9-3 Sports Sedan Receives 5 Stars from EuroNCAP



12/02


Saab 9-3 Sports Sedan Receives Maximum Five Stars in EuroNCAP's Collision Test

The new Saab 9-3 Sports Sedan has received the highest possible rating, five stars, in the latest collision tests by the European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP).

Norcross, Ga. - The EuroNCAP, a leading European crash test study group that evaluates European model variants, has awarded the new 2003 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan five stars in its latest collision tests. The crash test results are provided in a range of one to five stars, with a five-star rating given for the top level of safety performance in the test.

"These excellent results are very gratifying," said Per Lenhoff, Head of Crash Safety Development at Saab Automobile AB. "EuroNCAP is an independent organization whose evaluations contain useful, objective information for car consumers. That is why we are pleased that we achieved the highest possible ranking. However, our Real Life Safety concept is the controlling factor which guides collision safety development at Saab,"

In plain language, Real Life Safety means that Saab's goal is to develop cars that provide safety in real world crashes. That is why Saab's technicians have examined thousands of cars that have been involved in actual collisions. The results of these studies form the basis for improvements in construction and safety solutions, in addition to Saab's own collision testing program methods.

"Real-life situations are difficult to predict and no two collisions are alike. That is why the lessons learned from actual collisions contribute invaluable information and why we perform tests which are more comprehensive than those required by law," says Lenhoff.

EuroNCAP conducts tests on European model variants using three types of collisions: a frontal offset barrier impact and two different kinds of side impact. The test results are then evaluated according to a large number of parameters relating to driver and passenger safety. The Saab 9-3 Sports Sedan received five stars for the impact tests, including a perfect score of 100% in both side impact tests. There are minor differences in the seat belt reminder system and seat belt pre-tensioner system between Saab 9-3 model variants sold in Europe and those sold in the U.S. due to specific U.S. government requirements.

During the past year, Saab has garnered a great deal of attention due to the impressive results of several field studies involving the Saab Active Head Restraint (SAHR), which has been standard equipment in both the Saab 9-3 and the 9-5 since 1998. In November 2001, The Journal of Trauma in the United States published a comparison study between SAHR-equipped Saabs and older Saabs with traditional head restraints. The survey was based on actual collisions and showed that SAHR helps reduce the risk of serious whiplash injuries as a result of rear-end impacts by up to 75 percent.

Recently, the American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and British insurance research center at Thatcham also published reports stating that SAHR is effective in helping reducing whiplash in rear-end collisions. Both the IIHS (www.hwysafety.org) and Thatcham (www.thatcham.org) are organizations that are owned by insurance companies.

The 2002 Saab 9-5 sedan has also received the highest possible rating, five stars, for both the driver and front-seat passenger in the U.S. NCAP frontal impact crash test. (See www.NHTSA.com.) You can find more information on EuroNCAP at: www.euroncap.com.


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