The Bush administration has suggested it might require vehicle makers to install antilock brakes (ABS) on all vehicles, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said, adding that this is the latest safety rule to be reviewed after the spate of accidents related to Firestone tyres two years ago.

Industry representatives told the WSJ that requiring antilock brakes alone could cost car makers more than $600 million; in the US at present ABS is standard on many luxury and midprice models but costs consumers $300 to $600 as an option on lesser vehicles.

But, the WSJ said, the White House’s top regulatory official has said such a move could significantly reduce fatal crashes.

According to the WSJ, John Graham, head of the Office of Management and Budget office of information and regulatory affairs, said in written testimony presented to a House subcommittee yesterday that requiring antilock brakes “is worthy of consideration.”

Graham cited insurance industry research that indicates antilock brakes can reduce fatal crashes by as much as nine percent over several years, the WSJ added.