Will the Congress and DOT and NHTSA Protect Americans?
Senate Hearings on Takata airbag defects and DOT OIG report on NHTSA is scheduled for Tuesday June 23, 2015. The Chair of the Committee is Senator John Thune of South Dakota. See his bio at http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Chairman The Hearing will be webcast to the public. Witnesses scheduled are at http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=a3504ffe-d343-4cff-a73a-2de3f877101c&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a
Money – The Detroit News recently reported:“NHTSA is bracing for what are expected to be scathing reports into the General Motors recall from the inspector general and Government Accountability Office. The Inpector General’s report into NHTSA’s failure to detect GM’s delayed recall of 2.6 million vehicles linked to 114 deaths and more than 200 injuries is expected by the end of this month.
The Department of Transportation’s probe “raises more questions” for Senate investigators about NHTSA’s effectiveness in addressing safety defects — including the probe of defective airbags, the aide said.
The hearing is the second from Congress in the last month following a House hearing last month. It is the first major Senate hearing on auto safety since Republicans took control of the upper body in January.
The committee’s chairman, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said in a Detroit News interview last week he is considering legislative proposals to reform NHTSA, but said he is still not convinced the auto safety agency needs more funding.
Thune said “the White House has not been very visible” on the NHTSA request for more funding.
In an interview Tuesday, Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he hasn’t made any decisions about whether he will propose auto safety legislation. He backed an amendment to the House Transportation budget last week that would add $4 million to NHTSA’s budget.
“We want to make sure that (NHTSA) is able to deliver,” Upton said.”
Reuters this weekend addressed the forthcoming DOT OIG :“The report, due to be released next week, follows an uproar over faulty General Motors Co ignition switches tied to more than 110 deaths and defective Takata Corp air bag inflators linked to at least eight deaths.
It also comes at a time when Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind are pressing Congress to increase NHTSA’s funding and enforcement powers, including another $20 million for defect investigations budget that has been stuck at $10 million for nearly a decade.” See