NHTSA Sets New ‘Black Box’ Rule

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued its final rule on electronic data recorders (EDRs). Similar to “black boxes” used in aircraft, EDRs can record events just before and after a crash.

Any EDR installed after September 2010 on a vehicle up to 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) must meet minimum performance criteria. Data recorded must include speed, brake, accelerator pedal, safety belt and airbag deployment. The data may help investigators find the cause of crashes and improve safety.

NHTSA expects that most vehicles will have EDRs by then, but installation will not be required. Vehicle manufacturers will be required to inform new car buyers that there is an EDR.



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