Vehicle Safety and Improvement Act Introduced by Reps, Waxman and Schakowsky

Vehicle Safety and Improvement Act Introduced by Reps, Waxman and Schakowsky

September, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill to Improve Motor Vehicle Safety, Respond to Committee’s GM Investigation

Sep 18, 2014

Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Ranking Member of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee, and Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, joined by other Democratic Committee members, introduced the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act (VSIA).  This legislation will establish several new important consumer protections to improve driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety.

“The GM ignition switch recall proved that our vehicle safety laws must be strengthened,” said Rep. Schakowsky.  “This bill promotes common-sense steps to improve oversight and public access to information while doing more to hold automakers accountable for their actions – or failure to act.”

”The Vehicle Safety Improvement Act provides a meaningful response to this year’s motor vehicle recalls, which exposed far too many shortcomings in federal oversight of the safety of our roads,” said Rep. Waxman.  “The bill empowers consumers and holds auto manufacturers accountable for illegal behavior that all too often leads to tragedy.”

In an effort to reduce the likelihood of another similar disaster in the future, the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act includes, among its safety-related reforms, provisions addressing factors that contributed to the GM failure. 

The legislation builds on H.R. 4364, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2014, a bill introduced by Ranking Member Waxman in April.  VSIA strengthens transparency and oversight, provides NHTSA with additional and enhanced safety authorities, and establishes several new protections for consumers of motor vehicles.  Among other measures, this bill:

  • Increases the collection and online publication of safety-related information from manufacturers, including communications regarding defective parts and data on fatal incidents;
  • Requires manufacturers to explain why a fatal incident may have occurred and extends from five years to 20 years the time manufacturers must retain records on possible safety defects; and
  • Increases the penalties that could be assessed, for violations of federal motor vehicle safety laws.

Original cosponsors of the bill introduced by Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman include:  Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Rep. Bobby L. Rush, Rep. Diana DeGette, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, and Rep. Paul D. Tonko.

The full text of the bill is available online here.  A bill summary is available online here.


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