CAS Calls NHTSA-Auto Industry Secret Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Deal a Safety Sellout

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

March 17, 2016

Today, NHTSA announced an agreement with 20 automakers to introduce Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), without rulemaking or public input.

CAS Executive Director Clarence Ditlow Stated:

The NHTSA-Industry secret AEB deal is inadequate, unenforceable and expensive. It allows auto companies to charge whatever they can get away with in an options package until 2022.  The test speeds should have included the 40-mph test speed in NHTSA’s Automatic Collision Warning System as the high speed.  If auto companies don’t even meet the weak agreement, they can’t be forced to do a safety recall as they could with a safety standard.

Hitting a parked vehicle at 12 mph, the lower speed in the secret deal is the equivalent of a 6 mph barrier crash.  No one gets killed in such a minor rear impact. At best, this agreement will only reduce property damage, not save lives and prevent injury.

By excluding safety advocates from the negotiations conducted behind closed doors, NHTSA abandoned its legislative mandate and ended up with a deal that will go down as a safety sellout. One can only hope that the next Secretary of Transportation does what DOT Secretary Brock Adams did when he threw out DOT Secretary William Coleman’s voluntary agreement with the auto industry to install passive restraints in passenger vehicles.

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NHTSA Press Release – 3/17/16