Tougher U.S. Crash Tests Reward GM
The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Authority) has recently implemented a tougher series of crash tests and a new rating system for the 2011 model year. New tests include those for side pole crashes and crash avoidance technology.
GM’s 2014 crew cab Sierra and Silverado pickup trucks are the first in their class (large pickups) to earn 5 star safety ratings under the new standards. They were earned during the front and side crash tests, and received 4 stars on the rollover test. The overall rating is based on a composite of all these tests. Models tested and receiving the rating were the Silverado 1500, Sierra 1500, Silverado High Country and the Sierra Denali. They are the first large trucks to receive an overall rating of 5 stars.
This is sure to give GM a marketing advantage over it’s competitors. Rivals RAM 1500, Ford F-150 and the Toyota Tundra (2013 models) each received an overall rating of 4 stars. The 2014 Tundra will be launched in September, but has not been rated yet. Also receiving 4 stars were the outgoing 2013 models of the Sierra and Silverado.
GM says that the crew cab models of the Silverado and Sierra will account for 60 percent of it’s sales in the light duty pickup segment. The automaker credits the use of high strength steel, fully boxed frames and a collection of high tech safety features as factors in the top rating they received. These trucks utilize such safety features as Forward Collision Alert- which alerts the driver if he is approaching another vehicle ahead too quickly, Trailer Sway Control which will brake or reduce engine power when it senses that a trailer being pulled is swaying, and Safety Alert Seat which senses an impending collision and warns the driver through a vibration in the seat cushion.
In a statement, Gay Kent, general director of vehicle safety and crashworthiness for GM said “Silverado and Sierra set a benchmark for pickup truck safety by offering a full array of advanced features designed to protect occupants before, during and after a collision.”
By Linda Aylesworth – car-news.ca