Mazda Vehicles Zoom To The Top Of Safety Ratings
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released frontal crash-test ratings for a number of 2003 model-year vehicles, including the 2003 MAZDA6 sedan. The MAZDA6 received top ratings for both the driver and front-seat passenger — five stars. This five-star rating indicates that there is a 10-percent or less chance of a serious injury in a 35-mph frontal crash.
In other testing performed earlier by the NHTSA, the MPV minivan also scored a perfect five-star rating for frontal occupant protection. In addition, MPV recorded a score of five stars for front- and rear-seat occupants when the vehicle is involved in a side impact. MAZDA6 side-impact scores have not yet been released.
As further evidence of Mazda's high engineering standards, every one of the company's vehicles that have been crash tested by the NHTSA have scored among the safest vehicles in their size and weight classes.
"These are compelling reasons for safety-minded consumers to buy Mazdas," said Jim O'Sullivan, President and CEO of Mazda North American Operations. "While other companies can certainly build safe vehicles, we're the only company that delivers that safety with a healthy dose of Zoom-Zoom in every car, truck and minivan."
For testing frontal collisions, the NHTSA places crash-test dummies in the driver- and front-passenger seats, secured with the vehicle's seat belts. Vehicles are crashed into a fixed barrier at 35 mph, which is equivalent to a head-on collision between two similar vehicles each moving at 35 mph.
Other passive safety features available as either standard or optional equipment on selected Mazda vehicles include seat-mounted side-impact airbags, roof-mounted side-curtain airbags, traction control, impact-absorbing crush zones, three-point seatbelts for all out-board seating positions (some incorporating adjustable upper anchor-points) to make belt-usage easy and comfortable, whiplash-reducing front-seat headrests and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) child safety-seat anchors in rear seating positions that include upper tether and lower anchor points.
Active safety equipment includes sure-handling from four-wheel independent suspensions, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel anti-lock brakes.
Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.