Regularly check video recorded by dashboard camera. It may fail to record due to SD card abnormality.
A dashboard camera is mounted on a vehicle's front windscreen to record the view while driving. There are many cases where video evidence recorded by a dashboard camera helps resolve disputes arising from a traffic accident or trouble.
PIO-NET1 has received 444 inquiries about dashboard cameras since FY2013, 88 of which are about recording (e.g. "No video was recorded"). The number of such inquiries has been on the increase year by year.
NCAC received some requests for testing dashboard cameras from consumers complaining that no video was recorded due to SD card abnormality.
Therefore, NCAC examined some dashboard cameras mainly for checking detection of SD card abnormality, and decided to issue an alert to consumers based on the test results.
- A dashboard camera is usually mounted on or near the windshield to automatically record the view outside from engine start to engine stop. In general, when an SD card becomes full, it overwrites the oldest file.
- The mounting position is specified by the road trucking vehicle safety standard2.
- 1 PIO-NET is a database that collects information on inquiries concerning consumer affairs by linking NCAC with local consumer affairs centers and similar organizations across Japan via an online network.
- 2 It is a technical standard on vehicle structure and devices to ensure safety and environmental protection under the Road Transport Vehicle Act.
Results of questionnaire survey among users
- About 90% of respondents mounted a dashboard camera to get video evidence in the event of a traffic accident or trouble.
- Of those who have checked a video, some users have noticed that a video was not recorded normally.
- About 60% of respondents did not know the necessity of formatting3 or replacing SD cards.
- About 60% of respondents did not format or replace SD cards.
- More than 10% of respondents may have used SD cards not meeting the specification.
- 3 Formatting is the process of preparing the partition to store data in a recording medium such as a memory card, i.e., initializing.
Operation when using an abnormal SD card
- * The test results show some examples under certain conditions and are not necessarily applicable to all the SD cards.
- When using an SD card with damaged terminals, abnormality was detected by all the brands tested. There were two different ways of warning depending on brands: "audio and visual warning" and "visual only warning".
- When using an SD card not meeting the specification, detector sensitivity varied depending on brands.
- When using an SD card with a very limited write area, some brands capable of continuous recording did not record normally.
- When using an SD card unable to read and write, three brands failed to record the view although they did not indicate the abnormal status.
Survey of labeling and representation
- Nine out of 12 brands indicated the necessity of formatting an SD card. Eleven out of 12 brands indicated the necessity of replacing an SD card with new one.
- Only 2 out of 12 brands indicated that the product was for recording video evidence in the event of a traffic accident.
Advice for consumers
- Regularly check a video recorded by a dashboard camera.
- Regularly format an SD card. It is a consumable, so regularly replace it with new one.
- There are some products claimed to be unnecessary to format an SD card regularly or to be of high durability. Choose suitable products depending on your use and purpose.
Request to Japan Drive-Recorder Consortium and related manufacturers
- NCAC requests businesses to develop improved products so that users can easily recognize SD card abnormality.
- NCAC requests businesses to further raise consumer awareness with regard to regular video check, regular maintenance of SD cards, the intended purpose of dashboard cameras, etc.