WASHINGTON -- Consumers who want the government to give each vehicle a single grade for its performance on safety tests will have to keep waiting.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has dropped from its priority plan the idea of developing summary safety scores.
NHTSA says it is considering changes to its front-impact and side-impact crash tests. So keeping the summary system as a priority would be "premature," the agency says.
"I'm disappointed," says Granger Morgan, chairman of the engineering and public policy department at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Morgan chaired a panel of Transportation Research Board experts that recommended single safety scores in 1996. The board is a sister organization of the National Academy of Sciences.
Congress had asked the panel to examine how to improve delivery of safety information to consumers.
Morgan says he suspects the single-score idea may be doomed.