The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Rules to Strengthen Vehicle Roofs Are Considered

March 22, 2004

Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are weighing separate proposals to bolster minimum requirements for the strength of roofs of cars and trucks, according to an article in the New York Times on March 17.

Roof strength has become an increasingly scrutinized issue because of the increase in deaths, now more than 10,000 annually, related to rollover accidents, which have risen because of booming sales of sport utility vehicles.

Complicating the issue is the fact that dozens of models of the heaviest SUVs and pickup trucks, those weighing 6,000 pounds or more, are exempt from any roof strength regulations at all because the rules were developed long before the truck boom. Among the unregulated models are the Ford Expedition; Hummers; Chevrolet Suburbans and TrailBlazers; the BMW X5; the Lincoln Navigator; the Toyota Sequoia; and the Nissan Armada, reported the New York Times.

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