Trump may eliminate electric and hybrid car warning noise mandate

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Trump may eliminate electric and hybrid car warning noise mandate

President Donald Trump’s Administration may eliminate the controversial rule that quiet electrified cars must make sound.

The proposed rules as they stand would require hybrid and electric cars to emit noises to warn pedestrians and other road users that they are approaching.

The electrified vehicle noise rules were finalized in December after years of legal consideration but they could now be eliminated as part of a wider push for automotive deregulation in the US.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it is considering six areas for deregulation and the noise making rules will be one of those areas but as of yet there are no final decisions being made.

The requirement for hybrid and electric cars to emit warning noises was passed by the US Congress in 2010 and only being finalised last December, 2016.

The law in America requires all new hybrid and electric cars with four wheels and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 10,000 pounds to emit audible noises at speeds up to 19 mph.

This means that Automakers have until September 1, 2019, to equip all of their electrified vehicles with noise making devices with half of all new electric vehicles being fitted with the noise devices one year before that.

This will mean that US automakers will not have much time to wait and see if the NHTSA repeals the rules, which will mean they will be equipping cars needlessly with noisemakers if the rules are eliminated.

The noisemaker rules stem from the fear that electric vehicles are far too quiet for pedestrians to hear and the rule is being supported by organisations such as the American Council for the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind who believe that the introduction of this law could prevent up to 2,400 pedestrian injuries per year.

In contrast to that, car manufacturers are claiming that regulators are taking things too far. They are even suggesting that the sound requirements would make electric cars even louder than some internal-combustion engine cars.

The NHTSA estimates that the cost of adding these noise-makers would cost about $130 per hybrid, and $55 per electric car.

(As always, if you or a family member are considering buying a used car, don’t buy until you run a car check report with where you will find out the true history of the vehicle.)


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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