White House Auto Legislation & Auto Industry Lobbying: Who Will Win?

White House Auto Legislation & Auto Industry Lobbying: Who Will Win?

April, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

International Business Times reports in a good article: “The U.S. auto safety regulator would get power to unilaterally demand automakers stop selling vehicles it says have safety related defects under the White House’s multiyear transportation funding bill that went to Congress this week. But the move to reform the way car safety is regulated will likely face stiff opposition from manufacturers who succeeded in weakening legislative efforts in 2010 that would have bolstered federal oversight and increased noncompliance penalties….”“The fine is too small for these multinational corporations,” said Claybrook. “We don’t think there should be a cap.”

Attempts to lift the cap on penalties were struck down in 2010 after aggressive lobbying by the automakers, dealers and trade groups, who spent more than $40 million that year on congressional lobbying. The bill to increase penalties against automakers and to boost safety standards for automotive electronics was watered down after it passed Congress. The industry spent $40.1 million in lobbying efforts last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, down from its all-time high of $58 million in 2007.”  See


Compare the $40.1 million spent by the auto industry last year on lobbying with the $9.1 million value that DOT policy guidance places on just one “statistical life” (copy attached).

Compare the $40.1 million the auto industry may spend on lobbying in each of the next 6 years (~$240 million) with the estimated 192,000 crash deaths expected over the next 6 years.  At $9.1 million per life the expected costs are $1.7 trillion.

Lobbyists are a good deal for the auto industry.  A bad deal for the American people.

A good bet is that the auto industry lobbyists will win — again.



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