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Tougher EuroNCAP Safety Ratings Starting 2009

The European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP) aims to provide a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of Europe’s most popular cars. These cars are required to pass certain tests before they are sold, and the EuroNCAP’s job is to encourage manufacturers to exceed the minimum requirements.

The current rating scheme awards five stars each for Adult Occupant and Child Occupant safety and four stars for Pedestrian Protection. Five stars have never been awarded to any car for Child Occupant protection, and the auto industry’s record for Pedestrian Protection remains dismal.

EuroNCAP will introduce a new rating scheme for 2009, where a single overall safety rating replaces the current three-part evaluation. Under this new system, vehicles need to perform well in each area of assessment to get a good overall score. The organization believes that this new scheme provides the consumer with the simplest and clearest guidance regarding the vehicle’s overall safety performance, and brings them closer to realizing its vision of safer cars.

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