Highlights are presented of an interview with Joan Claybrook, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Kennerly Digges, director of NHTSA's office of Passenger Vehicle Research. The relationship between the agency and the automakers is discussed, Ms. Claybrook stating that NHTSA has been extremely responsive to technical comments by the industry. The effect of an upgraded Federal standard on car side door strength is addressed, comparing the side impact performance of the Research Safety Vehicle and that of a modified VW Rabbit. The 60 lb. weight increase and consequent fuel economy penalty in the Rabbit is described as a result of adding on safety features instead of designing them into the original car. It is emphasized that the industry should give safety a high priority in the design of a car. The design flexibility given to manufacturers in meeting the safety standard, and the effective date for the new standard in relation to industry leadtime are addressed. Flammability tests of urethane foam padding indicate that the padding does not pose a fire hazard. Congressional efforts to shelve the air bag and 5 mph bumper standards are considered, and the other NHTSA priorities for passenger car safety are outlined: e.g. pedestrian protection, truck and van rulemaking, and upgraded standard 203 (impact protection of steering control system).

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Chilton Company, Incorporated

    One Chilton Way
    Philadelphia, PA  United States  19089
  • Authors:
    • Hodges, P D
  • Publication Date: 1980-5

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00384717
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 075
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 30 1984 12:00AM