WASHINGTON (July 22, 2008) — The plain language of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act counters the Rubber Manufacturers Association's position that all early warning data should be kept confidential, the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled.
The RMA appealed a 2006 federal district court ruling which denied the association's argument that all data submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the TREAD Act is confidential under Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Consumer group Public Citizen, which has long advocated the public release of all TREAD Act information, argued against the RMA position.
In ruling against the RMA, the appeals court said that Exemption 3 confidentiality simply does not appear in the language of the TREAD Act. “Although RMA's arguments are well and vigorously presented, only Congress has the authority to provide the relief it seeks,” the decision stated.
“This is an unfortunate decision because it may lead to the release of inaccurate and misleading information about tires and automotive equipment,” an RMA spokesman said. The association will study the decision thoroughly to determine its next course of action, he said.
Public Citizen officials could not be reached for comment.