The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a new enhanced safety initiative in collaboration with 18 of the world’s major automakers.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx met with auto industry executives, including GM CEO Mary Barra, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz and more to announce the newly formed safety collaboration. Honda, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla, Volkswagen and Volvo were all present and are all part of the agreement.
Four main principles of the collaboration were laid out by Foxx: to enhance and facilitate proactive safety, enhance analysis and examination of early warning report data, maximize safety recall participation rates and to enhance automotive cyber security.
Foxx believes that taking these steps will help to stop safety recalls from becoming massive and hopes it will push the industry to be more proactive with safety by preventing these issues from ever hurting anyone, rather than dealing with the issue once customers have been hurt. In 2014, 32,675 people died in car crashes on U.S. roads, a statistic which is driving the industry to become safer.
Improved communication between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), automakers and suppliers will help to identify safety issues early on, while the aviation industry is being benchmarked for its voluntary/anonymous safety information reporting system. The more thorough evaluation of early warning reports is also part of the plan, which will be headed up by working group of NHTSA and industry personnel.
Essentially, NHTSA and the DOT want all automakers to work together and share a set of best practices based on lessons learned to increase safety and recall participation.
“NHTSA and automakers have engaged in productive discussions to explore meaningful ways to collectively improve vehicle safety. By acknowledging the Principles above, automakers and NHTSA are committing to work together to develop a collaborative, data–driven, science–based process, consistent with the law, to advance these objectives and thereby we are emphasizing our commitment to further enhancing the safety of roadway users,” said NHTSA in a statement.
This meeting comes in the wake of a year that saw record automotive recalls and fines levied at automakers from NHTSA.