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NHTSA Agrees to Delay Implementation of Event Data Recorder Regulations

2008 | Topic: Product Liability

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it will postpone until September 1, 2012 requirements for manufacturers to comply with its final rules regarding event data recorders (EDRs), i.e., devices that record safety information about motor vehicles involved in crashes.  Those rules do not require manufacturers to install EDRs in vehicles, but instead require that the EDRs voluntarily installed record a minimum set of specified data elements useful for crash investigations, analysis of the performance of safety equipment, and automatic collision notification systems.

The regulations also address increasing the survivability of the EDRs and their data by requiring that the EDRs function during and after the front, side and rear vehicle crash tests specified in several federal motor vehicle safety standards; require vehicle manufacturers to make commercially available download tools that would enable crash investigators to retrieve data from the EDR; and require vehicle manufacturers to include a brief standardized statement in the owner’s manual indicating that the vehicle is equipped with an EDR and describing the purposes of EDRs.

Under the rules, examples of data elements to be recorded in vehicles with an EDR include: the longitudinal Delta-V, the status of the safety belt of the driver; front air bag lamp and service brake; front air bag deployment, including multi-event/number of events; time from event 1 to event 2; and speed.  The final NHTSA rule has been published at 73 Fed. Reg. 2168 (January 14, 2008).