WASHINGTON (April 22, 2004) — Some information submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as part of the new defect warning system will be available to the public, the agency said, rebuking industry attempts to keep all of the data confidential.
A NHTSA spokesman told Tire Business the agency expects to make public information about deaths, injuries and property damage. But it will keep warranty claims and consumer complaints confidential on the theory that companies would be hesitant to fix problems if the information was posted.
“That would be a bad outcome if the government regulations caused something worse for the customer,” the NHTSA spokesman said.
The information will be posted on NHTSA's Web site, and its release is ongoing. NHTSA said 334 companies—including 31 tire makers—so far have reported data to the system.
Last month Washington-based Public Citizen, a consumer protection group, sued the agency in order to get public access to all available safety information. A group spokeswoman told Tire Business its lawsuit was ongoing to have all data—including customer complaints—available.