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Ford asked the U.S. government back in 2015 if the cars it makes for the police could be exempt from the new mandatory rule for electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids that calls for EVs to emit noise when traveling at low speed, but the auto manufacturer is still waiting for a response, The Verge reports.
Full compliance to the rule is applicable beginning on September 1, 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in February this year when it issued a document in response to petitions for reconsideration regarding the final rule which established a new federal motor vehicle safety standard. The rule sets minimum sound level requirements for hybrid and electric light vehicles when traveling at low speed in order to keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe and allow them to detect the presence of these quiet vehicles, reducing the risk that the vehicles will be involved in low-speed pedestrian crashes.
Ford, a leader in police car sales in the United States, told the NHTSA that it would comply with the rule, but wanted to know if an exemption could be made for police cars, which would be equipped with an ‘off switch’, The Verge reports. What Ford asked exactly is not yet known because the full document is redacted by company request because it contains “confidential business information.”
But the administration has never actually replied to this question by Ford, according to the Verge.
In the document that contains responses to comments on the rule, the NHTSA said that it is responding to a request “from Ford regarding the legality of equipping certain vehicles used for security purposes with a means of turning off the required pedestrian alert sound.”
The text referencing Ford is actually mistaken, and “inadvertently left in,” a representative for the NHTSA told The Verge, commenting on the matter. According to the administration, Ford filed its question after the public comment period on the rule had ended, and the administration decided that if it were to address the late comment, it would delay the issue of the rule notice.
Ford’s question is still pending, the NHTSA told The Verge.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.