Data recorder bill goes to North Dakota governor

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North Dakota’s Legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill that would give new vehicle owners control over information gathered by an event data recorder.

If that bill becomes law, the manufacturer must disclose the existence of a data recorder in the owner’s manual of every recorder-equipped vehicle sold or leased in the state by 2007. Moreover, data recorded on any North Dakota motor vehicle may not be retrieved by anyone other than the vehicle owner.

The bill allows some exceptions. For example, data can be retrieved by a vehicle dealer or technician in order to diagnose or repair it.

If Gov. John Hoeven signs the measure, it will become effective on all North Dakota vehicles manufactured after July 31.

In 2004, California became the first state to require manufacturers to disclose to customers whether vehicles have data recorders installed, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. That law also requires the owner’s permission or a court order to retrieve that data.