Center for Auto Safety statement on DOT press release on voluntary industry agreement to equip new passenger vehicles with automatic emergency braking (AEB) by 2022:
For years the Center for Auto Safety has been calling for all new vehicles to be required to have Automatic Emergency Braking. Today, DOT Secretary Chao gave herself a pat on the back for allowing the auto industry to continue to pick and choose which new cars will contain this life saving technology, playing roulette with the lives of consumers who cannot afford safety as a luxury.
A voluntary agreement for most new vehicles to have AEB by 2022 is worth less than the paper today’s press release was written on. Instead of being embarrassed to be a part of this unenforceable agreement, for which no oversight is being done and no minimum performance standard exists, DOT has put out a press release expecting to be congratulated on yet another example of the deregulatory delirium that is sweeping the Trump Administration. Without a mandate for AEB more lives will be lost than necessary in the interest of putting profits over people and shareholders before safety.
Safety technology should never be an afterthought or something reserved exclusively for the rich. With 37,461 traffic deaths last year, America deserves better than a Department of Transportation willing to accept breadcrumbs from the auto industry when it comes to safety. NHTSA should stop being a paper tiger and start writing mandatory regulations for AEB immediately. The “S” in NHTSA stands for ‘safety’ and not ‘sellout.’