Senate takes on car roof safety

A Flexcar Prius


Scott Jagow: Today, a Senate committee will look at car roofs. Specifically, what happens to roofs in rollover crashes. Jeremy Hobson has more from Washington.

Jeremy Hobson: Right now, the federal standard requires car rooves to support one and a half times the weight of a vehicle. The new standard could double that, but it's not near enough for some.

Jackie Gillan is with the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety:

Jackie Gillan: We already know that there are vehicles out on the road that have much stronger roofs than they're proposing, so why are they going ahead with a rule that is not going to do anything to really significantly address a major safety problem?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the agency that sets the standard, and Gillan and others say it's doing the bidding of the auto industry.

Charles Territo at the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers says his group supports strengthening car rooves, but cautions against over-regulation.

Charles Territo: Roof deformation and injury in rollover crashes are related to the crash's severity, but that doesn't mean roof deformation causes injury.

Federal Regulators say more than 10,000 Americans are killed each year in rollover crashes.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.


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