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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that it will be testing 74 different vehicles from the 2012 model year with its new and tougher tests.Last year, the NHTSA debuted their new testing metrics, which were much harsher than previous years. The government agency made it significantly more difficult to attain five stars in an effort to help consumers differentiate from the vehicles."For more than three decades, NHTSA's 5-star ratings system has been the gold standard for consumers who want to purchase the safest vehicles on the market," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "Thanks to the upgrades we've made to the program, consumers can now readily compare the safety of vehicles not only in terms of crash survivability, but also when it comes to avoiding crashes in the first place."The agency has now selected 74 of the most popular cars released this year for their testing. Approximately 81 percent of all vehicles released in 2012 will receive crash tests, with 92 percent receiving rollover tests. The remaining percentage are mainly vehicles that did not receive major updates in 2012, and so the ratings from last year are still valid.Choosing a car with top safety features is obviously a wise decision, but a vehicle is ultimately only safe if it is well-maintained. After purchasing a car, drivers need to make sure that they keep up with things like radiator service and tire rotations to ensure that their vehicle is in tip-top shape.
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