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Automakers Agree to Voluntary Rules for SUV Safety

February 14, 2003

The auto industry, acknowledging that sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks pose serious dangers to cars, has agreed for the first time to cooperate in an effort to do something about it, according to the New York Times.In a Feb. 14 letter to Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, the Bush administration's top safety regulator, the industry's main lobbying group said automakers would take steps toward voluntary standards to make cars safer when hit by largervehicles and to make SUVs and pickups less dangerous, the Times reported.The plan came out of a private industry conference on the issue earlier this week inWashington. Industry executives said in interviews that over the next couple of years such standards would probably lead to much broader deployment of air bags, particularly those that emphasize head protection, and possibly reinforcements in car doors. The standards would also probably lead to lowering large SUVs and pickups so that their front ends are less likely to skip over the hoods of cars or hit passengers' upper bodies in collisions from the side, the Times said.
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