Vehicle Safety: Opportunities Exist to Enhance NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program,” April 2005, GAO-05-370.

[11] NHTSA Report, “The New Car Assessment Program Suggested Approaches for Future Program Enhancements,” January 2007.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Public Citizen Comments to the Electronic Stability Control Docket No. NHTSA-2006-25801, November 17, 2006, at 32.

[15] NHTSA Report, “Summary of Fuel Economy Performance,” March 2005.

[16] Referring to Hans C. Joksch, “Vehicle Design versus Aggressivity,” (April 2000), DOT HS 809 194. p. 40-42

[17] Digges, Kennerly H.; Ana Maria Eigen, “Application of Load Cell Barrier Data to Assess Vehicle Crash Performance and Compatibility.” (SAE Paper 1999-01-0720), Mar. 1999.

[18] Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D., NHTSA Administrator, “Meeting the Safety Challenge” at the Automotive News World Congress, Dearborn, Michigan, Jan. 14, 2003.

[19] Public Citizen letter to Dr. Jeffrey Runge, August 22, 2003.

[20] EPA Report, “Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2006”EPA420-S-06-003, July 2006.

[21] Digges, Kennerly H.; Ana Maria Eigen, “Application of Load Cell Barrier Data to Assess Vehicle Crash Performance and Compatibility.” (SAE Paper 1999-01-0720), Mar. 1999.

[22] Bradsher, Keith High and Mighty 2002 p. 198.

[24] Id.

[25] National Highwayand Traffic Safety Administration, 2005 Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSF2005/2005TSF/810_624/810….

[28] The New Car Assessment Program Suggested Approaches for Future Program Enhancements, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT HS 810 698, January 2007. 

[29] Customer Desirability and Willingness to Pay for Active and Passive Safety Systems, Frost and Sullivan, July 6, 2005 (HTUwww.frost.comUTH)

[30] The New Car Assessment Program Suggested Approaches for Future Program Enhancements, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT HS 810 698, January 2007. 

[31] Frontal Offset Crash Test Details Rating Criteria Crash Test Verification, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Available at http://www.iihs.org/ratings/frontal_test_info.html .

[32] GAO Report, “Vehicle Safety: Opportunities Exist to Enhance NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program,” April 2005, GAO-05-370.