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smart fortwo receives highest front and side crash ratings from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 23:00
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smart USA Distributor LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc., announced today that the U.S. model of the 2008 smart fortwo earned the highest front and side crashworthiness ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

“This is important news for consumers who are looking for vehicles that offer both excellent fuel economy and safety,” said Dave Schembri, president of smart USA. “IIHS tests are very stringent and highly regarded as indicators of actual crash performance on the road, and we are very pleased with the results.”

“The IIHS frontal crash test is conducted at a higher speed than required by federal safety standards, and it’s an offset test that replicates most real-world crashes. The smart’s sophisticated safety management system performed as designed,” said Schembri.

Consumers are encouraged to review complete crash test results and watch videos of the actual crash tests at – www.iihs.org.

The smart fortwo has a sophisticated safety management system, for its vehicle category, with features that are typically found on many high-end vehicles. Occupants are surrounded by the tridion safety cell, a steel cage reinforced at strategically important points, with high-strength steel covering more than 50 percent of the entire cell. Its longitudinal and transverse members are designed to activate the crumple zone of the other vehicle involved in the accident and distribute the impact energy throughout the body of the vehicle.

The smart fortwo comes equipped with Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) as standard equipment, four years in advance of the federal requirement. Many cars in the small vehicle segment do not yet offer the technology, even at an additional charge. ESP can help prevent rollovers and other loss-of-control crashes, and the IIHS reports that it reduces the risk of fatal single-vehicle crashes by more than 50 percent. Bundled with smart’s ESP are anti-lock brakes, traction control, brake assist and hill start assist.

smart fortwo comes standard with four airbags, two in the front and two on the side. The front airbags are dual-stage airbags that are activated according to the severity of the impact. The passenger airbag (volume: 34 gallons) is located at the top of the instrument panel. Head/thorax side airbags are housed in the sides of the seat backrests and are intended to protect both the upper body and head. The smart fortwo also has a specially designed knee pad.

Since smart USA’s network of dealers began selling three trim levels of the smart fortwo in January, the company has sold over 7,000 vehicles and has added thousands of new vehicle reservations. Complete information about placing a reservation and the dealer network, in addition to vehicle pricing, standard equipment and options, can be found at www.smartusa.com.

smart USA Distributor LLC, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo in the United States and Puerto Rico and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group, Inc. The smart fortwo is a brand of and is manufactured by Daimler AG.

The vehicle is 8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide and is currently sold in 37 countries.

About the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses – deaths, injuries and property damage – from crashes on the nation’s highways. The institute is wholly supported by automobile insurers.

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