On April 30, 2009, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) announced in a report that the roof strength standard for light vehicles has been raised. The announcement comes as a reaction to concerns about rollover safety.
According to figures cited by the DOT, rollover accidents account for over 10,000 fatalities on America’s highways. One solution to this problem is better vehicle design and safety standards.
Currently, the roof of light vehicles (vehicles with a gross weight under 6,000 pounds) must be able to withstand a force equal to one and one half times the weight of the vehicle. The new standard doubles this amount to three times the weight of the vehicle. Additionally, both the passenger side and driver side of the roof must be able to meet this standard. In the past, only one side had to pass the test in order to meet the roof safety standard.
The DOT regulations will also be extended to heavier vehicles, which have not been required to meet any roof strength standards. Vehicles between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds will have to have roof structures capable of supporting at least one and one half times the vehicle weight without collapsing.
The new standards will be phased in beginning September 2012, and will be in full effect for 2017 models.
If you have any questions about how these new DOT standards impact the responsibility of manufacturers to provide reasonably safe vehicles to consumers, please contact the California Lemon Law Offices of Howard D. Silver. Howard D. Silver represents consumers in California who have been victims of used car and auto repair fraud, unfair and deceptive business practices, and automobile lemon law. Call us today at (855) 341-2611.