Car Safety and Efficiency

More than 35,000 people die in vehicle-related crashes in the U.S. each year. On top of that, auto emissions contribute to 70,000 annual pollution-related deaths here, and are among the largest contributors to climate change. That’s why Consumer Reports is pushing for cars that are safer, pollute less, and run more efficiently.

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Specifically, we seek an automotive marketplace that:
1

Offers a wide range of safe, affordable, efficient, and low-emission vehicles.

2

Dramatically reduces fatalities from crashes.

3

Holds automakers and other mobility companies accountable for the safety, accessibility, privacy policies, and emissions of their products and services.

4

Encourages safe and affordable innovations for electric, shared, and—one day—autonomous vehicles.

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How Consumer Reports Pushes for Safer and More Efficient Cars
Here are some of the key milestones in CR's decades-long campaign.
1968
Safety Belt Law
In 1956, CR tests show that two-thirds of seat belts fail basic safety and durability tests, prompting federal standards based on actual crash testing. CU continues tests until the government mandates them in the front seats of new cars in 1968.
1968
Safety Belt Law
In 1956, CR tests show that two-thirds of seat belts fail basic safety and durability tests, prompting federal standards based on actual crash testing. CU continues tests until the government mandates them in the front seats of new cars in 1968.
1981
New Child Safety Seat Standards
When CR first crash-tests car seats in 1972, 12 out of 15 are rated Not Acceptable. As of Jan. 1981, all car seat manufacturers must certify that their seats would pass a crash test like the one that CR used and had proposed to the government.
1981
New Child Safety Seat Standards
When CR first crash-tests car seats in 1972, 12 out of 15 are rated Not Acceptable. As of Jan. 1981, all car seat manufacturers must certify that their seats would pass a crash test like the one that CR used and had proposed to the government.
1995
California Child Safety Seat Law
CU sponsors a California law mandating greater public education about the state’s child safety seat law, and improved statewide programs that offer low-cost and loaner child safety seats to low-income consumers.
1995
California Child Safety Seat Law
CU sponsors a California law mandating greater public education about the state’s child safety seat law, and improved statewide programs that offer low-cost and loaner child safety seats to low-income consumers.
2000
California's Lemon Law
CU helps to pass a California law making it easier for consumers who purchase a defective new car to seek relief. It requires manufacturers to replace or buy back a car after reasonable attempts to fix a defect that makes the car unsafe have failed.
2000
California's Lemon Law
CU helps to pass a California law making it easier for consumers who purchase a defective new car to seek relief. It requires manufacturers to replace or buy back a car after reasonable attempts to fix a defect that makes the car unsafe have failed.
2000
Stronger Child Safety Seat Law
CU helps to pass a California law making it illegal to allow young children to ride unrestrained by car seats.
2000
Stronger Child Safety Seat Law
CU helps to pass a California law making it illegal to allow young children to ride unrestrained by car seats.
2002
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
CU works to pass landmark legislation in California that sets the highest standards for greenhouse gas emissions in the nation.
2002
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
CU works to pass landmark legislation in California that sets the highest standards for greenhouse gas emissions in the nation.
2005
Anti-Rollover Technology
In 2005, CR decides not to recommend any SUV that doesn’t come standard with anti-rollover technology (called electronic stability control). The move speeds industrywide adoption of the technology, which wasn’t required on new cars by law until 2012.
2005
Anti-Rollover Technology
In 2005, CR decides not to recommend any SUV that doesn’t come standard with anti-rollover technology (called electronic stability control). The move speeds industrywide adoption of the technology, which wasn’t required on new cars by law until 2012.
2012
More Fuel-Efficient Cars
The federal government announces a new landmark fuel-efficiency standard: 54.5 mpg by 2025. Armed with data from auto testing and consumer surveys, CR is a vocal advocate for the new standard.
2012
More Fuel-Efficient Cars
The federal government announces a new landmark fuel-efficiency standard: 54.5 mpg by 2025. Armed with data from auto testing and consumer surveys, CR is a vocal advocate for the new standard.
2014
Backup Cameras
In 2008 Congress mandates that most vehicles come standard with backup cameras—but the rule is delayed until CR and other safety advocates file a lawsuit in 2014. One day before the case goes to court, DOT implements the mandate with a 2018 deadline.
2014
Backup Cameras
In 2008 Congress mandates that most vehicles come standard with backup cameras—but the rule is delayed until CR and other safety advocates file a lawsuit in 2014. One day before the case goes to court, DOT implements the mandate with a 2018 deadline.
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