US: lawmakers seeking massive reforms of recalls, fuel economy, emissions and cybersecurity

The House Energy and Commerce Committee panel is proposing a wide array of safety reforms where automakers could earn credits if they meet fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards or fit crash-avoidance and connected-car technologies to their new vehicles. The tentative proposal is looking to close the gap on several weaknesses in auto-safety regulation that have been brought to the public and official attention by the crop of high-profile safety campaigns. The congressional staff, among others, is mulling the introduction of mandatory email recall notifications to customers, the creation of a program where states would also notify drivers of outstanding recalls when renewing their vehicle registrations. Suppliers would also be forced to deliver to the auto-safety regulators the parts numbers of the components that have failed and are being recalled. The proposal also seeks the creation of an auto cybersecurity council headed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and also with automotive manufacturer representatives – seeking to jointly introduce the best practices for cybersecurity. Privacy is another highly debated issue in today’s highly advanced automobiles, with automakers under the proposal directed towards certain policies that would regulate the collection and use of data from vehicle owners. Putting a civil penalty of up to $100,000 and deeming vehicle data hacking illegal. “There is an urgency for improvement with both automakers and NHTSA as the next generation of vehicles and innovation are set to emerge,” commented committee chairman Fred Upton and Michael Burgess in a joint statement. The cybersecurity measures are looking to close the holes exposed by the recent hack of a moving vehicle which turned into the first related recall procedures, while the auto safety reforms are a response to the regulatory issues related to the deadly GM ignition switch and Takata airbag safety campaigns. Via Automotive News Europe