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Rick Shapiro
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New Rules On Black Boxes In Cars Enacted

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Car manufacturers will be required to tell new car buyers when their car is equipped with a black box or “event data recorder” under new regulations issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The formal description for the black box is “event data recorder” -which is any electronic devices that capture crash or collision data, in the seconds before, during and after collisions. Black boxes do not capture data unless there is a collision that is severe enough to cause an airbag to deploy.

Car manufacturers will be required to tell new car buyers when their car is equipped with a black box or “event data recorder” under new regulations issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The formal description for the black box is “event data recorder” -which is any electronic devices that capture crash or collision data, in the seconds before, during and after collisions. Black boxes do not capture data unless there is a collision that is severe enough to cause an airbag to deploy.

Manufacturers are not required to put event data recorders/black boxes in new cars. Nonetheless, over 60% of new models as of 2005 did have some form of black box.

The new rule passed doesn’t go in effect until the 2011 model year. Even though the black boxes are not mandatory, if a black box or event data recorder is included in the car, it must be noted in the owner’s manual that comes with the car when it is sold. The new rule applies to cars and trucks with a gross weight of 8500 pounds or less and separate rules will be issued on larger, heavier vehicles–which are mostly trucks.