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Vehicles Perform Well in New Frontal Crash Tests

September 23, 2003

All seven cars and minivans that were put through frontal crash tests got the highest rating by the insurance industry, including makes that did poorly when earlier models were tested, according to the Associated Press (AP).The 2003 models of the midsize Mazda 6, Infiniti G35 and Saab 9-3 and the larger Lincoln Town Car and Mercedes E Class earned a "good" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, AP said.Two 2004 minivans, the Toyota Sienna and the Nissan Quest, also earned "good" ratings. In the test, a vehicle going 40 miles per hour is crashed at an angle into a barrier. A "good"rating means a driver wearing a seat belt probably could walk away from a similar crash with minor injuries.Jim Schell, a spokesman for Saab's parent company, General Motors Corp., said the improvement was good news, AP reported.The Insurance Institute, a research group financed by insurance companies, says automakers are making great improvements in safety engineering. "Good performance in the institute's frontal offset crash test program is now the norm, ... but it wasn't always that way," Insurance Institute President Brian O'Neill said, according to AP.
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