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Government Eyes Mandatory Data Recorders for All U.S. Vehicles

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on March 24, 2010

How about a black box for your car?

U.S. government officials are now looking at proposing mandatory electronic monitoring systems for cars that are similar to the “black box” tools used in aircraft in order to know more about what happens in a car accident. The devices would record information like braking and other events from 5 to 30 seconds before a crash.

In 2006, government regulatory agencies suggested that automakers install these kinds of devices in vehicles for the North American market. Most automakers did voluntarily install some kind of event recording system, but now the U.S. government wants to make these devices mandatory and develop consistent standards that may help provide more transparency for those investigating an accident.

One of the main reasons public officials are looking at these black box options is the enormous recall of Toyota vehicles happening this year. Issues with the recalled Toyotas include reports of sudden or unintended acceleration, and now U.S. legislators and others are wrangling with Toyota executives over the fact causes of these kinds of accidents. A standardized data event recorder would go a long way towards putting some of the current questions over Toyota safety to rest.

According to a March 11 New York Times report, the testimony of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official David Strickland at a House Committee on Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing revealed some issues about Toyota’s current system.

It seems that Toyota does have event recorders in their current vehicles. However, the devices are difficult to read and not accessible to public audiences; they require Toyota technicians to do some translation of readouts.

In addition, Strickland told officials that unlike many other companies, Toyota takes its orders directly from Japan, and the lack of authority of U.S. executives adds to difficulty in regulating the company.

As Toyota executives and others continue to testify in formal hearings, drivers continue to report safety issues involving sudden acceleration such as research reports of a Toyota Prius that accelerated up to speeds of 94 miles per hour on a San Diego freeway as the driver tried desperately to stop the vehicle.

As government groups look at mandating data event recorders to help investigate future problems, Toyota is trying to provide safety fixes for over six million vehicles affected by the recall, including a reinforced gas pedal and a brake override system.

If you or someone in your family has been injured in an accident involving a Toyota safety issue, call Orlando Toyota recall injury lawyer James O. Cunningham. This Central Florida Toyota recall accident attorney has years of experience dealing with personal injury cases and helps clients get compensated for Toyota recall related accidents involving injury or fatality. Call our legal team at 888-425-2004 or use handy web forms to get more information.

James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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