WASHINGTON (April 30, 2010) — The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection of the Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing May 6 on the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010.
The bill, which is still in draft, is designed to strengthen the authority of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in light of the multi-million-vehicle recalls of Toyota and Lexus products.
Among other things, the draft legislation would increase the civil penalties NHTSA can seek against auto, tire and auto parts makers that are deemed to violate safety defect reporting rules. It also would give the agency the authority to order immediate safety recalls without full investigations if it finds “an imminent hazard of death or serious injury.”
The bill would require:
- That more “early warning” data submitted to NHTSA by manufacturers be made public;
- That the NHTSA website be made more accessible to the public;
- That a senior executive of every manufacturer certify the accuracy of information submitted to NHTSA; and
- That citizens can challenge in court any defect petitions they've filed that have been rejected by NHTSA.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association and its members are reviewing the draft, an RMA spokesman told Tire Business.