NHTSA administrator: Vehicle gizmos unsafe

| 1/17/2003

Turning vehicles into part of a "superhighway" communications network may create safety hazards, the chief of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

Automakers should ensure giving drivers access to e-mail, news, weather and stock quotes doesn't create hazards, NHTSA administrator Jeffrey W. Runge told the Automotive News World Congress in Dearborn, MI, Jan.14.

“I recognize there's tremendous market pressure to add gizmos and gadgets to new vehicles, some for safety but mostly for customer convenience and appeal,” he said, as reported by The Associated Press. “Whether you're here representing a manufacturer or a supplier, you have a fundamental responsibility to assess hazard potential in these items.”

Runge said he'd visited auto manufacturers in the United States, Europe and Japan in the past year and had been impressed with safety engineering efforts.