Norcross, GA, June 30 - Saab's continuing role in vehicle safety was again highlighted on June 24 when the 2004 Saab 9-3 Convertible received five stars, the highest rating possible in the European New Car Assessment Program's (EuroNCAP) frontal and side-impact crash tests.
The Saab 9-3 Convertible joins the 2003 9-3 Sport Sedan and 2003 Saab 9-5 in achieving a maximum five-star rating under the EuroNCAP collision test program, Europe's leading crash-test agency.
The 9-3 Convertible was developed alongside its sedan sibling and despite its soft-top design, Saab engineers adopted virtually the same crash safety performance targets for both products. To help meet these targets, the Saab 9-3 convertible incorporates pop-up roll bars along with substantial reinforcements to the A-pillars, lower B-pillars, side sills, and the chassis cross-members, including a completely new box structure behind the rear seat.
Although Saab welcomes EuroNCAP's independent findings, its work in crash impact protection will continue to be based on a 'Real-Life Safety' strategy, in which Saab's goal is to develop vehicles that provide safety in real world crashes.
"EuroNCAP is an independent organization whose evaluations contain accessible and objective information which can be a useful guide for consumers," explained Per Lenhoff, Head of Crash Safety Development at Saab Automobile.
EuroNCAP conducts tests on European model variants using three types of collisions: a 40-mph frontal impact against a deformable barrier (representing another vehicle) with a 40 percent overlap; a 30-mph side impact against a deformable barrier, and an 18-mph side impact against a rigid pole. Dummies are used to assess the extent of potential injuries to the driver and, in the frontal impact, also the front passenger. The test results are then evaluated according to a large number of parameters relating to driver and passenger safety. There are minor differences in the seat belt reminder system and seat belt pre-tensioner system between some Saab model variants sold in Europe and those sold in the U.S. due to specific U.S. government requirements.
Lenhoff notes that a vehicle's safety performance is the product of many factors, including driver and occupant behavior, personal judgment and other variables. Real Life Safety means that Saab's goal is to develop cars that provide safety in real world crashes.