Senate Approves New Powers to NHTSA
The US Senate, last night approved legislation prompted by the Bridgestone Firestone tyre recall. The new measures strengthen reporting requirements for automotive related manufacturers. The enforcement powers given to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration allow them to impose civil and criminal penalties for misleading the government about auto defects which result in death and injury.
The maximum civil penalty for violations has been raised from $925,000 to $15M, and prison terms of up to 15 years have been prescribed, alongside fines of up to $100,000 for withholding information in cases where death occurs. The legislation instruct NHTSA to conduct tests into SUV safety and issue rules requiring the fitting of safety devices to warn drivers of underinflated tyres..