Major House committee passes motor vehicle safety legislation

Jan. 1, 2020
The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce held a markup session on H.R. 5381, the "Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010," digging more into vehicle safety, according to information from the Automotive Service Association (ASA).

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce held a markup session on H.R. 5381, the “Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010,” digging more into vehicle safety, according to information from the Automotive Service Association (ASA).

“This is important legislation that has the potential to dramatically improve vehicle safety into the future. This year, we have seen why we need to reform our auto safety laws," says U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the committee. "Toyota received thousands of complaints of sudden unintended acceleration, but never thoroughly investigated the possible causes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency charged with protecting the public from unsafe vehicles, had plenty of evidence that there was a problem.

"But it lacked the expertise, the resources and the will to force a recall," he continued. "The legislation before us today will address many of these problems and advance auto and highway safety.”

There were several amendments offered during the bill markup. One in particular, introduced by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, ranking member of the committee, has importance to independent repairers, according to ASA.

Barton proposed that the text of the original legislation be modified so that consumers would have the choice of whether or not to have event data recorders or black boxes installed in their passenger vehicles. Barton argued that there was an invasion of privacy involved with this part of the legislation, and that consumers’ information should be kept confidential. The amendment was withdrawn.

Other key provisions in the legislation:
• Establishes Center for Vehicle Electronics and Emerging Technologies
• Provides for new safety standards related to electronics and unintended acceleration
• Establishes provisions for accelerator control systems
• Provides for increased transparency at NHTSA by requiring that more early warning reporting data be made public
• Provides for increased public accessibility to data
• Improves vehicle defect reporting system

The Motor Vehicle Safety Act passed the committee by a 31-21 vote.

To view the legislation considered by the committee, the memorandum, and testimony from an earlier hearing, visit ASA’s legislative website at www.TakingTheHill.com.

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