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Chrysler PT Cruiser Executive Summary In March of 2000 DaimlerChrysler began production of a new vehicle called the PT Cruiser The PT Cruiser was based on the Neon small-car platform but featured an upright design which maximized interior volume The vehicle met all federal crash test standards including driver and passenger protection in a 30 mph fixed barrier frontal impact The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA performs further crash tests on new vehicles to give consumers more information about the safety of new products NHTSA typically performs its tests at a speed 5mph faster than the federal standard The PT Cruiser performed well in nearly all the tests receiving either four or five stars for protection of the passengers in frontal side and rear impact accidents For driver protection in a 35 mph fixed barrier frontal impact however the PT Cruiser received only two stars indicating a significant chance of severe injury Chrysler maintained that they put a safe vehicle on the road but NHTSA stood firm with their rating Our group studied the Ford Pinto disaster previously this semester and when we heard about this problem we decided that it would be fitting to use it as our semester research project In this report we will examine both the federal and NHTSA standards to see if Chryslers claims that NHTSAs tests do not simulate real-life situations are legitimate We will discuss the possible technical reasons for the PT Cruisers low crash test rating and see how these problems affect the insurance rates Additionally we will look at Chryslers prior safety record to see if this is an isolated incident or part of a reoccurring problem Last we will come to a conclusion about Chryslers ethical responsibilities in this case and explain how we feel Chrysler should go about solving the problem Federal Standards The federal government sets standards for many safety features in automobile production The department of transportation
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