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CU Supports NHTSA’s New Vehicle Rollover Resistance Tests

October 7, 2003

Union Supports the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s
New Vehicle Rollover Resistance Tests

CU urges
NHTSA to release detailed test information to the public so that consumers
can discriminate between different models and make smarter and safer car-buying

today is releasing the details of its new dynamic rollover testing, which
measures a vehicles’ rollover propensity. NHTSA was mandated under the
TREAD Act of 2000 to develop a dynamic test for rollover risk that would
be the basis for "developing meaningful consumer information".

new dynamic rollover tests will give consumers a valuable new tool for
comparing vehicle safety and ultimately save lives–as long as they
release meaningful test results to the public. We expect consumers to
be able to use the ratings to discriminate between the safety of different
makes and models," said CU Senior Vice President for Technical Policy,
R. David Pittle.

Union has pressed the federal government for a rollover test-based consumer
information program since 1996. We are very pleased that NHTSA has adopted
a rigorous testing protocol to judge a vehicle’s stability and rollover
propensity. Our main concern now is ensuring that the government makes
the test results available to consumers," Dr. Pittle said.

WHAT: Consumers
Union experts can discuss:

    • Why
      the organization supports NHTSA’s dynamic testing program.
    • Why
      CU believes that comprehensive test results should be made available
      to the public.
    • How
      this information should benefit consumers to make the most informed car-buying
    • Why
      CU believes that a combination of dynamic and static tests is a good
      approach for evaluating rollover propensity.


    • R. David
      Pittle, Senior Vice-President, Technical Policy (in New York)
    • Sally
      Greenberg, Senior Product Safety Counsel (in Washington, D.C.)
    • David
      Champion, Director of Automotive Testing (in East Liberty, Ohio)

HOW: For
more information, or to set up interviews, contact:



Consumers Union has been in the forefront of testing vehicles for routine handling and emergency handing, as well as braking acceleration, fuel economy, comfort and convenience for decades. CU has been testing vehicles since 1936. The test results appear in Consumer Reports, on www.ConsumerReports.org, and in other CU publications such as the Consumer Reports’ Sport Utility Special, an annual buying guide.