In response to recent recalls and vehicle safety concerns, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, introduced S. 2559, a bill to expand the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) authority to recall unsafe vehicles and increase funding for automobile safety.
This bill would require greater transparency from NHTSA by mandating that all customer satisfaction campaigns, customer advisories, recalls, consumer complaints, warranty claims, field reports, technical service bulletins and other activity involving the repair or replacement of automotive vehicles or automotive vehicle equipment be made available to the general public.
It would also require NHTSA to make several regular reports to Congress, including a report on the results of a study of the use of early warning data. The study would evaluate the number of safety defect investigations opened by NHTSA, the duration of each safety defect investigation, and the percentage of the safety defect investigations that result in a safety defect or recall.
Another report would require the secretary of transportation to prepare a report regarding the operations of the Council for Vehicle Electronics, Vehicle Software and Emerging Technologies.
S. 2559 would also increase funding for NHTSA’s vehicle safety programs. The additional funding would stem from a manufacture’s fee of $3 per vehicle beginning in 2015, rising to $6 a year later and then $9 in 2017. The fee would be based on automakers’ U.S. sales. Rockefeller’s bill is currently before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation where it awaits further consideration.
The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry. Please join ASA July 30-Aug. 2 in Detroit for this year’s International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) and Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS). For more information visit www.NACEexpo.com and www.CARSevent.com.
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