WASHINGTON (Aug. 15, 2006) — The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) is considering appealing a decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that rejected the RMA's argument that all “early warning” data submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are by statute confidential.
Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act does not forbid the public release of early warning data submitted under the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. court ruled, despite the RMA's contention that it does.
Public Citizen, which argued for the release of all early warning data, lauded Leon's decision.
“The point of the law was to ensure that the government and public receive the information they need to respond to serious safety problems involving vehicles and tires,” said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook in a press release. “Only if that information is available can we be sure that the government is doing all it can.”