Dangers Posed by Power Window Switches in Cars
CU Urges Congress and NHTSA to require safer switches
WHY: Last year four children were strangled by power windows in cars that did not have lever-type switches or auto-reverse sensors to stop them from closing when they hit an obstacle such as an arm or neck, according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit safety organization. The culprits include switches that raise the window when they are depressed—often by a child’s knee or foot.
Those switches are found primarily in cars from Daimler Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. Most imports to the U.S. and a few U.S. models have the safer, lever-type switch, which must be pulled up to raise the window. Those switches, together with auto-reverse sensors (already available in some cars) would prevent deaths and injuries.
Consumers Union is urging Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require the safer power-window switches in all vehicles.
WHAT: Consumers Union experts can discuss:
— Why lever-type switches are safer than horizontal rocker and toggle switch designs.
— Why CU believes that all vehicles should be equipped with safer switches.
— What consumers can do to help prevent an accident involving a power window switch.
WHO: R. DAVID PITTLE, Senior Vice-President, Technical Policy
SALLY GREENBERG, Senior Product Safety Counsel
DAVID CHAMPION, Director of Automotive Testing
HOW: For more information, or to set up interviews, contact:
Douglas Love, 914-378-2437.
TO LEARN MORE: Visit Consumer Reports’ web site for a report that looks at the safety of power window switches: www.ConsumerReports.org/powerwindowswitches