US: regulators warn against new auto safety improvements

Federal auto safety regulators have spoken against the Republican proposals to lift US auto safety, warning the move to change the current standards could deliver an eroded consumer safety and more control over public disclosure of safety recalls to automakers. Officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Trade Commission have delivered a written testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also warning against the draft legislation that would see an industry-dominated advisory council setting up the best practices for defense of owners against upcoming vehicle cyber attacks. “The proposals could seriously undermine NHTSA’s efforts to ensure safety,” commented the agency’s administrator Mark Rosenberg. Rosekind and FTC official Maneesha Mitha were the authors of the written testimony posted to the committee’s website. They delivered their comments ahead of the Wednseday hearing on a new, 62-page draft bill that seeks to lift auto and highway safety in the face of massive auto safety defects, including the fatal GM ignition switches and Takata airbag inflators. In the wide-ranging legislative proposal, under review by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, the basis are set towards stepping up regulatory supervision in the face of the new generation of technologically advanced autos. It would make modifications across numerous areas, including agency reporting standards or safety recall requirements in regards to privacy, cyber attacks and safety information. “This proposal impinges on the agency’s enforcement authority and is in direct conflict with other congressional interests to increase the transparency of safety information,” added Rosekind, which has been enforcing the NHTSA’s authority over automakers since he took the office almost a year ago. Via Reuters