Hot Cars Act (2021): Proposed Requirements for New Vehicles

When parked outside in 70-degree weather, the interior of a car can reach 99 degrees in 20 minutes. When parked outside in 90-degree weather, the inside of the car can reach 119 degrees in the same amount of time. 

These astounding temperatures are only part of the reason why U.S. Congress members introduced H.R. 3164, also known as the Hot Cars Act of 2021. 

The other reason is far more tragic. Since 1990, nearly 1,000 children have died from heatstroke due to being locked in a hot car. Since April 2021, 10 children have died from heatstroke.

The Act was introduced by U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH-13th) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9th) in an effort to prevent more tragic deaths. The proposed federal legislation requires new vehicles to be equipped with existing, inexpensive technology that can detect the presence of an occupant inside when the engine is off and alert the driver or another party to return to the vehicle.

Similar proposals introduced in recent years have been ignored or partially supported, but proponents are pushing hard to have the Act passed in Congress.