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August 22, 2006

Manufacturers To Inform Consumers about Vehicle Black Boxes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is requiring car manufacturers to tell consumers than black boxes exist in their cars.  These devices measure speed, braking, and other operational statistics in cars.  Not every manufacturer places them in vehicles.  About two thirds of all vehicles have them including all GM cars.  The new rules require notification by September 1, 2010.  The NHTSA says that notification by owner manual is sufficient and that the data collected by the devices cannot be downloaded without the permission of the vehicle owner.  The NHTSA has not addressed whether insurance companies and others will make access to this information available to them via policy terms (contracts of adhesion) or discoverable as evidence in civil in criminal cases.  That, the agency says, is up to Congress and the courts, or, they could have added, a secret presidential declaration.

CNET has the story.

August 22, 2006 | Permalink

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