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ItaliaspeedTV - Fiat 500 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Crash Test: Frontal Impact

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The Fiat 500's stateside relaunch has been dealt another blow this week - literally - as the supermini was only given 3 out of a possible 5 stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in its crash tests, garnering 4 stars from frontal and rollover tests and just 2 stars for side impact.
The new, tightened up system of testing cars by the NHTSA has made it much harder for cars to achieve the top ranked 5 star rating, but to only score 3 stars is below expectations and will give Fiat more work to do in terms of customer perceptions already damaged by the product endorsement of actress/singer Jennifer Lopez.
While the 500 scored the top level of 5 stars in Europe in the tough Euro NCAP crash test programme this new result caps a difficult period for Fiat in terms of vehicle safety perceptions as the Lancia Voyager (Chrysler Town & Country) as well as the new Jeep Grand Cherokee both scored 4 stars in the Euro NCAP tests late last month with the latter, an all-new vehicle, being singled out for criticism and with a request for urgent rectification to unsafe seat rails.
The Model Year 2012 Fiat 500 tested by the NHTSA received 4 stars (out of a possible 5 stars available) for the frontal crash test, just 2 stars for the side impact test and 4 stars for the rollover test. In the frontal impact test, the driver safety rating was 4 stars for a male (again out of a possible 5) while the passenger (female) was rated at 3 stars. In the side impact test the front seat (male) occupant collected the maximum 5 stars while the rear seat (female) picked up just two. In terms of the rollover test, the 500 earned 4 stars with a 14.5 percent risk rating of rolling over.
The 500 gets the thumbs up from the NHTSA for having one of the three safety features it is focusing on this year, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), but it misses out on a ticked box for not featuring lane departure warning (LDW), forward collision warning (FCW).
NHTSA, established in 1970, directs highway safety and consumer programs and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. And for more than 30 years the agency has set the standard for safety, helping consumers find safer cars with its 5-Star Safety Ratings.
The program's crash tests for this session will eventually 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.

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