NHTSA wants standard push-button start

December 12, 2011 12:00 AM

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a new rule that would make all manufacturers' push-button start systems work the same way, reports Bloomberg.

All major automakers now offer push-button start as a feature or option, but they don't all work exactly the same. Some engines might come to life or turn off as soon as the button is pressed, while others may require the button to be held down.

This can create issues for drivers using unfamiliar vehicles. In at least one case, the NHTSA reports, the driver could not turn off the system via push-button start because he was in a borrowed vehicle, causing a fatal accident. If all the systems worked in the same way, it would cut down on driver confusion.

"These are the kinds of things you never think to read up on when you're in a new vehicle or a rental vehicle," Henry Jasny, vice president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, told the news source. "It's better that it's standardized."

While the NHTSA regulates safety across the country, the group can only do so much. Drivers must also ensure that their vehicle is as safe as possible by keeping up with their auto maintenance. It might seem small, but ignoring brake service or oil changes could lead to potentially hazardous consequences.

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