LOS ANGELES -- On-off buttons for noise-making devices in electric and hybrid vehicles may be banned under rules federal regulators are developing.
Under a law President Obama signed Jan. 4, EVs and hybrids must have sound-emitting devices in a few years. The law requiring automakers to install such devices addresses concerns about dangers posed to pedestrians unable to hear the vehicles, which are nearly silent at low speeds.
Hyundai opted to remove an on-off switch for the Sonata Hybrid's Virtual Engine Sound System after learning that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was considering banning on-off buttons for the devices.
"We were hearing that at some point NHTSA would not allow [the noise devices] to be turned off," said Jim Trainor, a Hyundai spokesman. "We said, 'Why put this thing out there now and have to redo it in a few months?'"