Have you heard the term, “Optional NCAP”? Do you know what it means? If you’re a car manufacturer and you don’t, you may be missing out an opportunity to be recognized for safety improvements that you have incorporated into your vehicles.
In 1987, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a notice establishing an optional test program as part of the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) .
The optional NCAP program operates according to the same guidelines and procedures as the regular NCAP. This program serves to provide consumers with up-to-date safety information on vehicles that may have:
- Undergone a mid-model year production change
- Models with optional safety equipment that NHTSA had not selected for prior testing
- A make and model not selected for testing by the agency
In order for a vehicle that has already been tested by the agency to qualify for testing under the optional NCAP program, a vehicle manufacturer must request an optional NCAP test to be conducted at a qualifying lab, like Calspan, and submit to NHTSA evidence that it has changed the vehicle to improve significantly the NCAP test results for that vehicle. The agency then analyzes the manufacturer’s submission and informs the manufacturer whether it has approved the vehicle for optional testing. Once approved, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration randomly locates a test vehicle for the qualifying lab to acquire and run the appropriate test.
Calspan is a NHTSA NCAP approved vehicle crash test laboratory that is frequently called upon by vehicle manufacturers for the execution of optional NCAP tests. These tests can be run in Calspan’s brand new, state-of-the-art test facility with its MESSRING Microtrack and propulsion system which provides perfect speed and impact point