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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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What does Obama want it to sound like?
By half_duplex on 3/19/2013 10:29:25 AM , Rating: 1
I agree these need noise makers as I was nearly run over just last week at work.

I do agree that this is just giving the government more oversight and say-so into how cars are made.

I'm pretty sure the automakers would do this on their own, and it would probably be a much better solution than what the fed will impose on them.... I can imagine a cool futuristic sound/white noise... but I'm guessing we get an imitation engine sound.

By Philippine Mango on 3/19/2013 11:11:53 AM , Rating: 3
were you actually almost run over or were you just startled? It sounds more like you were just startled because you weren't paying attention to your environment. These cars even moving at 2 mph make plenty of noise from their tires, IF YOU'RE PAYING ATTENTION. However if you WERE almost ran over, then you should be blaming the driver, not the lack of noise. Haven't you ever walked in a noisy parking lot and have been on the look out for reversing cars by checking their tail lights? You use your eyes because your ears are useless in this situation.

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