Senator Rockefeller Proposes Legislation To Strengthen NHTSA

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
senator rockefeller proposes legislation to strengthen nhtsa

Outgoing chair of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia (pictured at right) has proposed legislation that would authorize increased funding and authority to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to deal with safety defects in vehicles.

Automotive News reports the bill, inspired by the February 2014 General Motors recall of 2.6 million vehicles over an out-of-spec ignition switch linked to 54 accidents and 13 fatalities thus far, would also ban sales of used vehicles under recall until the problem is fixed or the buyer is alerted to the issue. In addition, the public would gain access to early warning reports sent by automakers to the NHTSA, a proposition made earlier this year by Sens. Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Bluementhal of Connecticut.

As for the funding component, Rockefeller proposes automakers pay a user fee based on their sales in the United States. The fee would start at $3 per vehicle sold one year after the bill becomes law, increasing by an additional $3 per year through the third year, at which point the fee would adjust with inflation on an annual basis.

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  • Rpol35 Rpol35 on Jun 27, 2014

    This guy is one regulatory nanny who really needs to go away.

  • RangerM RangerM on Jun 27, 2014

    How would such additional funding have prevented the GM ignition switch incident in the first place?

    • See 21 previous
    • Pch101 Pch101 on Jun 30, 2014

      @Pch101 It's one thing for you to fail to understand basic concepts. It's quite another for you to be proud of your failure.

  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Jun 27, 2014

    NHTSA; a day late and a dollar short. The business environment surrounding these issues is quickly changing on it's own to accomodate what the public feels should be done as seen with the increasing intensity of voluntary recalls from all automakers, especially GM. This regulatory funding dog and pony show allows politicians and benign agencies to show the public "they're doing something about it!", but that will be about the extent of the net effect.

    • Pch101 Pch101 on Jun 27, 2014

      The only reason that GM is now jumping through hoops to deal with its product issues is that it is being squeezed by regulators on one side and trial lawyers on the other.

  • Xeranar Xeranar on Jun 27, 2014

    The free marketers are cheering on the 'voluntary recall' of GM products. The Anti-regulatory crowd are freaking out the NHTSA may actually get some teeth in this battle. Yet I'm fairly sure when I read through the GM recall threads most of these folks were calling for blood. How quickly the tune changes the second you try to be proactive.

    • Geeber Geeber on Jun 27, 2014

      The free-marketers I know gave up on GM long ago, and have moved on to superior alternatives.