The occurrence of AI was studied in relation to vehicle model year (MY) among front seat vehicular occupants, age ≥ 16 in vehicles MY ≥ 1994, entered in the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System between 1997 and 2010 to determine whether newer vehicles, due to their crashworthiness improvements, are linked to a lower risk of aortic injuries (AI). MY was categorized as 1994-1997, 1998-2004, or 2005-2010 reflecting the introduction of newer occupant protection technology. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for the association between AI and MY independent of possible confounders. Analysis was repeated, stratified by frontal and near lateral impacts. AI occurred in 19,187 (0.06%) of the 31,221,007 (weighted) cases, and contributed to 11% of all deaths. AIs were associated with advanced age, male gender, high BMI, near-side impact, rollover, ejection, collision against a fixed object, high ΔV, vehicle mismatch, unrestrained status, and forward track position. Among frontal crashes, MY 98-04 and MY 05-10 showed increased adjusted odds of AI when compared to MY 94-97 [OR 1.84 (1.02-3.32) and 1.99 (0.93-4.26), respectively]. In contrast, among near-side impact crashes, MY 98-04 and MY 05-10 showed decreased adjusted odds of AI [OR 0.50 (0.25-0.99) and 0.27 (0.06-1.31), respectively]. While occupants of newer vehicles experience lower odds of AI in near side impact crashes, a higher AI risk is present in frontal crashes. ©2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.