Starting in 2011, automakesr will be required to inform consumers if their new vehicle includes an event data recorder, or "black box". Such devices have recently come under fire from privacy advocates, as manufacturers have been somewhat less than forthcoming about information on the devices.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) will also require that any data recorder be capable of gathering at least 15 pieces of information, but stopped short of requiring that the devices be installed on every new vehicle. Currently, over 60% of new vehicles include black boxes that are triggered by the deployment of a vehicle's supplemental restrain systems.
As expected, no one seems satisfied with NHTSA's ruling. Public Citizen's Joan Claybrook was quite unhappy after hearing that the recorders will not be required across the board, while representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union did not like the fact that certain issues regarding the use of crash data were not addressed.