Smart car doesn't ace crash tests

Tiny car gets some low marks in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all RSS FEEDS (close)
By Peter Valdes-Dapena, staff writer

2008 Smart ForTwo
36 month new5.91%
48 month new5.98%
60 month new6.03%
72 month new3.78%
36 month used6.31%

Find personalized rates:

Rates provided by

NEW YORK ( -- The tiny Smart ForTwo, recently introduced in the U.S. car market, gave a less-than-stellar performance in its first crash test by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The FortTwo got four out of a possible five stars for protecting the driver in a front impact crash but just three stars for passenger protection. Three-star scores have become rare in government crash tests, with most newer models getting four- and five-star scores.

Three stars means an occupant stands a 21% to 35% chance of a serious injury in a front crash with a similar-sized vehicle. The chance of injury would be higher in an impact with a larger vehicle.

At just under nine feet long, the ForTwo is the smallest mass-market car sold in the United States.

In a side-impact crash test, the ForTwo got the highest possible score of five stars, but NHTSA added a "Safety Concern" note to the rating. The door popped open after the test.

While that doesn't affect the score, a "door opening during a side impact crash increases the likelihood of occupant ejection," the agency noted.

For rollover resistance, the ForTwo earned three stars. According to NHTSA's tests, it has 21% chance of rolling over in a crash.

No other passenger car - a group that excludes trucks, vans and SUVs - has a rollover rating below four stars, according to NHTSA. The cut-off for a four-star rollover resistance rating is a 20% chance of rollover.

All Smart cars are equipped with electronic stability control, a system that helps prevent skids and rollovers during quick maneuvers. NHTSA's three-star score takes that into account by adding to a vehicle's rating if it can complete a test maneuver without tipping..

A spokesman for Smart USA said the results were generally in line with the company's expectations. The company had said in the past that it expected the car to earn four-star crash test results.

Smart is a product of Germany's Daimler (DAI), which also makes Mercedes-Benz luxury cars. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.