California regulators nix rules limiting carmaker liability

California regulators nix rules limiting carmaker liability
In this Tuesday, June 13, 2017, file photo, a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV that is in General Motors Co.'s autonomous vehicle development program appears on display at GM's Orion Assembly in Lake Orion, Mich. California regulators have nixed a plan to let self-driving car manufacturers evade liability for crashes if the vehicle hasn't been maintained according to manufacturer specifications. (Jose Juarez/Detroit News via AP, File)

California regulators have nixed a plan to let self-driving car manufacturers evade liability for crashes if the vehicle hasn't been maintained according to manufacturer specifications.

The new rules released this week delete a provision suggested by General Motors. California Department of Motor Vehicles spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said the change came after a review of comments on the plan.

John Simpson of the nonprofit advocacy group Consumer Watchdog called the change a "major victory for consumers."

The rules could have absolved car makers of accident responsibility if a car owner hadn't cleaned his sensors appropriately, said Simpson, the group's privacy and technology director.

GM spokeswoman Laura Toole said the automaker appreciated the department's transparency and added that the company is "pleased be part of the process."

The department is taking comments on the latest changes until Dec. 15. The final regulations are expected to be enacted early next year.


Explore further

California moves toward public access for self-driving cars

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: California regulators nix rules limiting carmaker liability (2017, December 2) retrieved 20 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-12-california-nix-limiting-carmaker-liability.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
11 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Dec 02, 2017
Oh this is just classic; please, please Brair Fox, don't throw me in that briar patch!

What this of course reduces to is that owners will be required to either take these vehicles in for service by the manufacturer's agent (dealer) or by a certified repair shop. It was bad enough when Mercedes started building cars the owner couldn't change the oil on, now they've got it down to not allowing owners to wipe off the sensors on self driving cars.

By the time they're really put out in the field, there won't be any practical reason to own one.

Dec 02, 2017
You have it backwards. This means that the manufacturers _can_ be held liable even if the consumer does their own maintenance.

Thank god for California.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more