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The Chrysler Corporation's widely publicized K-cars and Ford's subcompacts, Escort and Lynx, "failed" government front-crash protection tests, the National Highway Traffice Safety Administration announced. The crash-test failures do not violate any federal standards, because the test speed of 35 miles an hour was 5 m.p.h. higher than existing regulations stipulate. An agency spokesman said the higher speed was used because NHTSA wants to encourage automakers to go beyond the absolute minimum standard. Still, the news was considered a blow to Chrysler, whose new K-cars play a major role in its hopes for survival, and to Ford, which hopes to use its new subcompacts to combat a rising tide of foreign car sales.

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