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 |  Feb 29 2012, 5:01 PM

A decision expected today regarding a new rule that may make backup cameras mandatory for all new cars and light trucks sold in the U.S., is delayed until the end of the year — at the earliest.

Part of a law signed in 2008 by George W. Bush required the mandate be issued by the end of 2011, but has been delayed twice at this point. The issue is how much money such a rule would cost automakers if it passed.

“While the department has made progress toward a final rule to improve rearward visibility, it has decided that further study and data analysis, including of a wider range of vehicles and drivers, is important to ensure the most protective and efficient rule possible,” the agency said to Bloomberg.

Should it pass, the mandate would be one of the five most expensive pending U.S. regulations, costing $2.7 billion. That cost would fall first to the automaker and most likely to the consumer.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said last week that it would cost between $58 to $203 per vehicle to install such systems, depending on whether or not the car already has a video screen in place.

That cost is something Obama reminded House Republican leaders of on Aug. 30 in a letter. Backup cameras aren’t explicitly required by the law, but it’s the only technology currently capable of meeting the requirements.

[Source: Automotive News]