A BMW bid to bring back seat belt interlocks may help Chrysler to cut their own costs and weight. The seat belt interlock was launched in 1974, alongside mandatory modern-style shoulder belts. The interlock prevented drivers from starting their cars until they had put on their shoulder belts — and gotten the front passenger to do the same. The interlock rule was prompted by an all-time peak of 54,589 motor-vehicle deaths in 1972, but it was only effective during model-year 1974. Today, the United States is the only country to require automakers to build in safety mechanisms specifically for unbelted drivers, adding cost as airbags, controls, and various safety mechanisms are specially designed for this group. BMW has proposed using seat belt interlocks, as an alternative to redesigning cars for the unbelted-driver standards; if granted, this rule change would apply to Chrysler and other automakers as well. For more information,..
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