Photo credit: Ken Lane licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

This report from the Cars Guide site in Australia states that 2020-2021 Chrysler 300 cars are being recalled because they are too loud. Like many countries, Australia has noise standards for vehicle noise.

Australia didn’t develop these guidelines on its own, but adopted the vehicle noise guidelines published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. UNECE guidelines for vehicle noise are based on vehicle weight and vehicle use, i.e., for passengers or for cargo.

There are three different vehicle classes or each type of vehicle, and three phases of noise limits, with the final most restrictive phase now scheduled for implementation in 2024.

As the UNECE noted:

With rapid urbanization and growth of vehicle’s fleet, more and more people are suffering from noise pollution. According to a recent study, 25 per cent of European citizens are exposed to average noise above the threshold established by WHO (55 dB) and road traffic is its main source. Thus, reduction of traffic noise is essential to improve the health and quality of life of people.

We don’t understand why similar guidelines for vehicle noise haven’t yet been adopted in the U.S.