Why Is It That U.S. Automobile Manufacturers Have Different And Often Less StringentSafety Requirements Than Foreign Manufacturers And We Have Many Times Discovered The Same Automobile Manufacturer Is Creating Safer Products In Europe Than In the United S
The National Highway Safety Administration is charged with writing and enforcing safety, theft resistance, and fuel economy guidelines for motor vehicles. However, as an experienced Pennsylvania automobile product liability attorney who has handled a substantial number of catastrophic car accident cases, I am well aware that these are only minimal standards and guidelines.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, (FMVSS), are regulations written in terms of the minimum safety performance requirements for motor vehicles, motor vehicle items, and motor vehicle equipment. Many of the big auto makers take pride in announcing that their vehicles meet these “minimal" standards, however, a safely designed car should exceed these standards, especially if there is a safer design alternative.
In 1980, NHTSA recognized the need for safer interiors of vehicles and identified improvements to padding and cushioning in the event of an accident. In 1989, the application of one inch of padding was required to interior surfaces which was indicated to reduce head trauma by half as much. The Department of Transportation estimated the cost of padding all roof, rails, and areas likely to have an impact was approximately $33 per car.
Safety is not one thing, it’s everything. Understanding that NHTSA or FMVSS government standards are only minimal guidelines and applying conventional wisdom that cars and motor vehicles should be safe makes it intolerable and unacceptable when automobile manufacturers cut corners and emphasize safety over profits. While automobile manufacturers always speak about compliance with federal standards, standard testing typically does not call for all types of situations or applications.
Keeping this in mind, if you or a loved one has been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident, you may want to contact an experienced car accident and automotive product liability attorney to fully evaluate your claim and search the road less traveled for answers and proper compensation. The experienced Pennsylvania car accident and automotive product liability lawyers of Reiff and Bily always offer a free, no obligation consultation. Contact us toll free at 1-800-421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.