The petitioners claim that all hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads should have pedestrian alert sounds regardless of age
4 hours ago
by Brad Anderson
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reviewing a petition that asserts all hybrid and electric vehicles manufactured before March 1, 2021 should be retrofitted with pedestrian alert sounds.
Under the current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard FMVSS 141, hybrid and electric vehicles that weigh 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs) or less built from March 1, 2021 must be equipped with pedestrian alert sounds. The petitioner believes that hybrid and electric vehicles produced before this date should be found to contain a safety defect.
The petitioner has also requested that the NHTSA should require all electric and hybrid vehicles to comply with FMVSS 141 regardless of production date.
Read: On-Road Fatalities Level Off For Drivers In 2022, But Are Still On The Rise For Pedestrians And Cyclists
The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation is evaluating the petition and whether to grant or deny it.
Manufacturers with vehicles that may not comply include Nissan, Volkswagen, Jaguar, Mazda, Hyundai, Bentley, Polestar, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Ford, BMW, Kia, Honda, Porsche, Volvo, Land Rover, Tesla, Toyota, Polaris, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Rivian, and Subaru. The NHTSA estimates that some 9.1 million hybrid and electric vehicles in the U.S. are lacking a pedestrian alert sound system. The agency notes that its list of manufacturers potentially affected is not exhaustive and may contain vehicles that are already equipped with pedestrian alert sounds, such as those from Rivian, for example.
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Of course, just because the NHTSA is investigating the petition, that doesn’t mean it will actually agree with the petitioner and require impacted car manufacturers to retrofit hybrid and electric vehicles with pedestrian alert sounds. Moreover, doing so would be exorbitantly expensive.