The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced the lineup of model year 2014 passenger vehicles that will be tested as part of the agency's 5-Star Safety Ratings Program and unveiled updated advertising guidelines for vehicle manufacturers, dealers, and advertising agencies.

"Safety is our highest priority, and we're always working to ensure consumers have the information they need to buy safe and drive safe," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "With today's announcement, we are continuing to provide consumers with valuable information through our world-renowned 5-star rating program so they can make more-informed car buying decisions.”

NHTSA's 5-Star Safety Ratings Program allows consumers to search crash test ratings and make informed purchasing decisions. Each vehicle tested can receive safety ratings in a frontal crash, side crash, and rollover resistance, in addition to an overall vehicle rating. One star represents the lowest score and five stars represents the highest - More Stars. Safer Cars. The program also highlights advanced crash-avoidance technologies, such as lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and rearview video systems, which manufacturers are voluntarily installing in vehicles to help prevent crashes.

"Our 5-Star Safety Ratings Program serves as one of the most trusted and reliable resources to help the driving public select vehicles based on unbiased safety ratings,"said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "That's why today we released updated guidelines aimed at ensuring consumers receive accurate and consistent information regarding vehicle safety ratings.”

The updated guidelines now explicitly state that ratings are always whole numbers and that NHTSA does not award a rating higher than 5 stars. Manufacturers or advertising agencies, therefore, should not advertise ratings with decimal points or ratings over 5 stars, and advertisers who claim more than 5 stars are misleading the public. The guidelines also clarify that advanced technologies are not part of the star ratings. Advertisements that do not conform to these guidelines may result in "Buyer Alert"warnings, removal from the ratings program or referral to other federal or state authorities for appropriate action.

NHTSA plans to rate approximately 87 percent of model year 2014 vehicles sold in the United States for frontal and side crash protection, and 92 percent for rollover resistance. A number of model year 2014 vehicles had carry-over designs from the previous model year or have already been tested, and these ratings are already available on NHTSA will test 48 vehicles for the 2014 model year, including 22 passenger cars, 18 sport utility vehicles, 5 pickups, and 3 vans.