Highway Bill Would Bolster NHTSA Funding, Authority

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind
NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind

The Obama administration’s $478-billion six-year transportation bill calls for tripling funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s defects investigation office, in hopes of more quickly identifying life-threatening auto defects that warrant a safety recall.

The federal agency, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, drew sharp criticism last year for its slow response to complaints about defects tied to Takata air bag inflators and General Motors’ ignition switches. Agency leaders, in turn, cited shortages in funding and staffing.

Dubbed the Grow America Act, the proposed legislation seeks to bolster NHTSA’s authority. The agency would have the power to stop the sale of vehicles that posed an imminent risk of injury or death. NHTSA could make that determination independently, without input from the involved automaker. A pilot program would be established to improve safety recall notification and response rates, by checking for open recalls when a vehicle is registered with a state DMV.

The bill also would raise the maximum penalty that NHTSA could impose on a company that violates a federal safety regulation – from $35 million to $300 million.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sent the legislation to Congress March 30. The bill would invest $317 billion in roads and bridges and $115 billion in such public transportation options as buses and light rail trains.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

 
 

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

Safety Tech: Crash Avoidance or Sensory Overload?

As advanced safety technologies become even more pervasive on mainstream vehicles, are we creating “stupid drivers?"

Own the Fleet, Own the Future

In the dialogue surrounding new transportation paradigms, fleets have been off the public radar until recently. Here’s what’s going on, and a way for you to participate in the conversation.

Car Rental Rates Up, Fleet Sales Down — Correlation?

Car rental companies’ recent fleet discipline is needed now more than ever.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.

>