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Lutz Calls For Three-Year NHTSA Crash Testing Moratorium

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In a conversation with, GM vice-chairman and product czar Bob Lutz stated his desire for at least a three-year suspension of US frontal and side-impact crash testing standards. Said Lutz, “In Europe, the crash-test procedures are different than in the U.S., so the tests are different. If our government says cars that meet crash tests in other countries are good enough to be sold here, we would have more high-mileage, small-car flexibility.” In other words, Lutz isn't calling for the sale of vehicles that haven't been crash tested, just the ability to legally sell vehicles that have passed Euro NCAP — and possibly other — safety standards, but not US NHTSA standards. Jalopnik Snap Judgment: We've been over this a hundred times. Europeans get cool cars that we cannot get because they don't meet our emissions standards or our crash test standards. Making Euro NCAP an acceptable standard for American vehicles would remove one of the huge challenges domestic manufacturers face in supplying a market hungry for stylish small vehicles. And it's not like Euro NCAP is the Sichuan Province Regional Crash Academy — some vehicles that pass NHTSA do very poorly on NCAP, and even NHTSA has admitted that its testing standards are out of date, requiring an overhaul. So let's look at the score: This proposal would make it easier for manufacturers to provide us with more choice at less cost to them, all without endangering our safety. We have a winner; now let's make it happen. Just don't cheat and try to sneak some tin-can-crumpling third-world garbage onto the market, ruining it for everyone else. [Wards Automotive, Sub. Req.]