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A crashworthiness test for the government’s star safety rating system for new model cars and trucks, formally known as the New Car Assessment Program. (U.S. Department of Transportation/NHTSA photo)

By Eric Kulisch, FairWarning

Grade inflation in school makes it difficult to distinguish who is actually achieving in the classroom. The federal government’s vehicle safety rating system suffers the same problem.

Today, 98 percent of all vehicles tested receive four or five stars for crashworthiness. Consumer advocates and safety experts say it’s time to raise the bar for the New Car Assessment Program, which hasn’t been updated in nearly 10 years.

By Stuart Silverstein, Fair Warning gaspump

The Obama Administration has repeatedly trumpeted its plan to boost the average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by the 2025 model year.

In a 2011 White House news release announcing an agreement with automakers to reach the goal, President Obama called it the “the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” By 2025, he said, average fuel economy “will nearly double to almost 55 miles per gallon.”