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Democrats Introduce Bill to Raise Budget for NHTSA

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Feb. 27, 2015—A group of house Democrats is reintroducing a measure that would dramatically hike the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) auto safety budget by at least $100 million by 2017, according to a report by The Detroit News.  

The increase would come through imposing a $3 fee on all new car sales that would rise to $9 by 2018.

The bill is backed by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and at least four other Democrats, and is being introduced as auto safety legislation a year after General Motors ordered 2.8 million vehicle recalls linked to at least 57 deaths.

The bill requires that a fix for a defective vehicle be provided free of charge, regardless of when the motor vehicle or replacement equipment was purchased. Under current law, remedies are not required without charge for vehicles or equipment purchased more than 10 years before a recall.

The bill would also eliminate the $35 million cap on fines imposed related to sluggish responses to safety recalls by auto manufacturers. The Obama administration has voiced that it wishes to see fines in the cap range of $300 million.

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