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Published: Wednesday, 8/29/2007

Wrangler Unlimited performs well in rollover tests of SUVs

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The two-wheel-drive version of the Toledo-built SUV rated 4 stars. The two-wheel-drive version of the Toledo-built SUV rated 4 stars.
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WASHINGTON - The two-wheel-drive version of the Toledo-built Jeep Wrangler Unlimited performed with the best of the sport-utility vehicles in recent rollover tests by the government.

It was one of 78, or more than half of 2007 model year SUVs tested, receiving four stars. None received the highest rating, five stars.

The two-wheel and four-wheel-drive versions of the Toledo-built Dodge Nitro, as well as the four-wheel-drive version of the Wrangler Unlimited, were rated three stars.

Rollover ratings issued by the agency show SUVs making progress against rollovers, according to an Associated Press analysis of statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For the 2006 model year, 48 SUVs of 103 rated received four stars. In 2001, only one received that rating.

The ratings give consumers information on the likelihood of a rollover, a type of crash that kills more than 10,000 motorists in the United States every year. The number is more than a third of the total of highway fatalities, even though only 3 percent of crashes are rollovers.

To guard against rollovers, an increasing number of vehicles have electronic stability control, which automatically applies brakes to individual wheels when the vehicle begins skidding off course.

Under the ratings system, a vehicle with five stars has a rollover risk of less than 10 percent. A four-star vehicle has a 10 percent to 20 percent risk, and a three-star vehicle has a 20 percent to 30 percent risk.

Also among the SUVs receiving four stars were Ford Edge four-wheel and two-wheel-drive versions, Jeep Compass four-wheel and two-wheel-drive versions, and Honda CR-V four-wheel-drive and two-wheel drive versions.

Not tested was the other Toledo-made vehicle, the Jeep Liberty.



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