Tesla and other carmakers could be forced to recall millions of cars and fit them with devices that would emit sound to alert pedestrians of their presence.
With electric vehicles and hybrids making little-to-no sound when moving, it’s long been a concern that some people might not hear them coming as they drive down the street.
Cars manufactured on or after March 1, 2021 were required to have some sort of noise-making hardware fitted. But older cars might have to be retrofitted as well.
Teslarati reports that they NHTSA is investigating whether it should force all EV and hybrid cars going back to 1997 to be retrofitted with noisemakers following the receipt of a petition on the subject.
The petitioner asserts that hybrid and electric vehicles to which the standard does not apply should be found to contain a safety defect. In support of the petition, the petitioner includes findings contained in a bill introduced in the House of Representatives in 2009, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, H.R. 734, 111th CONG. (2009).
It’s estimated that there could be more than nine million cars affected by the recall, with vehicles from Tesla, Ford, Nissan, BMW, Kia, and others all impacted.
While cars dating all the way back to 1997 could be affected, but there are relatively few still driving around. Teslarati notes that Saturn’s EV1 that goes back to that date.
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