For more than thirty years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has had the opportunity to prevent power window incidents inflicting death and injury by requiring manufacturers to install proper preventive mechanisms, but has neglected to do so. These tragedies could have been prevented had manufacturers been required to install fail-safe technology to ensure that occupants could not be trapped in rising windows. Such technology is now widely and voluntarily employed in the European market, even by the automakers that have vigorously opposed such requirements in the United States.
On August 19, 2003, CAS petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to initiate a rulemaking for the purpose of amending Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 118 (FMVSS 118) to protect children from death and injury involving power-operated windows and roof panels. CAS was joined in its petition by Public Citizen, KIDS AND CARS, the Consumer Federation of America, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Zoie Foundation, the Trauma Foundation, and Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety.