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NHTSA announces results of new rollover test

U.S. Department of Transportation
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week posted model year 2004 rollover resistance scores that, for the first time, use the agency’s enhanced rating system. It now includes results from a dynamic track test.

The rollover scores are available at or consumers can go to the results directly at:

While none of the vehicles achieved the agency’s highest, five-star rating, several earned four-star designations, including the Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x4, Chevrolet Silverado extended cab (4x4 and 4x2), Ford Focus wagon, Subaru Outback wagon, Toyota Echo and Volvo XC90 4x4.

A five-star rating means the likelihood of rollover during a single vehicle crash is less than 10 percent; four-star, between 10 and 20 percent; three-star, between 20 and 30 percent; two-star, between 30 and 40 percent; and one-star, greater than 40 percent.

Other rated vehicles were the Chevrolet Trailblazer 4x2, Ford Explorer Sport Trac 4x2, Jeep Liberty 4x4 and 4x2, Toyota 4Runner 4x4 and 4x2 and Toyota Tacoma extended cab 4x4. Tests for several other vehicles are under review and will be released at a later date. These are the Ford Explorer 4x4 and 4x2, Ford Explorer Sport Trac 4x4, and Toyota Tacoma extended cab 4x2.

The dynamic test uses the so-called "fishhook" maneuver – a series of abrupt turns at varying speeds. A computerized steering system is used in each test vehicle to maintain objectivity.

NHTSA in the past based its rollover ratings on a vehicle’s static stability factor, which is an engineering calculation based on the track width and the height of the center of gravity. Beginning with the 2004 model year, the rollover risk predictions are based on the static stability factor scores and the vehicle’s performance in a dynamic track test.

A table showing the test results is on the Internet at Click on "Press Releases" under "Popular Information" in the column on the left.