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Carmakers Expected to Push Back on New Auto Safety Bill

Industry leaders to testify in Washington on Thursday.

by on May.05, 2010

Senator Jay Rockefeller is one of eight lawmakers sponsoring the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010.

Driven by the ongoing safety scandal at Toyota, Congress appears intent on pushing through new auto safety rules, this year, and a proposal introduced into the Senate would both improve funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and give the agency more teeth to enforce its will.

Similar to a measure already introduced into the House of Representatives, the proposal is causing some concern among industry leaders – which they’re expected to underline during a hearing by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on Thursday.

A Safe Choice!

The flurry of activity on Capitol Hill follows the recall of roughly 6 million vehicles by Toyota and that automaker’s decision to pay a $16.4 million fine for failing to notify NHTSA of problems with sticky accelerators in a timely manner.  Though a record fine, that figure was still limited by current rules that might be lifted by Congress.  A similar infraction, in the future, might generate penalties pushing into the billions.