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Some sports cars won't pass minimum noise rules according to automakers

The Obama administration instituted a so-called "quiet cars" rule that would force automakers to add noisemakers to electric and nearly silent vehicles to help alert blind pedestrians. However, major automakers are now complaining that the ruling would result in warning sounds that are too loud.
Two major automotive trade groups to represent the big three in Detroit, Toyota, Volkswagen, and other major Asian and European automakers have voiced concerns about the proposed rules.

According to Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Association of Global Automakers, the rule, "is too complicated and is unnecessarily prescriptive. If implemented as proposed, it would result in alert sounds that are louder than necessary, create driver and occupant annoyance and cost more than necessary."

Tesla Model S EV

The proposal by the NHTSA would set minimum sound levels for both hybrid and electric vehicles for pedestrians, and specifically to alert visually impaired people. According to automakers, the rules as they are proposed would create electric vehicles that are louder than some high-performance sports cars.

The NHTSA wants to add these noise rules for silent vehicles because the odds of a hybrid vehicle being involved in a crash with a pedestrian are 19% higher compared to vehicles with traditional gasoline or diesel engines. The likelihood of hybrid vehicle being involved in an accident with a bicyclist is reportedly 38% higher. The new rules set forth by the NHTSA are supposed to begin implementation in September 2014.

If the NHTSA refuses to change the rules, auto manufacturers want the phase in to be extended to 2018. Adding the noisemakers is estimated to cost an additional $35 per vehicle and to cost automotive industry $23 million the first year. As the rule stands now the minimum sound requirements would apply at vehicles at speeds of up to 18.6 mph.

Source: Detroit News

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There is some point to the pushback
By Neodude007 on 3/19/2013 9:37:06 AM , Rating: 2
Carmakers have a point. It might even be one of those "give them an inch and they take a mile" things. Soon all cars will have to undergo expensive sound testing even if gas powered and if they are below a certain threshold then they too will need extra noisemakers.

How about drivers pay attention like they should and always were supposed to?

Aren't blind people supposed to have super powered hearing? Tires on pavement makes sound.

RE: There is some point to the pushback
By othercents on 3/19/2013 9:44:04 AM , Rating: 2
Aren't blind people supposed to have super powered hearing? Tires on pavement makes sound.

Yes, but they have determined that below 20mph there isn't enough road noise to discern a car is there. I also wonder why we don't have flashing lights on our cars for the blind. Wouldn't that reduce accidents with pedestrians?

RE: There is some point to the pushback
By othercents on 3/19/2013 9:44:39 AM , Rating: 2
OMG... I meant flashing lights for the def.

By Azethoth on 3/19/2013 9:54:59 AM , Rating: 5
No, we need noisemakers for the def.

By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 3/19/2013 10:10:05 AM , Rating: 2
We need old-school hip hop artists rapping for the def.

By MightyAA on 3/19/2013 11:49:58 AM , Rating: 2
Um... no. The deaf (like my daughter) have been watching out for cars, bikers, joggers, skateboard punks, etc. forever now (they have never been able to hear them).

The noise thing I also don't get. My commute to work goes right past a school for the blind every single day. They are pretty much taught to walk down the sidewalk and cross at intersections. Whether they hear or not, I'm driving and I see them...

RE: There is some point to the pushback
By Philippine Mango on 3/19/2013 11:15:24 AM , Rating: 2
That is total BS, my dad owns an electric car and in a quiet area, I can hear his car 50+ft away rolling up. The only people who need to be concerned with cars moving at less than 5mph are those who are right next to them and if you're right next to them, then you can hear their tires, but only if..... YOU'RE PAYING ATTENTION. If you get run over despite staying out of traffic, that is the drivers fault, if you get startled by the driver, thats YOUR fault.

I think this is the "anti startling law", a law to prevent people from being startled.

By FaaR on 3/19/2013 12:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
You won't necessarily hear a slow-moving vehicle's tires if there's other traffic noise around you, regardless of how much attention you're paying. That doesn't mean that noisemakers is the logical solution to the "problem", however.

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