WASHINGTON—Leading Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have introduced the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act, a bill that would increase penalties on auto, tire and auto parts makers that fail to recall defective products or notify the government of safety problems.
“Recent recalls demonstrate that more needs to be done to keep our roads safe,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., ranking Democrat on the committee, upon introducing the bill Feb. 27. “This bill take a first step by getting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the information, resources and authorities needed to protect consumers from vehicle safety defects.”
Among other things, the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act would increase individual penalties for failure to comply with NHTSA safety standards; removes statutory maximum penalties on violations of NHTSA standards; and increases the amount and accessibility of the information manufacturers must share with NHTSA and the public.
The new bill is similar, if not identical, to the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act introduced in September 2014 by then-Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who has since retired from Congress. The text of the new bill was unavailable on THOMAS, the congressional legislative search engine, as of March 4.