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A trade group representing major automakers on Monday called for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reconsider a new regulation issued this spring that requires nearly all new cars and trucks to have advanced automatic emergency braking systems by 2029.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation – which represents Ford, General Motors, Stellantis, Toyota and nearly all leading automakers – wrote to NHTSA and the leadership of congressional transportation committees informing them that the group filed a petition for the automatic emergency braking rule to be reconsidered.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
F FORD MOTOR CO. 12.23 +0.39 +3.29%
GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 48.09 +0.38 +0.80%
STLA STELLANTIS NV 20.68 +0.19 +0.93%
TM TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. 198.98 +5.40 +2.79%

The group argues that the regulation, which was adopted in April, would require all cars and trucks to be able to stop and avoid hitting vehicles in front of them while moving at speeds of up to 62 miles per hour is “practically impossible with available technology.”

The NHTSA rule came in response to direction by Congress, which included a provision in the 2021 infrastructure law that directed the agency to develop a regulation establishing minimum performance standards for automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. AED uses sensors like cameras and radar to detect when a vehicle is close to crashing and automatically applies the brakes if the driver hasn’t done so.

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The trade group said NHTSA’s requirements at higher driving speeds will result in vehicles “automatically applying the brakes far in advance of what a typical driver and others on the road would expect” and would likely result in rear-end collisions.

It also argued that NHTSA “vastly underestimated the necessary and costly hardware and software change required for vehicles to comply with the rule (something that will increase the cost of vehicles for consumers).”

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Alliance for Automotive Innovation CEO John Bozzella said in the letter to Congress that the rule “will require more costly systems that won’t improve driver or pedestrian safety.”

“Here’s what I (regrettably) conclude will happen: driving AEB equipped vehicles in the U.S. under NHTSA’s new standard will become unpredictable, erratic and will frustrate or flummox drivers,” Bozzella wrote.

“Yes, this rule will make vehicles more expensive, but the real issue isn’t cost – it’s cost/benefit. NHTSA’s action will require more costly systems that won’t improve driver or pedestrian safety, which is why we are asking the agency to reopen the proceeding and make these necessary corrections,” he added.

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The trade group suggested that NHTSA should instead “adopt a standard already in place in Europe that detects a potential forward collision, provides a driver warning and automatically engages the braking system to avoid a collision – or mitigate its severity – through the use of existing crashworthiness systems designed to better protect road users.”

NHTSA said in April that the rule will save at least 360 lives annually and prevent at least 24,000 injuries due to traffic accidents.

The agency released its first set of projections for traffic fatalities in 2024 on Monday which estimated that 8,650 people died in traffic crashes in the first three months of the year – a decrease of about 3.2% from the 8,935 estimated fatalities in the same period in 2023. That figure marks the eighth consecutive quarterly decline in traffic fatalities dating back to the second quarter of 2022.

The rule requires the AEB to apply brakes automatically up to 90 mph when a collision with a lead vehicle is imminent and up to 45 mph when a  pedestrian is detected.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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