New Windows Switches to be Mandatory

the safer power window switches have been commonly available since the 1980s

New Windows Switches to be Mandatory
Image: Pexels

NCCC applauds the federal government for finally taking action to prevent child deaths in power windows by requiring safer window switches in all vehicles sold in the United States by October 2008, but is concerned that the lag in implementation may result in more unnecessary deaths.

The problem comes when a child is playing near the window. The child can stand on the switch panel and accidentally push it forward, engaging the window upwards. New switches require the toggle switch to be pulled upward to raise the window, reducing the possibility of accidental engagement.

long overdue

A safer switch is long overdue. These switches have been available since the 1980s and are already in most European and Japanese vehicles sold in the United States. Eight children have died this year in accidents involving power windows.

safetea act

There is also pending legislation which could speed things along-- SAFETEA: Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2004-- in which the safer power window switch regulation was to take effect no later than Sept. 1, 2006. That legislation is currently in conference committee.

"It's not unreasonable to ask automakers why it takes so long to install safer switches, especially since they already use the technology in some of their vehicles," said Brad Lamb, NCCC Executive Director.