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If you recently shopped for a new car, you may be familiar with the five-star rating system known as “Stars on Cars,” which provides consumers with a grading system to assess the crash protection and collision avoidance technology available in new cars. The safety rating system has been criticized for failing to remain the vital consumer resource it once was.
The U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) was started by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the leadership of a former administrator, who joined an assembly of other car-safety industry heads to calling for necessary steps to improve the program.
In a Capitol Hill press conference, the administrator addressed the issue, along with the president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the executive director of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and the president and chief executive of the Global New Car Assessment Program (Global NCAP). They stressed that the crash testing and rating program has fallen behind as advancements in the auto industry bring new safety features to market.
As too many of the newly produced cars receive a rating of four or five stars, the scale becomes meaningless to buyers. Citing the economic impact car accidents have on taxpayers of $800 billion per year, the public expects that the government has a role to play in certifying car safety. There is concern that car manufacturers have too much influence on the process.
Having roots in the original NHTSA initiative, Global NCAP has taken on a leadership role as overseer of assessments for new cars throughout the worldwide marketplace. Satellite divisions of the organization support the goal to push automakers to voluntarily commit to meeting safety benchmarks established by the United Nations. The pressure put on car manufacturers by the availability of the crash-testing and raking programs is proving to be force enough to cause carmakers to exceed U.N. safety standards, since safety concerns are a significant factor in what motivates car buyers.
The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released a report that sets out a plan to address shortcomings and revamp the system. The suggested improvements will modernize testing measures and consumer research. The updates will include the incorporation of new technologies, such as emergency braking systems, lane departure alarms, and blind spot detection, as well as taking steps to improve consumer access to the NCAP ratings.
If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle accident, the Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar can help you recover compensation for the harm you suffered as a result of the accident. Contact us online or call us at 856-470-9777 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide.