The Hyundai Sonata’s production delay due to the removal of an on-off switch for its sound emitting device looks like a smart move now that the federal government is looking to not only make the devices mandatory for hybrid and electric cars, but bar automakers from allowing drivers to cancel the systems via a dash mounted switch.
Since vehicles with electric propulsion systems are silent at idle, or when the electric drive is engaged, regulatory bodies fear that pedestrians are at risk if they are unable to hear the vehicles. With some hybrids able to operate at up to 62 mph before the gas engine engages, their fears may not be unfounded.
NHTSA expects a definitive ruling within the next three years, but in the mean time, don’t expect automakers to hedge their bets any time soon, with new hybrids and EVs likely featuring a mandatory chirp or other noise when they hit the market.
[Source: Automotive News]