Legislation Manufacturing

Legislators propose stronger requirements for disclosure of vehicle defects

Washington – A bill introduced March 25 in the Senate aims to make information on potential vehicle safety defects more easily available to the public.

Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the bill in response to a recent recall of nearly 1.6 million General Motors vehicles over a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to dozens of deaths and injuries. The senators allege that the public should have received earlier warnings about the ignition switches.

The bill would require vehicle and auto equipment manufacturers to automatically notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of any fatalities that could be related to the vehicle or equipment they manufactured. NHTSA then would be required to make any non-exempt documents or other information related to the fatalities available to the public and easily searchable through a redesigned Early Warning Reporting database.

At press time, the legislation had been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.