AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ A TV commercial in which a Volvo withstands attempts by a ''monster truck'' to crush it has been dropped by the automaker under pressure after it turned out the car had been reinforced with steel or wood.

''Volvo was touted as a car that you can believe in. Unfortunately, these ads, you could not believe in them,'' said Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox, who had challenged the commercial. The ad was broadcast nationally.

William Hoover, senior vice president of Volvo Cars of North America, emphasized on Monday that independent studies have found that Volvos are ''among the safest, if not the absolute safest, cars on the road today.''

But he said, ''We agree that the consumers in the state of Texas, as well as consumers throughout the country, deserve better advertising.''

Volvo agreed to make no unproven claims, run corrective newspaper ads and pay the state $316,250 in investigative costs.

The automaker admitted no wrongdoing.

In the ad, filmed in Austin in June, a Volvo appears to be the only car left standing after being run over by a large-tire pickup. The ad is a dramatization of a 1988 Vermont event, according to the company.

However, the ad is not billed as a dramatization. And Mattox said the other cars in the ad were weakened structurally, while the Volvo was reinforced.

The modifications were made to ensure the crew's safety and allow the Volvo to withstand the number of runs required by the truck in filming, the company said.

Some of the shots of the truck running over the Volvo also may have been fabricated, Mattox said.