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Senators Propose Bill to Improve Auto Safety

Tina Robinson3 years ago

Two U.S. Senators proposed a bill on Tuesday aimed at improving auto safety and early detections of potentially dangerous defects.

Details of the Proposed Auto Safety Bill

According the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) proposed a senate bill designed to improve the Early Warning Reporting System. Lawmakers attempted to reform the system three years ago after a massive Toyota recall, but were unable to pass legislation.

The proposed legislation would require automakers to submit accident reports and other records associated with fatalities to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA would then make those records available to the public in an easily searchable manner.

2000 TREAD Act

The Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD Act) was passed in 2000 and sought to create an Early Warning Reporting System to flag for potential vehicle defects. Some have criticized the current system implemented by the NHTSA saying that it is difficult to search and doesn’t provide enough detailed information such as accident reports.

The hope is that an improved system could prevent delays in recalls like last month’s GM ignition switch recall.

In the Wake of the GM Recall

The new bill comes in the wake of a massive 1.6 million vehicle GM recall announced in February. Investigations into the recall have uncovered information that GM was aware of defective ignition switches as early as 2001, but did not warn consumers until recently. The faulty ignition switches have been linked to at least 12 deaths.

GM is facing a multitude of lawsuits and several federal investigations as a result of the recall. CEO Mary Barra is scheduled to testify before Congress on April 1 before the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee along with NHTSA acting administrator David Friedman. Meanwhile, repairs to the recalled vehicles are scheduled to begin in April.


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