The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the tests will be conducted under a new five-star ratings system that includes new tests.
The revamped system will give consumers a single overall score for the first time.
Some of the best-selling cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles in the U.S. will be tested, including the Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford F-150 and Honda Odyssey.
The consumer program was started in 1979. Some safety advocates have said most vehicles earn four or five stars on the tests, making it difficult for consumers to compare safety features.