Automotive Safety & Rising Number of Recalls
This month, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Jay Rockefeller, introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate that would expand NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) authority to increase funding for automotive safety and recall unsafe vehicles. The bill was prompted by general vehicle safety concerns and recent recalls (such as General Motors’ recall on July 23 of over 800,000 cars and trucks.)
Increased NHTSA Transparency
Under the bill, the public would have improved access to NHTSA data and findings, such as:
- customer satisfaction campaigns
- customer advisories
- consumer complaints
- warranty claims
- field reports
- technical service bulletins
- any other activity involving the repair or replacement of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment
The goal of increased NHTSA transparency is to help people become more aware of vehicle safety concerns, and in turn, to give automotive manufacturers greater incentive to build safe vehicles.
Early Warning Data
The bill also requires NHTSA to provide Congress with a report on the use of early warning data, which would evaluate the number of safety defect investigations opened by NHTSA based on early warning reports. The report would also look at the duration of each safety defect investigation and the percentage of the safety defect investigations that result in a safety defect or recall.
Increased Funding for Auto Safety
NHTSA would also receive additional funding for its vehicle safety programs under the bill. The funds would come from a manufacturer’s fee (based on automakers’ U.S. sales) of $3 per vehicle starting in 2015, increasing to $6 in 2016, and then $9 in 2017.
Learn more about the bill from this ASA blog. Aardvark Automotive is a proud member of the Automotive Service Association, the largest non-for-profit trade association dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals.