Consumer Group Disputes NHTSA Findings; Proposes Mandate of Automatic Reversing Power Sidelites
November 24, 2009

A consumer group has released research that it claims shows that more than 13 million have been injured by power sidelites, in contrast to data released in August by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA is working to develop a regulation for sidelites, but estimates that fewer than 2,000 have been injured and had concluded that mandating automatic reversing systems for power sidelites is not necessary. (CLICK HERE for related story.) is urging the NHTSA to reexamine its ruling and require that automatic reversal become standard on all vehicles sold in the United States. The group also has sought legislators’ input on the issue.

“As far as the dangerous potential of power windows is concerned, automakers have existing technology to prevent millions of injuries and deaths, and we should require them to utilize this preventive technology to save lives,” says Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). says it conducted its research via phone and online surveys, through a research firm, Harris Interactive, this October, and that the surveys conducted showed several key facts, such as:

  • More than 13 million U.S. adults have injured someone they know by closing a car window.
  • More than 22 million U.S. adults have been personally injured or know someone who has been personally injured by someone else closing a car window.
  • More than 10 million U.S. adults have been personally injured by someone else closing a car window but did not seek medical care thus they were not included in any government data collection efforts.

“We’ve known for a long time that millions of people are injured by power windows. When you bring up the topic, everyone has a story about an incident they are familiar with,” says Janette Fennell, founder and president. “And even though the NHTSA believes mandated ‘pull-up’ switches will rectify this issue by eliminating injuries caused by inadvertent activation of the window, our data proves that it is someone else in the vehicle that causes the majority of the injuries. Common sense, life-saving technology exists and can be easily implemented, as it has been on garage doors and elevators, to prevent senseless child deaths and injuries.” estimates that mandating the automatic reversal feature would only cost $6 per window, and that the technology is standard on most vehicles in Europe.

CLICK HERE to view a video has created as a public service announcement.

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