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Flame Retardants in Cars: A Toxic Legacy in Need of EVolution



Vehicle fireproofing chemicals could harm our health and may not be needed in electric cars. According to Consumer Reports, old government rules on how easily car interiors can catch fire were established before electric vehicles became popular and now present an avoidable risk to our well-being.

Following a report by Duke University's Green Science Policy Institute revealing the presence of dangerous flame retardant chemicals in the atmosphere within vehicle cabins, Consumer Reports is urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to update the existing 1971 regulations with modern standards that eliminate the necessity for these hazardous substances.

Research revealed that virtually all cars had a flame-retardant substance that is currently being reviewed by the U.S. National Toxicology Program for its possible cancer-causing effects. The majority of vehicles also had other toxic flame-resistant compounds, among them two recognized as carcinogens by California's Proposition 65.

2025 Model of the Toyota

Consumer Reports highlighted a study from the Healthy Stuff lab at the Ecology Center in 2022, which revealed the presence of potentially dangerous chemicals in car seats, especially in less expensive cars.

Considering this, Consumer Reports is advocating for a revision of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 302 that deals with the flammability of interior materials in vehicles. They are proposing the consideration of a test similar to the one California implemented in 2013, which assesses smolder resistance. Consumer Reports believes this method is just as effective and has the added benefit of achieving compliance without the necessity for flame retardant chemicals.

William Wallace, CR's associate director for safety policy, expressed to Green Car Reports the necessity for NHTSA and car manufacturers to collaborate on methods to safeguard customers and emergency personnel against car fires, irrespective of the type of propulsion system. He also conveyed anticipation for the opportunity to provide input on NHTSA's upcoming regulations, which aim to introduce additional mandates and testing methods to ensure the safety of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Wallace is optimistic that these regulations will not only ensure public safety but also encourage advancements in safety measures within the industry.

2025 Model of the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLE 53 Convertible

Should the federal authorities reevaluate the situation, the issues pertaining to electric vehicles (EVs) may vary. Electric vehicles experience fires at a much lower rate, and these incidents usually happen during charging, indicating that the car is often stationary and unoccupied. Implementing straightforward solutions such as a layer to prevent electrical shorts could be highly effective in reducing the risk of fires in EVs, as opposed to the intricate challenge of controlling combustible fuel in traditional gas-powered vehicles.

Electric vehicles do come with their own set of safety concerns. For instance, first responders require special training to handle the high-voltage components, and according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the heavy weight of these vehicles also poses a risk.



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The Hyundai Ioniq 6 emerges as a formidable competitor to the Tesla Model 3. California demonstrates ways to reduce the costs of residential EV charging. Additionally, there's a question of whether the design of EV and car interiors is potentially harmful to our health. We cover these stories and more here at Green Car Reports. Our additional review of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 revealed that this electric vehicle delivers on distance and affordability, outperforming the Tesla Model 3 in terms of both actual and rated range. However, the Ioniq 6 falls short in some areas. Nationwide residential electricity prices have spiked…

The Ioniq 6 electric four-door car is noteworthy for its exceptional range and comes with a wallet-friendly price tag.

California is contemplating implementing a set fee on power statements from major electric companies as a trade-off for decreasing the expenses associated with charging electric vehicles.">Kia has given the green light for the EV3 to be manufactured. Meanwhile, Rivian is overhauling its Illinois facility to gear up for R2 manufacturing. Electric vehicles are significantly impacting the demand for gasoline. Also, we're asking, what's the minimum size for an electric vehicle to be considered substantial? All these stories and more are available on Green Car Reports. Rivian is realigning its Normal plant's manufacturing capabilities…

Rivian's sole manufacturing facility is currently undergoing modifications to enable it to produce as many as 215,000 vehicles each year.

While electric vehicles might see only slight increases in sales this year, the growing total of electric vehicles in use is believed to be sufficient to affect the demand for gasoline. However, this doesn't necessarily translate to a decrease in gas prices over time.

The compact community electric car is set to launch in the U.S. later this year, featuring a speed cap of 25 miles per hour and an upgraded battery pack.

It's possible that this small electric vehicle will be released in the United States, although it's not yet certain. If it does, it could compete with the likes of the Volvo EX30 and Mini Countryman

BMW is establishing an electric vehicle battery facility in Mexico. Ram is looking to increase its investment in hydrogen fuel-cell technology. Meanwhile, EV charging infrastructure seems to be a lower priority for rural administrations. Stay tuned for more updates at Green Car Reports. BMW has commenced construction on a new battery factory in Mexico which will supply additional…

There seems to be a disparity between urban and rural perspectives regarding electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In Michigan, about 30% of municipal leaders find planning for EV charging stations highly pertinent, in contrast to a mere 10% of township authorities who

Stellantis has announced its intention to commence production of a hydrogen fuel-cell variant of the Ram 5500 heavy-duty truck in Mexico, targeting consumers in North America.

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