In March 1997, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) temporarily amended Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No 208 to allow manufacturers more flexibility in the use of less aggressive air bags. Beginning with the 1998 model year (MY), most vehicles produced for sale in the US market were equipped with these redesigned frontal air bags. This paper investigates how the safety ratings as developed in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) were affected by the introduction of these air bags. Results from thirty-three MY 1998 vehicles crash tested for frontal NCAP were compared with the same make and models vehicles that were previously tested in NCAP. The only differences between the MY 1998 vehicles and the earlier vehicles are the redesigned air bags and other restraint system changes (ie safety belt or steering assembly modifications). The head injury criteria (HIC), chest accelerations (chest G's), combined injury probability, and NCAP star ratings are examined for the driver and right front passenger. The neck responses of the driver and right front passenger between two model years also are examined relative to the new neck requirements that were included in the March 1997 amendment to FMVSS No 208. (A) For the covering abstract see IRRD E102514.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 2386-99
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: DOT HS 808 759

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00788327
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 3 2000 12:00AM