By Ryan Beene, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (June 3, 2015) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will soon have some fresh faces in key recall positions as part of an agency reorganization intended to streamline its management structure.
According to sources here and job openings posted on the U.S Department of Transportation's (DOT) website, the agency is preparing the reorganization to follow the retirement or departure of three key officials who have overseen recalls at the agency:
- Kevin Vincent, NHTSA's chief counsel, has been transferred to the DOT's office of general counsel.
- Daniel Smith, senior associate administrator for vehicle safety, plans to retire in June.
- Nancy Lewis, associate administrator for enforcement, retired this spring.
Selecting their replacements gives NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind an opportunity to continue to put his stamp on the agency in a way that could outlast his tenure as administrator. The three departing officials have played major roles in recent high-profile enforcement cases, including the defective General Motors Co. ignition switch and defective Takata Corp. vehicle airbag recalls.
Mr. Vincent, for example, signed off on the subpoenas issued to 10 auto makers and Takata last fall, ordering them to provide documents and answer questions under oath about the defective airbags. Ms. Lewis led NHTSA's enforcement efforts while Mr. Smith was a key player in crafting the agency's