Are Car Roofs Tough Enough?

US regulators consider stricter strength-to-weight standard
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2008 2:55 PM CST

Three-quarters of vehicles on the road today would fail a proposed tougher standard for automobile roof strength, reports the Wall Street Journal. The current standard, unchanged since 1973, requires that car roofs withstand a force equivalent to 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight, but it exempts those more than 6,000 lbs.—including today's hulking SUVs, which are most likely to roll onto their roofs.

The proposed new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standard would require the force withstood to be 2.5 times the car’s weight and would drop the light-truck exemption. An auto industry group has expressed worry about the cost of adding steel to roofs and said it would need time to change designs to meet the standard. (More cars stories.)

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