The symbol on the left in the image below is ubiquitous, yet so cryptic. What does it mean?
Is it just a warning that the car is at risk of toppling over?
I tried paging through the owner's manual but couldn't find this symbol.
I am completely sure that it is a rollover warning label.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will direct auto makers to post a graphic new label--showing a lurching SUV with two wheels high in the air--on the front of the sun visor or the driver's side window of new models.
The agency said that its action is a first step in a larger effort directed at SUVs, which have boomed in popularity in recent years, appealing to Americans from suburban mothers to young city dwellers. ...
A lot of it coincides with the time that SUVs were relatively new, and thus seems to be related to a lot of initial fears of a new design or perhaps poorer early designs.
I am finding it difficult to find a concise history of this warning and have written an email to the NHTSA. I will expand on this once I receive a response, which will likely be after the holiday season. Here is what I do know:
Previously the NHTSA required a textual warning label for high-risk vehicles. According to the WSJ, they concluded that many drivers were ignoring it, and proposed a few candidates for new labels, one ultimately becoming the graphic in question.
There is a March 1999 press release from the NHTSA that deals with this. However, that is a cached copy, as the NHTSA seems to have recently redesigned their web site (the cache is dated last month) and I can not find a copy of the release now.
I do know that 3 graphics were proposed, but have not yet found the proposals.
I do not know what criteria must be met for this warning to have to be displayed. However, it appears that in 2004 the NHTSA also began putting a similar warning on 15-passenger vans, as part of a larger ongoing anti-rollover campaign.
There appears to have been some controversy. I will expand on that more later if I can.
This seems to be an unexpectedly interesting and in-depth topic. I will also see if I can't dig up some info for other parts of the world.
Here is a copy of the email sent, fingers crossed:
I am doing some research on the history of the roll-over safety graphic found on SUV sun visors: [image: Inline image 1] I've been having a hard time finding concrete info on the internet, and so I have a few specific questions: - It is my understanding that prior to this graphic, there was a more textual warning label. What was the text of that label and when was that initially standardized? - It is my understanding that around March of 1999, the NHTSA concluded that owners were ignoring the text and switched to the above graphic, and that 3 possible graphics were proposed. What were the 3 proposed graphics and why was the current one selected? - What was the timeline for deciding a new graphic was needed -> proposing new graphics -> finalizing the proposal -> beginning enforcement of mandatory labels? Did this all happen in early 1999? - What is the criteria that determines whether a vehicle must have this warning? Is it a blanket warning for the entire SUV class, or are there center-of-gravity/track requirements? - It is my understanding that as of 2004 these warnings also started appearing on 15-passenger vans. Are there other vehicle types that also must display these warnings? Thank you very much for your time. I hope this finds you well, and happy holidays. Jason
I'm pretty sure this symbol is suggesting there is a roll over hazard with the vehicle. The sticker you have shown seems to be the one on the back of the visor. It has to be one of the most useless stickers ever seen, due to the fact it spends 99% of it's adult life hidden next to the roof of the vehicle. The center image would suggest not to go around corners too fast. The last image is to suggest you need to ensure you seat belt is buckled in all situations.