NHTSA: Nissan Leaf gets five stars

July 28, 2011 12:00 AM

The Nissan Leaf has earned an overall rating of five stars in the latest safety tests organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), becoming the first fully-electric vehicle to receive the honor.

The NHTSA recently updated its testing procedures to make it more difficult to achieve top ratings. The Leaf is one of just a handful of vehicles to earn five stars thus far. In detailed testing, the Leaf was rated with five stars for side-impact crashes. The company earned four stars for rollovers and frontal crashes.

"The Nissan Leaf is the first all-electric vehicle to achieve five-star overall for safety," said Brian Carolin, senior vice president for Nissan North America. "Not only is the Leaf the most innovative car on the planet, it is also one of the safest."

Nissan's claim as the first all-electric vehicle is technically accurate, although the Chevrolet Volt also earned five stars. However, the Volt is not technically a fully-electric model, as it uses a gas generator for extended range travel.

Both of the electric cars were previously named Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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