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Does the rating scale change in time? I mean if X stars from for example 2000 are less safe car than X stars from 2013? I am mostly interested in adult safety within frontal (and side) impact and the ability to compare these ratings between various dates.

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I don't know for certain, but would suggest you can easily compare cars from the same model years, but doing it over time is probably going to be misleading. I will let someone more knowledgable actually answer this question, though. –  Paulster2 Jan 11 at 21:12
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Yes, they do change over time. Initially NCAP was more focused on the safety on people inside the car, but these days there's also a focus on the safety of people you may drive into. I can't recall the exact year, but it was around the time cars' noses seemed to be more slanted and to dip lower that the NCAP test also started focusing on cars having to NOT run over pedestrians if they knock them, but rather scoop them up and deposit them on the bonnet. If your car scored a 3.5 the previous year, but it didn't perform well in the pedestrian test, you'd probably only get 3 stars this time around.

IN light of this, there may also be other things that change, either becoming MORE or LESS important. Like ABS and EBD for instance.

I found this text online which may help answer a lot of questions.

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I am only interested in adult safety within frontal (or side) impact. –  Kozuch Jan 13 at 10:33
    
I don't think there would be much variance for the exact same test. a 3 star rating for a specific test has practically always meant something like "slight bruising but nothing major". But "I don't think" is not the same as "I know". Let me check and update my answer if I find anything. –  Juann Strauss Jan 13 at 12:19
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