WASHINGTON (May 5, 2000)—Tire manufacturers are mulling their response to legislation proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that would tighten tire recall and other motor vehicle safety requirements.
Among other things, the NHTSA bill would extend tire makers´ obligation to recall defective products to five years after the date of manufacture from the current three.
One section of the bill would require all auto, tire and parts manufacturers to test their products or perform engineering analyses before they could certify them as meeting NHTSA standards. Currently, all makers may certify compliance without testing, the agency noted. NHTSA would require manufacturers to maintain records on all tests and analyses.
Another section would raise maximum penalties for violating federal motor vehicle safety standards to $5,000 for each violation, up to a ceiling of $4 million for a series of related violations. The current limit is $1,000 per violation and $800,000 tops for a series of violations.
"Interest has been expressed" in the legislation on Capitol Hill, but no one has yet agreed to sponsor the bill, a NHTSA spokesman said.