Car manufacturers in the US are lobbying the government to substantially change a proposal to increase the strength of car roofs, to make the rules more forgiving. Most of the manufacturers including the Big Three are facing nearly $100 million in higher annual costs for vehicle redesign over the previous 2005 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruling and this latest change will blow-out the development costs of vehicles substantially.

The current standard has been around for almost 30 years, and the new regulations would include for the first time bigger SUVs and pickups in its criteria. Rollover crashes from such vehicles as well as passenger cars account for roughly 10,000 fatalities annually, which is equivalent to a quarter of all fatal road accidents in the US. Regulators want the standard to maintain sufficient headroom for an average sized adult male and improve roof strength by more than 50 percent to the current minimums.