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Important Auto Safety Provisions Included in Highway Bill


11.05.15

WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives today voted to include a number of important auto safety provisions as part of the House’s consideration of the DRIVE Act. The amendment, authored by Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), is the result of the committee’s extensive work to reform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and keep families safe on American roads.

“These provisions make meaningful improvements to auto safety in the United States. But they are at the start – not the finish line,” said Burgess. “We have more work to do in the Energy and Commerce Committee and as a Congress to fulfill our responsibility to keep families safe. Our efforts continue.”

“Folks in Michigan know how important the auto industry is to our state and the American economy and we take special pride in putting safe vehicles on the road. But the quest for safety is ongoing and there is always room for improvement,” added Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “I am pleased that we were able to achieve these important reforms, but we have a lot more road to cover in our efforts. We will continue working to ensure that all who travel the nation’s roads and highways are safe behind the wheel.”

The amendment approved by the House would:

  • Provide NHTSA with additional funding so long as it implements the Inspector General’s reform recommendations;
  • Require NHTSA to report on December 1 of every year any planned rulemakings to be commenced, plans to develop guidelines, plans to restructure NHTSA, policy priorities, and any projected dates or timetables associated therewith;
  • Extend the time period for automakers to pay for defect remedies from 10 years to 15 years;
  • Extend the period automakers must retain safety records from 5 years to 10 years;
  • Grant a general waiver for U.S. manufacturers to test prototypes on public roads. Current statute requires U.S. manufacturers to obtain a per-car waiver, a mismatch with the requirements on importers;
  • Exempt kit-car manufacturers from certain standards so long as they meet certain requirements. Each manufacturer is allowed to sell 500 such cars per year; and
  • Clarify the purpose and use of guidelines.

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Press Release