A dozen 2008 pickup trucks and vans earned top safety scores in government crash tests released Tuesday.
The top-scoring pickups in 2008 include: Mitsubishi Raider, Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Dodge Dakota, GMC Sierra 1500 and Honda Ridgeline.
Among vans, NHTSA gave the highest scores to the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Entourage, Nissan Quest and the Kia Sedona.
Every vehicle in the fleet of 64 trucks and vans scored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received either a four- or five-star rating in front-end or side-impact tests. Some of the vehicles were not tested in all categories.
Most of the vehicles received four out of five stars in the government’s rollover test. Under the ratings system, a vehicle with four stars has a 10 to 20 percent risk of rollover and a three-star vehicle has a 20 to 30 percent risk.
None of the vans or pickups received five stars in the rollover test. The Ford E-350 15 passenger wagon was the only van or pickup to receive two stars in the rollover ratings, meaning it has a rollover risk of 30 to 40 percent.
Among popular pickups, the Ford F-150 got five stars in the front tests and was not tested in the side. It received four stars in rollover tests.
The Toyota Tundra received four stars in the front tests and did not undergo government side-impact tests. In rollover tests, 2-by-4 versions received three stars and 4-by-4 Tundras got four stars.
NHTSA is studying ways to improve its consumer crash test program to take into account new safety features such as electronic stability control and help consumers find meaningful differences among the scores. About 95 percent of current vehicles receive four or five stars.
Many automakers have been implementing safety improvements into the vehicles. General Motors Corp.’s Chevy Silverado and the Honda Ridgeline, for example, have structures that are designed to help prevent the pickups from riding over smaller vehicles in front crashes.
On the Net:
NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program: http://www.safercar.gov
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