Manufacturers baulked at proposed regulations which would require anti-rollover technology to be included in all heavy-duty trucks and buses in the coming years. Currently rollover traffic accidents kill about 700 people across the country every year. Officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hope that adding electronic stability control will help reduce the number and severity of these crashes.
What has the truck-making industry worried is the strength of the anti-rollover technology which might be required by federal regulators. Some carmakers say that NHTSA’s stability-control requirements would be too vigorous for most common truck crashes.
“Preventing events that do not occur in the real world provides little benefit for customers,” one industry spokesperson told the Detroit News.
The NHTSA stability control regulations are based on those used for passenger cars, which has manufacturers worried. The fact that trucks tend to be more highly customizable could make it very expensive for manufacturers to adequately test their vehicles to adhere to the strict proposed requirements.
“A regulatory certification program designed for high- volume passenger vehicles does not work for low-volume, highly customized commercial tractors,” said one truck manufacturing industry insider.
Federal estimates indicate that the proposed stability control rules would prevent over 2,000 crashes annually.
Source: The Detroit News, “Truck makers push back on U.S. rollover-technology rule,” Jeff Plungis, July 26, 2012