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Almost Half of American Vehicles Aren't Covered Under Existing Safety Regulations

 Hundreds of crashes involving defective cars are going unreported each year because under U.S. safety rules automakers aren’t required to report suspicious accidents for models more than 10 years old.

That’s worrisome, safety advocates say, because the average age of cars on U.S. roads is 11.4 years, and almost half of vehicles aren’t covered under existing regulations. As a result, many incidents don’t make it into a government early-warning database designed to catch patterns of defects that regulators can use to determine if a recall is necessary. In effect, the rules haven’t kept pace with the reality on the nation’s roads.