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When were Emergency flashers mandated?


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Does anyone (Dave@Moon?) know exactly when the Feds required the automobile manufacturers to include emergency flashers as standard equipment?

The only information I've been able to find gives a February 1966 date to the mandate, but I can't figure out if that was an immediate order or if the government gave the manufacturers some time to implement the order.

Thanks.

MC forever.

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My 1966 Mustang has them and they were standard from the factory. The switch is located in the glove box.

I believe that Ford used the glove box location in 1966, and then moved them to the steering column in 1967.

I also believe that GM made them standard in 1967, and that they were mounted on the steering column also.

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My 1966 VW has them from the factory (last of the 6 volt systems too)

Paul, last of the 6V in U.S. cars is 66. In Europe the first 12V for beetle was 66 in 1301 model and they got disc brakes too, however the standard (TYPE 111 and the deluxe 113 was still 6V through the 67 model year. All beetles in Europe got 12 V in 68 as well as seal beam headlamp and front fender change so they could fit. So I guess you could say they were the first with 12V and last with 6V

Don

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1966 is correct, I believe all (?) 1966 model vehicles had them

Negative, they became standard equipment on American cars for the 1967 model year. (We had a '66 Chevy and it did not have them.)

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The deluxe 1966 VW 113 (Export Model that was sent to the USA) had the Emergency Flasher. All the Export Models in 67 where 12 Volts and had Flashers, door lock buttons, and uncovered sealed beam headlights and backup lights.

I was stationed there 1965-1967 and have had 10 of them. The 67 is by far the best bug ever built. (My opinion that's shared by most early VW guys)

I can't imagine that VW would have put Flashers in the 1966 if it wasn't required for entry int othe U.S. market.

I know my 65 Mustang didn't have them but I think the 66 did.

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I'm thinking 68, and that they were optional in 67. I know 67 was the year GM incorporated them onto the steering column; before that they mounted underdash and were made by FlareStat. It's interesting that every 1966 GM car I've seen has the FlareStat mounting holes pre-drilled into the lower dash panel, some to the left side, others to the right of the steering column, so if they weren't federally mandated, they were getting ready for it.

Quite by accident I discovered that a 1966 Cadillac FlareStat will plug and play on a 63-64 Oldsmobile, as well as 1965 Olds with tilt column. Those cars still had the pyramid shaped turn signal switch plugs.

I had already bought a real FlareStat kit, so the Caddy parts saved me hacking my wiring. It also saved me paying the outrageous money FlareStats for the crescent plug equipped cars command. I get tired of fighting the musclecar guys for options that fit the whole lineup, and watching them jack the price up out of reason.

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I'm thinking 68, and that they were optional in 67. I know 67 was the year GM incorporated them onto the steering column; before that they mounted underdash and were made by FlareStat. It's interesting that every 1966 GM car I've seen has the FlareStat mounting holes pre-drilled into the lower dash panel, some to the left side, others to the right of the steering column, so if they weren't federally mandated, they were getting ready for it.

QUOTE] It's also interesting that while helping a friend restore his 66 Pontiac GTO the nut was welded into the roof for the shoulder harness bolt even though that didn't come until 67.

Don

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I did a little research, and it seems that until Congress got all uppity over the public outcry over Ralph Nader's book, "Unsafe at Any Speed" there were no Federal regulations involving automotive equipment. Standards for production had been established by the SAE (Society of Automobile Engineers) but that was it. There were NO Federal mandates.

In August, 1966, Congress passed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Act (15 U.S.C.A. § 1381) which established a new federal regulatory agency, the National Highway Safety Bureau, later renamed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA was given a mandate to establish and enforce rules that would force manufacturers to build vehicles that could better avoid and withstand accidents. President Johnson signed the act into law in September, 1966.

As a result of these new laws, nineteen federal safety regulations came into effect on January 1, 1968. The regulations specified accident avoidance standards governing such vehicle features as brakes, tires, windshields, lights, and transmission controls. They also mandated more costly crash-protection standards. These included occupant-protection requirements for seat belts, energy-absorbing steering wheels and bumpers, head restraints, padded instrument panels, and stronger side doors.

Law Encyclopedia

Because the manufacturers knew these requirements were in the works they instituted them hodge-podge, and most well before the January 1968 deadline. That's most likely why in 1966 and 1967 some cars had flashers and some didn't.

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Call your local State Inspection station,tell them you have a 1966 vechical that dosnt have any hazard warning lights and ask if it will pass LEGAL insp.

Here in PA there are no separate inspection only stations. I am willing to bet that the majority of inspection stations (for those States that have them) couldn't even tell you when daytime running lights came into play in the 90's, let alone 4-way flashers from the 60's. Most mechanics today can't even adjust a carburetor or check a vehicles timing.

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Seems like my '66 Mustang had a bracket in the glove compartment with a factory installed 4 way emergency flasher switch. My memory does get a little fuzzy at times, especially with things I don't give a D___m about.-Bob

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:D LOL Ron, I have to agree with you about the Todays mech. Thats why NY. at least requires recertafcation. We also have a manuial with all the correct ans.? ? to all the Techs. questions.:) I dont think anything is written in stone,im just repeating what my state instructors tought me. I quit turning wrenches about the time big brother told me I couldnt brake the plastic restrictor knobs of the carb. adj. screws and make the car run better anymore.:(
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all 1966 Fords had 4 way flashers, as stated earlier, the switch was in the glove box of the Mustangs

all 67 GM cars had them

I do not own a 66 GM car to confirm their use or not

1968 is the year side markers were mandated, different mandate

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I've had two un-restored pick-ups from Pennsylvania with factory turn-signals that also were equipped with Flare-Stat emergency flashers: an under-dash unit with a tranparent red pull-out knob that flashed with the four-ways. It used the regular turn-signal / stop lights.

These were on both my '64 Chevy C-10 short-step (absolutely stock), and my '61 Willys 6-266 4WD pick-up. Also on my '55 Chevy first-series model 4400 dump-truck. Don't know if this was special order, or a PennDOT requirement for trucks in the early 1960's...

I have NOT seen a pre-1966 Pennsylvania passenger car with the under-dash Flare-Stat, and that includes cars put-out to pasture and languishing in junk-yards.

I remember the Fords having the flasher switch inside the glove box, but can't remember what year; my Dad's '65 Falcon did NOT have four-ways.

De Soto Frank

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None of the several 1966 Olds Toronados I have owned OR my 1966 Pontiac Bonneville had them factory. It must have still been an option, even for these higher end vehicles.

I have added the FlareStat Emergency Flashers and yes, they do plug right into the factory wiring harness.

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  • 5 years later...
On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2010 at 0:28 PM, Oxnard Montalvo said:

Does anyone (Dave@Moon?) know exactly when the Feds required the automobile manufacturers to include emergency flashers as standard equipment?

The only information I've been able to find gives a February 1966 date to the mandate, but I can't figure out if that was an immediate order or if the government gave the manufacturers some time to implement the order.

Thanks.

MC forever.

In my 67 Skylark there were standard. They were an accessory in my 66 Skylark. Les

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On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2010 at 4:37 PM, Skyking said:

They were an option on my '66 Skylark. I think they were mandatory in 1968 along with side marker lights.

 

I remember reading about this was a federal requirement due for 1968 production. I think it was in the 1968 Chevrolet owners manual (I know I have one somewhere around here and I will try to find it)  Many of the manufacturers might have included these updates earlier, as to incorporate them into regular production knowing that the change was coming and it could already be incorporated into engineering for the upcoming model years. There was also a requirement that some items had to be offered as an option by certain years prior. Seat belts are an example I remember reading about that were offered as standard equipment (1964-1965) but could be deleted for a credit (I believe it was $15 on Chevrolets). I have come across a few dealer invoices where I had seen "Seat belt delete CREDIT" which raised this question a few years ago

 

Getting back to the four way's I agree with skyking it tied into the 1968 federal mandate, also shoulder restraints were part of that. 1968 was a huge year for highway safety.

Now only if they can deactivate the cell phone texting feature when the vehicle is in operation......... as a federal safety mandate

 

FYI: I don't know about 1958 and earlier, but in 1959 the fourway's were offered as a dealer installed option in 1959

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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Looks like SAE came out with the standards in 1966 (J910). Having trouble finding free copies of federal code to see when it was implemented, but I'd be shocked to see it before 1967. Several folks noted earlier versions had switches in various locations, while SAE designated locations, so if a '66 doesn't meant the standard established in '66 then we can assume it would have to be later by law.

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On 7/9/2010 at 11:37 PM, mrspeedyt said:

my '67 t-bird has 4ways (broken) by the turn signal switch (broken).... right by the (broken) shift lever....

......just above the non-working power window switches. :lol:

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I have owned a 66 Mustang, 66 Falcon and a 66 Ranchero, all had 4-way switch in glovebox. Always thought it was in a pretty inconvenient spot if you had a real emergency. Sounds like Ford was one of the leaders on this one.

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35 minutes ago, GregLaR said:

......just above the non-working power window switches. :lol:

Oh lord does that crack bring back memories of my Uncle Gene's 68 Landau Sedan...

 

Window would quit, he'd have the dealer repair it. Sometimes he'd get home before it quit working again. He bought that car 2 yrs old and always swore it had been struck by lightning, as many electrical issues as it had. But he had wanted a T-Bird since 1955, and when he finally no longer needed the practicality of a station wagon as a primary car, he bought that 68 and after three years swore off Thunderbirds, though he did like the 77 I had a lot.

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19 hours ago, Frantz said:

Looks like SAE came out with the standards in 1966 (J910). Having trouble finding free copies of federal code to see when it was implemented, but I'd be shocked to see it before 1967. Several folks noted earlier versions had switches in various locations, while SAE designated locations, so if a '66 doesn't meant the standard established in '66 then we can assume it would have to be later by law.

1966 would be the correct year when it was an option on all vehicles, and standard from 1967, on.    It was definitely an SAE-mandated thing, as many import cars had the actual number moulded, or etched right into the switch itself; usually on the side.

 

True some cars had it as optional before that, such as 1960 Imperials, but it was only commercial vehicles, which were mainly trucks that had them. 

 

Craig

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I always figured that mounting them on the column was because they needed to be near the turn signal switch.

I remember the Fords in the glove box too.

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