© 2021 MICHIGAN RADIO
91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 91.3 Port Huron 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

New penalties proposed for delaying car recalls

Gm_recall.jpg
GM
/

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill has introduced bills that could subject auto companies and auto executives to tough new penalties for delaying a recall.

McCaskill, a Democrat, has been leading an investigation into GM's ignition switch recall scandal.  The company admits it delayed a recall of 2.6 million small cars for ten years - and at least 13 people died as a result.

McCaskill's Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Enhancement Act of 2014 would:

-double funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to help it modernize and meet increasingly complex auto safety challenges

-eliminate the cap on NHTSA fines for delaying recalls.  Currently the maximum fine is $35 million.

-give federal prosecutors greater discretion to bring criminal prosecutions for auto safety, and increase the possible penalties to up to life in prison for violations that result in death

-prohibit rental car companies from renting or selling cars that have been recalled.

How McCaskill's bill will fare, however, is anybody's guess. 

The Act is part of a six-year reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund.  Congress failed to reach a compromise and pass a long-term reauthorization this summer, instead, approving a temporary, six-month funding bill. 

That happened just days before the Trust Fund was set to run out of money, placing thousands of highway and bridge projects across the country at risk.