Law & Order

New Federal Requirement Will Make “Quiet Cars” Audible

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established a new safety standard requiring all new hybrid and electric light-duty vehicles to emit a sound alerting pedestrians to their presence. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No.141 establishes minimum sound levels intended to help both blind and sighted pedestrians more easily detect the vehicles. An audible noise from external waterproof speakers must be emitted when the vehicle is traveling in reverse or forward at speeds up to 19 mph. At higher speeds, natural sounds, such as tire and wind noise, should provide adequate audible warning to pedestrians. The rule will be phased-in over one year between 2018 and 2019. 

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