U.S. safety agency to jumpstart revamp of new car rating program

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Wednesday it is reviving a long-stalled effort to overhaul the five-star crash rating program for all new vehicles.

In 2015, under President Barack Obama, NHTSA proposed requiring automakers to add crash avoidance technologies to gain top, five-star ratings as part of its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Those changes were set to start in the 2019 model year but have been on hold as the auto safety agency held additional public hearings.

NHTSA’s acting chief, James Owens, said in a statement Wednesday the agency would propose “propose significant updates and upgrades” in 2020 “by creating additional market-based incentives for automakers to continue investing in innovative safety technologies that will save lives and prevent injuries.”