New director of the Center for Automotive Safety will continue to focus on collision repair issues

New director of the Center for Automotive Safety will continue to focus on collision repair issues

By Lurah Bassey

The Center for Auto Safety named longtime staff member Michael Brooks as its new executive director, who told Repairer Driven News that he and center staff “will continue to focus on several issues impacting on the collision repair industry”.

Brooks began his career at the Center in September 2000. During his tenure, he served as attorney, chief counsel, chief operating officer, and most recently, acting executive director. He held the temporary position from January 1 this year until September 14 and started as permanent manager on Thursday. Brooks succeeds Jason Levine, who left in January to head the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission after serving as the Center’s director for four years.

“As vehicles become computers on wheels, it’s important that consumers retain the freedom to visit the repair shop of their choice and preserve repair options and parts selection to help vehicle owners control their expenses,” Brooks said. “The Center will continue to support right to repair efforts to ward off anti-competitive behavior by OEMs. We are also keeping a close eye on new vehicle crash avoidance and driver assistance systems, which present a new set of challenges for collision repair.

He also told RDN that the Center “has long supported the ability of consumers to purchase safe and less expensive alternatives to OEM parts, and opposed OEM procedures that force consumers to choose OEM parts that have no economic or safety benefit to consumers.

More recently, Brooks asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall Tesla’s Autopilot Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) feature due to its inability to recognize motorcyclists, vehicles on emergency and pedestrians. The OEM’s autopilot and full self-driving feature have been criticized for allegedly falsely advertising their functions and leading consumers to believe they are self-driving. Autopilot is currently under investigation by NHTSA, which is an upgrade from the original assessment which was “driven by an accumulation of accidents in which Tesla vehicles, running on Autopilot engaged, collided with stationary roadside or roadside first aid vehicles with a tendency to pre-exist”. crash scenes.

Brooks also expressed frustration about certain safety features, such as front-facing and 360-degree cameras, which are only available on luxury vehicles and said they should be standard on all vehicles.

Another recent issue on which the Center has taken a stand is NHTSA’s proposed regulations on event data recorders (EDRs). Crash data stored includes the speed of the car at the time of impact, whether the driver’s foot was on the brake or accelerator pedal, the angle of impact, how the occupants moved in the vehicle during the collision and whether the supplemental restraint systems worked. NHTSA’s proposal would extend the duration of the EDR recording period from 5 seconds of pre-crash data at a rate of 2 Hz to 20 seconds of pre-crash data at a rate of 10 Hz. According to NHTSA, it s This is the first step in fulfilling the mandate of Fasting America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

The Center stated in its letter to the administration that “the current limits on time and frequency of recordings are long overdue for improvement. However, the proposed update as described in the NPRM will not provide NHTSA with all of the data needed to effectively investigate and respond to critical security issues. … The updated EDR requirements should ensure fair and unhindered access to data to support accident investigations.

The Center’s website says it will “continue to advocate for government regulations that place the safety of people using and sharing the road with driverless vehicles above the purely monetary interests of shareholders” and will “support the standards of fuel economy that help consumers save money and improve the environment. .”


Feature image: Michael Brooks (Credit: Center for Auto Safety)

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