House Auto Safety Bill Has Expansive Reach
Legislation continues federal interest in auto electronics.
Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives touches a wide array of automotive issues, some important to both mechanical and collision independent repairers. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade introduced H.R. 6051, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2012.
The bill has been referred to Bono Mack’s committee and subcommittee, which has jurisdiction for automotive safety. The subcommittee is responsible for areas related to interstate and foreign commerce, including all trade matters within the jurisdiction of the full committee; regulation of commercial practices (the FTC), including sports-related matters; consumer affairs and consumer protection, including privacy matters generally; consumer product safety commission; product liability; motor vehicle safety; and regulation of travel, tourism and time.
Included in the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2012 are provisions such as:
ASA provided a team of ASA members to meet with NHTSA to improve on the opportunities for independent repairers and technicians to communicate with NHTSA safety defect personnel about patterns or problems with particular vehicles or vehicle parts. Bono Mack’s bill would require NHTSA to be more proactive in its effort to reach out to independent repairers about safety defects in vehicles and parts.
The bill contains extensive language concerning the U.S. Secretary of Transportation reporting to the House and Senate Commerce Committees regarding the “quality of data collected through the National Automotive Sampling System, including the Special Crash Investigations Program.” This includes specific analyses as to whether NHTSA should conduct more crash investigations and the value of additional analysis and conclusions if more crash investigations were done each year.
Finally, also included is a section on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Electronics, Software, and Engineering Expertise, which references the Council for Vehicle Electronics, Vehicle Software and Emerging Technologies to build, integrate and aggregate the administration’s expertise in passenger motor vehicle electronics and other new and emerging technologies. ASA had previously reported on the National Research Council’s (NRC) report on Automotive Electronic Safety, which called for more NHTSA oversight on new vehicle technologies. The NRC report can be found on ASA’s legislative website, www.TakingtheHill.com.There are less than 30 legislative days in the 112th Congress. It is questionable whether we will see a motor vehicle safety bill move before the end of the year. There is certainly interest in both the House and Senate in seeing some type of new vehicle safety legislation sent to the president for signature. It is most likely that safety legislation will be considered during the lame duck Congress, post election, or in 2013. To view Bono Mack’s vehicle safety bill and related information, please go to www.TakingtheHill.com.
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