Group Urges NHTSA to Relax Hybrid Noise Rule

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March 18, 2013—The Association of Global Automakers has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to find a noise level for hybrid and electric vehicles that effectively alerts pedestrians without being excessively loud.

The association's comments were in response to the NHSTSA’s proposed rule to add sound to hybrid and electric vehicles.

"Striking a balance is important," said Michael Cammisa, director of safety for Global Automakers.  "While we support the intent of the regulation to assist pedestrians, we have concerns that the current proposal may lead to alert sounds that are excessively and unnecessarily noisy to others inside and outside of the vehicle."

In 2010, Global Automakers worked on the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, which intended to assist pedestrians in identifying the presence of hybrid and electric vehicles by requiring automakers to add sound to the quiet vehicles.

"As hybrid and electric cars have become more widespread, some of our members have already added noise alerts to these vehicles," said Cammisa. "We look forward to continuing to work with NHTSA and other stakeholders to improve these requirements before they are finalized."

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