The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers had petitioned NHTSA to postpone the requirement until at least September 1, 2013, but the government agency rejected the appeal. The group said that manufacturers that are currently using older event data recorders may simply disable the devices to comply with the new rules since the regulations don't actually force new cars to have the black boxes. General Motors, for example, has said it will disable some event data recorder functionality on both Chevrolet Malibu and GMC Savana models.
The rules aim to standardize exactly what information EDR modules collect and the format with which the devices store the data. Manufacturers will be required to record 15 vehicle parameters. Right now, a total of 90 percent of new vehicles for sale in the U.S. have EDRs. Eventually, NHTSA expects to mandate the technology on all new vehicles. Such a mandate was originally expected to fall at some point this year, but has been repeatedly delayed by the government agency. NHTSA estimates it will cost around $24.4 million to include the recorders the remaining 10 percent of unequipped models.