WASHINGTON (Sept. 28, 2004) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has placed an indefinite hold on its plan to provide consumer access to “early warning” auto and tire data, waiting for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to rule on opposing petitions from Public Citizen and the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
Public Citizen wants all the information filed under NHTSA's early warning rule to be released; the RMA seeks to make all early warning data confidential.
“We've got lawsuits coming at us from both sides,” a NHTSA spokesman said. “We've got Public Citizen claiming we're releasing too little and the (tire) manufacturers claiming we're releasing too much.”
The agency acknowledged the unavailability of the early warning data in its reply to a Freedom of Information request by the Detroit Free Press. An RMA spokesman, meanwhile, said it expected to have the agency's court-ordered reply to its court brief sometime this week. Public Citizen officials could not be reached immediately for comment.