If the public had access to automaker’s early-warning safety filings with federal regulators, lives could be saved.
That is the thinking behind a new bill that has just been introduced by two U.S. Senators in the wake of the General Motors ignition switch recall that is linked to at least 12 deaths. In that case, GM had knowledge of the safety issue in the early 2000s, and did not conduct a proper safety recall until 2014.
If passed, the bill would allow private citizens access to the ‘early warning reports’ that automakers must file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as soon as a potentially problematic defect is found.
SEE ALSO: Feds Review GM Ignition Switch Recall
Senators Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., believe that the current laws regarding safety information do not go far enough. “We need the early warning reporting system to provide actual early warnings to ensure the public is informed and possible defects are fully investigated,” said Markey.
The bill would require that NHTSA consider early warning information in investigations and in response to citizen petitions for enforcement actions. It would also require NHTSA to post all of the early-warning reports into an online database, so the public would easily be able to access that information.
[Source: Automotive News]
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