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Safe at any speed

3 years ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


11 December 2021

In previous Ti articles we have paid homage to Ralph Nader (Unsafe at any speed), and we’ve also mentioned the legal principle of ‘reasonably foreseeable’ use (Used and abused), to highlight the tricky judgements that engineers sometimes have to make when deciding what is ‘reasonable’ customer behaviour.

Now, I know you don’t tune in to Ti to hear folks bang on about boring legal stuff. Nor am I qualified to do so, even were you to beg for chapter and verse on the Consumer Protection Act 1987 – as amended by EU Directive 85/374/EEC, natürlich. I’m an engineer, after all, not a lawyer. But I think there may be some passing interest in two other legal principles of which automotive engineers must be aware. Bear with me then, on the thorny topics of ‘best available/alternative technology’ (sometimes shortened to BAT) and ‘state of the art’.

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