How Do U.S. Car Safety Standards Differ From Europe?

images-24.jpgMany people wonder why carmakers sell different models overseas than in the U.S. And, why is it so hard to bring a popular vehicle in Europe to the U.S.  For example, if Ford has success selling the Fiesta in Europe, which would fit the needs of Americans who are more gas conscious than ever, why not just begin shipping them to dealers in America?

The main reason is differing standards in safety.  What is acceptable in Europe doesn’t always pass the test with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  U.S. law has a requirement for crash protection for car passengers that don’t wear seat belts, however, this isn’t a priority in Europe.  Even small details, such as the color of the turn signals in the rear are a major obstacle when trying to take a car from one market to another.

A study was conducted by Ford of 43 regulations in Europe and the U.S. and discovered that there were only 11 that matched.  So, it gets to be very expensive to make an all-new version of a vehicle in order to meet different safety standards.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and American consumers have strict safety standards.  Motorists put safety at the top of their list, which is why they are buying safer cars and signing up for roadside assistance programs.  For this reason, cars in Europe aren’t always introduced to the U.S.

Posted on Friday, December 19th, 2008 at 7:06 pm In Roadside Assistance Program