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Rollover ratings for SUVs?

SUVs may be subject to a new “rollover rating” in the United States as safety organisations look to cut the 10,000 rollover-related deaths on American roads. According to a report today on CBS News, rollover death rates are climbing as people trade in their cars for high-riding, less stable pickups and SUVs.

Rollover tests are currently being conducted on popular models at the Vehicle Research and Test Center in Ohio. Head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Jeff Runge says: "We're all watching this very closely to see how these vehicles will perform in these motion tests.”

He says the tests will not trigger new regulations. But, publicising rollover ratings will pressure carmakers to improve stability.

"If they make vehicles that are prone to roll over, my hope is that people will not buy them, and they won't be able to sell them, and they'll have to make changes," he says.

"This is the basic market forces at work."

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