Key to the Flex’s prowess in the tests is its full array of standard safety equipment. This includes dual front air bags, headliner mounted side curtain air bags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The Flex also benefits from a novel construction method, which features lightweight aluminum-coated boron steel in its body structure. The design also includes high-tensile steel in the B-pillars and the addition of specially-designed side intrusion beams.
The NHTSA's frontal collision ratings are determined by placing crash-test dummies in the driver's seat and front-passenger seat and securing them with the vehicle's safety belts. Vehicles are then crashed into a fixed barrier at 35mph, which is equivalent to a head-on collision between two similar vehicles that are moving at 35mph. The five-star rating indicates a 10% or less chance of serious injury to a belted occupant in the front seat.
Side-impact crash testing represents an intersection-type collision with a 1,368kg barrier moving at 38.5mph. In this case, a five-star rating indicates a 5% or less chance of serious injury.