Just prior to the deadline for issuing a new roof crush standard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration went back to the drawing board as a result of pressure from Congress and consumer advocates. The final standard has been delayed until October 1st. As we have reported, NHTSA, which has not updated its rollover safety standards in over 35 years, was originally scheduled to send a new roof crush rule to Congress by July 1st. Under the proposed version, a roof would have been required to support 2.5 times the vehicle’s weight, up from the current standard of 1.5 times the weight.
The delay comes in the wake of ongoing complaints from consumer advocates and members of Congress, who correctly contend that the proposal is not strong enough. A bi-partisan group of senators sent a letter to NHTSA in June, urging the agency to take additional time to develop a more stringent standard. Critics assert that most new cars already conform to a 2.5 standard and that the standard should be raised even higher, to 3.5.
The Bush Administration is responsible for putting a proposal in the standard that would preempt state law claims brought by individuals injured in rollover accidents. NHTSA’s proposed roof crush rule puts the profit of car manufacturers first and the safety of consumers last. NHTSA must realize that it would be a tragic mistake not to do its duty when it comes to safety issues. It is abundantly clear that NHTSA should strengthen roof crush standards. A study released earlier this year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the stronger the roof, the lower the risk of injury to occupants of a vehicle. That study is proof positive that weak roofs are the main cause of death and serious injuries in rollover accidents. Hopefully, NHTSA will do the right thing and promulgate a stronger roof-crush standard.
Source: Lawyers Weekly USA
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.