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Roof Strength Test Confirms That smart Car is Safe - VIDEO ENHANCED

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI - August 21, 2009: The 2009 smart fortwo today was designated “strongest roof” among competing micro and mini cars by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), confirming once again that the smallest car on the road is safe. The IIHS tested roof strength, and the smart fortwo was the only vehicle to achieve the highest rating of “Good” in its class. The smart fortwo also tested higher than all but one of the 13 small SUVs previously tested by IIHS. Roof strength is the most important vehicle attribute for protecting occupants in a rollover crash according to IIHS.

Click PLAY to watch the IIHs roof crash test

“If you’re considering a small car, the smart fortwo is the answer when it comes to safety,” said Dave Schembri, President of smart USA. “As our society increasingly turns to small cars, smart proves that small can be safe.” He added, “This is the ninth standardized crash test performed by either the federal government or the IIHS that confirms the smart fortwo is safe.”

According to the IIHS, the smart fortwo withstood a force of 5.4 times its weight during the tests, and far exceeded the minimum required force ratio of 4 times the vehicle’s weight to earn a “Good” rating. The IIHS reports that a vehicle in the “Good” category, like the smart fortwo, has 50 percent less risk of serious or fatal injury in a single-vehicle rollover crash. As IIHS makes clear, when it comes to roof strength for rollover protection, lightweight vehicles can fare better because “their roofs don’t have to work as hard to keep the structure around the occupants intact…”

The government’s “Cash for Clunkers” incentive program and sustained high gas prices has led more and more consumers to smaller, more fuel efficient cars, but some continue to question the safety of small vehicles. The numerous smart fortwo safety tests have proven these concerns to be without merit. The smart fortwo has met or exceeded all standardized tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the IIHS, and achieved the highest rating among standard IIHS bumper tests of microcars.

In addition, the smart fortwo already exceeds the new federal roof strength requirements that will not start phasing in until 2012, with all vehicles needing to comply by 2016. Engineers designed the smart to be a trendsetter in safety of small cars, with a high level of standard technologies that eclipse federal mandates. The smart fortwo’s tridion safety cell, which surrounds and protects vehicle occupants, is a reinforced steel cage that acts like a race car roll cage, and is the primary reason the smart fortwo performed so well in the IIHS roof strength test. The 2009 smart fortwo also comes equipped with electronic stability program (esp®) as standard. According to the IIHS, vehicles with esp® are 20% less likely to be in a fatal accident with another vehicle and 51% less likely to be in a fatal single-vehicle accident. Visit to learn more about the smart fortwo’s safety features and real-life owner accident stories.

The smart fortwo offers the right balance of power, outstanding fuel efficiency, innovative safety features, environmental friendliness and excellent value. Models start at $11,990* and the smart fortwo is rated as the most fuel efficient, non-hybrid vehicle by, on sale in the United States. smart USA has available many attractive financing offers in conjunction with the “Cash for Clunkers” program and the smart fortwo qualifies for the maximum government credit of $4,500.

ABOUT the smart fortwo and smart USA

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. This technologically advanced vehicle achieves 41 mpg on the highway and is an ultra-low emissions vehicle, as certified by the State of California Air Resources Board. The vehicle is 8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet tall and 5.1 feet wide and comes equipped with many functional and safety features found in most luxury models. smart is currently sold in 36 other countries, and more than one million smart fortwos have been sold since 1998. The 2009 smart fortwo is available in five trim levels ranging in price from $11,990* to $20,990*.

* For 2009 models. Excludes tax, title, registration, destination charge, options and other dealer fees.

smart is a registered trademark of Daimler AG.


Penske Automotive Group, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, operates 310 retail automotive franchises, representing 40 different brands and 25 collision repair centers. Penske Automotive, which sells new and previously owned vehicles, finance and insurance products and replacement parts, and offers maintenance and repair services on all brands it represents, has 160 franchises in 17 states and Puerto Rico and 150 franchises located outside the United States, primarily in the United Kingdom. Penske Automotive is also the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo through its wholly-owned subsidiary smart USA Distributor LLC. smart USA supports over 70 smart retail centers in the United States. Penske Automotive is a member of the Fortune 200 and Russell 1000 and has more than 14,000 employees. smart and fortwo are registered trademarks of Daimler AG.