2003 Car Book Quiz – Answers

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.


1. The Honda Civic with a driver death rate of 47 per million vehicle years of use for all crashes is the best. The huge 4W-drive Chevrolet Suburban has a death rate of 53 just above the vaunted Mercedes C-class at 52. The Ford Taurus is 81. Really bad is the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer at 195, four times higher than the Civic.

2. Ford was the biggest lemon producer with the Escape being number 1 followed by the Excursion at number 4 the Focus at number 6 and the luxury Lincoln LS at number 7on the 10 worst list of vehicle complaints.

3. In 35-mph front crashes, both driver and passenger in a Windstar with side airbags have a 93-95% chance of escaping serious injury; in 38.5-mph side impacts, driver and passenger have a 95-96% chance of avoiding serious injury. The Civic with side bags is nearly as good at 91-94% in every category. The Volvo S60 scores 84% and 88% for driver and passenger in front crashes. Drivers in 2-door Pontiac Sunfires need to watch out for crashes with only a 76 & 51% chance of avoiding injury in front and side crashes,

4. The alternator in the $18,000 Jeep Liberty cost only $179 to replace compared to $544 for a $10,000 Toyota Echo. Volvo lived up to its high repair cost legend with the $23,000 Volvo 40 having a $1,088 alternator. The $34,000 Lincoln LS was a modest $259.

5. The Pontiac Aztek and Acura MDX are the only SUVs to get a 4-star rollover rating with a 10-20% chance of rollover in a single vehicle crash. Most SUVs are twice as likely to rollover.