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From Products Liability Law Daily, April 3, 2014

New House bill would increase accountability for automakers and NHTSA

By Joe Bichl

House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation that would increase transparency and accountability for auto manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), following the committee’s hearing with General Motors CEO Mary Barra on the recent GM recall of 1.6 million vehicles. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2014 (H.R. 4364) would also increase NHTSA funding and raise the amount of maximum civil penalties for violations of federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Legislation’s provisions. Among other things, the measure would require:

  • manufacturers to include additional information on fatal incidents in their quarterly submissions to NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting system;

  • NHTSA to provide public notice of all inspection and investigation activities by the agency;

  • NHTSA to provide public notice of all inspection and investigation activities by the agency;

  • allow individuals to appeal the denial of a petition by filing an action in the appropriate court of appeals; and

  • increase the civil penalties NHTSA can seek per violation and sets maximum civil penalties of $200,000,000.

“In the course of our Committee’s investigation on the GM recall, we have found that GM knew about these problems for over a decade yet did nothing,” said Rep. Waxman in a committee press release. “I hope the Committee takes up this bill quickly. On behalf of the victims and families who were hurt by this tragedy, we must improve the law to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring again.”

The bill was introduced on April 1, 2014, and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

MainStory: TopStory LawsPendingLegNews MotorVehiclesNews ProductRecallsNews NHTSANewsStory

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