WASHINGTON (May 3, 2010)—The House Subcommitteee 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 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 who are deemed to violate safety defect reporting rules. It also would give NHTSA 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 whose defect petitions NHTSA rejected can challenge that rejection in court.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association and its members are reviewing the draft, an RMA spokesman said.