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Vehicle Owners Must be Notified of “Black Boxes”

Tuesday August 22, 2006

For the past few years now, an increasing number of cars have been equipped with EDRs or “Event Data Recorders”, which are something like a black box for your car. This is mostly for helping law enforcement officials reconstruct accident scenes by gathering all the information the car recorded about the last moments before a crash.

There’s just one problem: many people aren’t even aware that their car is equipped with such a device.

Luckily this has now changed, in the United States at least.

The NHSTA has passed a new regulation which will require all automakers to notify customers if and when their vehicle is equipped with an EDR. Automakers will have until September 1st, 2010, to comply with the notification and other requirements in the new regulation, if they choose to equip their vehicles with recorders.

Also under the new regulations, auto recorders must track vehicle speed, acceleration, and deceleration, braking, steering and some air bag functions. In some cases data on vehicle roll angle, steering inputs, and passenger safety belt use will be recorded.

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