WASHINGTON (Sept. 12, 2016) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a proposed rule requiring product safety recall notifications by electronic means in addition to first-class mail.
Also, NHTSA would require manufacturers to send additional defect notifications if a second notification does not elicit an adequate response, according to the document published in the Sept. 1 Federal Register.
NHTSA said it issued the proposal as mandated by both the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, according to the rule's executive summary.
Electronic mail, text messages, radio and television notifications, vehicle infotainment console messages, over-the-air alerts, social media, targeted online campaigns, telephone calls (including automated calls) and “other real-time means” are all acceptable means of transmitting recall information, the proposed rule said.
In an advance notice issued Jan. 25, 2016, NHTSA invited comments from interested parties on how best to implement the enhanced recall edicts in MAP-21 and the FAST Act.
According to the proposed rule, 16 companies and associations replied, including the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the Tire Industry Association, General Motors Co., the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Advocates for Highway Safety.
“Many of the comments address general owner knowledge and behavior and proposed potential changes to the specific information provided to owners and the layout of the notifications,” NHTSA said.
“Many also proposed that NHTSA should conduct studies on these matters.
“Although the comments were insightful, NHTSA is not proposing additional or changed requirements as to the specific content and layout of notifications at this time,” the agency said. “This (proposed rule) is limited to updating the means of notification by requiring electronic notification.”
NHTSA is requesting comments on the proposal until Oct. 31. The document can be found at the Government Publishing Office's web site, pages 105-111.