The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted Honda Motor Company, Ltd. a limited extension of the application of the Commission’s accessibility rules for devices used to view video programming.
The FCC’s accessibility rules for video programming devices were adopted by the Commission in October, 2013, and require manufacturers to ensure that user interfaces and video programming guides and menus are accessible to those who are blind or visually impaired. These accessibility rules are applicable to all covered devices manufactured after December 20, 2016.
Honda filed a petition with the FCC in late December, requesting a temporary extension in the implementation of these requirements as it relates to rear entertainment systems installed in several Honda model vehicles. In its petition, the company claimed that “it was not aware of the impact of the Commission’s accessibility requirements on automobile manufacturers” until shortly before the compliance deadline, and that its existing equipment did not provide the required accessibility.
In its petition, Honda asserted that it would be unable to integrate compliant technology into vehicles already slated for production without suspending both production and sales, a result the company said would be “detrimental” to the public. Further, the company noted that it has in place a detailed plan to achieve compliance with the accessibility requirements within the requested extension timeframe.
Following a period of public comment on Honda’s request, the Commission granted a 20 month extension to the application of its accessibility requirements to specific Honda vehicle models. As a condition of the extension, the company has agreed to submit to the Commission periodic reports on its progress in achieving compliance. Additional specifics of the extension are detailed in an FCC Memorandum Opinion and Order issued on March 17.