WASHINGTON -- TV viewers are familiar with the high-speed vehicle crashes staged by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But under a new plan, fewer cars and trucks will get rammed into that offset frontal barrier.
Instead, if an automaker runs the crash test itself on new versions of models the institute previously rated "good," the institute will accept the company's verification and will continue rating the vehicles for consumers. The institute will keep testing other vehicles.
Institute President Adrian Lund said last week that the decade-old 40-mph offset barrier test has become a de facto industry standard. It has caused automakers to improve protection of occupants in frontal crashes, Lund said.
The institute is the research arm of auto insurers. It says it will use the money it saves on crash testing to expand other safety testing programs.
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