A group of 18 automakers and the US government have closed a pact with the main goal to improve the safety standards throughout the automotive industry.
Rumors of such an agreement have emerged for some time, but the confirmation of a safety-related pact between an important group of automakers and the US government has finally emerged at the end of last week. Therefore, 18 major carmakers have announced they reached an agreement with the US Transportation Department on a voluntary program concerning efforts to improve auto safety. One goal of the pact is to enhance protection over cyber-attacks. In an era when cars are packed with computer hardware and software, and with the rapid expanding of autonomous technologies, cyber threats could pose big safety risks. Automakers including General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler also agreed to share safety data that can lead to discovering defects before incidents occur, using the aviation industry as a potential model into this direction. The agreement will focus on reforming the way carmakers report fatalities, injuries and warranty claims to the government.
The US government pointed out that it is more interested in preventing safety issues in the first place, rather than enforcing recalls and levying fines after problems arise. “We have finalized a historic agreement on a set of broad-ranging actions to help make our roads safer and help avoid the sort of safety crisis that generates the wrong kind of record-setting and headlines,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. There were also critics around the accord, as some have questioned the secrecy of the talks, saying it would have been more beneficial for the safety problems to be discussed through legal channels that would include general public input. Others taking part include Honda Motor, Toyota, BMW AG, Volkswagen AG, Tesla Motors and Daimler AG.