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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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Motor Vehicle Safety Bill Introduced; Will It Help?

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The ripples from the GM ignition switch recall continue to be felt.  As recalls from all manufacturers pile up in the wake of a scathing report slamming the automaker, lawmakers are trying to find ways to keep the public more informed – and car companies more accountable.  In response to several shortcomings that led to GM’s recall disaster and at least 19 fatal accidents, House Democrats last week introduced the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act.

More Transparency

One of the key aspects of the bill would make technical service bulletins (TSBs) more readily available to the public.  Ordinarily, TSBs are reviewed only by vehicle service personnel, and typically only when a safety issue recurs several times.  Under the proposed law, automakers would be required to keep information about recalls for 20 years and could face substantially stiffer financial penalties for non-compliance.

NHTSA Partly to Blame?

While GM and other car makers are taking plenty of heat, the NHTSA is also starting to face some pointed criticism.  The federal agency tasked with monitoring vehicle safety is under intense scrutiny for failing to connect the dots and act quickly to protect consumers.  The added attention comes after the NHTSA finally, after years of delays, implemented a rule requiring back up cameras for most vehicles.