By on October 26, 2015

Rodney SlaterThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration selected former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater as an independent monitor over Fiat Chrysler Automobiles safety compliance, the automaker announced Friday.

Slater was transportation secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001. After his federal post, Slater has held a slew of automobile safety-related posts including his recent appointment as special counsel to Takata.

Slater was the first black director for the Federal Highway Administration and the second black transportation secretary.

According to the automaker’s consent agreement, which it signed with NHTSA as part of a $105 million fine and settlement with the federal agency for botched recalls of 1.6 million cars, Slater will oversee FCA’s recall efforts for the next two years, with an option for a third.

Since the agreement was announced, FCA has recalled millions of cars for hackable infotainment systems and airbag issues.

In 1993, Slater helped stitch together the National Highway System, which aligned all 50 states’ interstate roadways, vital defense routes and serves as the modern infrastructure for supporting more than 160,000 miles of roadway. He also helped abolish the national 55 mph speed limit in the measure, which some accused him of cozying up too much to automakers with its repeal.

”He doesn’t have any commitment to preserving and enhancing safety standards of motor vehicle, rail and airplane systems,” Ralph Nader told the New York Times in 1996. ”He’s basically an accommodationist.”

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6 Comments on “Former Transportation Secretary to Lead Fiat Chrysler Recall Compliance...”


  • avatar
    RangerM

    “Slater was the first black director for the Federal Highway Administration and the second black transportation secretary.”

    So what?

    Does the fact that he’s “the first black” anything mean something?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      IIRC, this guy did accommodate the existing infrastructure into a smoother-running national system.

      IOW, he was no Joan Claybrook. She had her own agenda, like EPA’s McCarthy has these days.

      Wellll, aside from massively contaminating the San Juan and Animas river complexes with the waste of the Gold King Mine. What a f’n legacy! As if they give a schit.

    • 0 avatar

      Warm applause to this guy for eliminating the 55 mph speed limit! The Nader quote shows that this guy had guts in defying the safety establishment for a common sense solution.

      The happy day for Blacks will come when we don’t even say they are black, we take their race for granted as just as capable as anyone else.

      Alas, it seems like that is going to be a long, long time coming …

      D

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “Warm applause to this guy for eliminating the 55 mph speed limit! The Nader quote shows that this guy had guts in defying the safety establishment for a common sense solution.”

        That should have been the lead. I could care less about the color of a person’s skin, but this man made his country a better place.

    • 0 avatar
      johnhowington

      “So what?

      Does the fact that he’s “the first black” anything mean something?”

      Only to out the ones who do care. Is that cynical enough for you?

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