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2011 Chevrolet Volt Earns Five-Star Overall Safety Rating

Not only can you drive green with the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, you can also drive safely because it has garnered a five-star overall vehicle score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is the first electric vehicle to get the five-star safety rating from NHTSA. The 2011 Toyota Prius also has a five-star overall safety rating, which should mean the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid will also have it. The Volt also has been named a 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“Safety is a key consideration for all buyers no matter how a car is powered – gas, or in the case of the Volt, electricity,” said Doug Parks, Volt global vehicle line executive.

Safety features on the Volt include:
* GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system
* Front-, side- , knee- air bags as well as roof-mounted head-curtain air bags that help protect occupants in a side or rollover crash
* Optional rearview camera system featuring a display integrated into the navigation system screen
* Five-year subscription to OnStar’s Directions and Connections Plan including Automatic Crash Response, stolen vehicle assistance and connected navigation

Starting with 2011 models, NHTSA introduced tougher tests and more rigorous requirements for its five-star safety ratings program that provide more comprehensive information about safety performance and crash-avoidance technologies. Changes include a new side pole test simulating a 20-mph side-impact crash into a 10-inch-diameter pole or tree at a 75-degree angle just behind the A-pillar on the driver’s side. Because of the more stringent tests, ratings for 2011 and newer vehicles should not be compared to ratings for 1990-2010 models. Overall vehicle score and frontal crash ratings should ONLY be compared to other vehicles of similar size and weight.

For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank for a total driving range of 379 miles.

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