Feds tighten crash test advertising rules

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Associated Press

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 20 at 2:01 PM

DETROIT (AP) — A U.S. safety agency is tightening the guidelines that control how automakers use government crash tests in advertising.

The change by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration likely is aimed at Tesla Motors. Tesla has promoted its electric Model S as the safest car in America, saying it earned a 5.4-star rating from the government.

The new guidelines say that the agency doesn't give ratings higher than five stars. The agency says automakers who claim ratings higher than five stars are misleading the public.

Companies that don't follow the guidelines could see "buyer alert" warnings from the government. They could also be kicked out of the ratings program or be referred to other agencies for further, unspecified action.

A message was left seeking comment from a Tesla spokeswoman.

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