#TBT – Upton Spearheads TREAD Act in 2000
Then-E&C Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton
discusses legislation in response to the Ford-Firestone investigation
It has been over a decade since the enactment of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (or TREAD) Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law on November 1, 2000, to enhance the federal government’s ability to protect against auto safety defects. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) authored the TREAD Act after spearheading an extensive investigation into the Ford-Firestone tire malfunctions as then-chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. The legislation was intended to improve communication between auto manufacturers and the federal government and increase the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) ability to collect and analyze information about potential threats.
This past Monday, Upton announced an investigation into the General Motors Company’s (GM) and NHTSA’s response to consumer complaints related to problems with ignition switches in certain vehicles. General Motors has announced the recalls of six vehicle models – over 1.6 million vehicles worldwide – to correct the problems and stated that the defects may have been linked to 31 frontal crashes and a dozen fatalities. In light of GM’s safety problems, the committee will seek a progress report on the TREAD Act’s implementation and pursue answers relating to the complaints filed with NHTSA, the response, and the eventual recalls. The committee also this week sent bipartisan letters requesting documents and information from NHTSA and GM.
Watch Upton discuss the committee investigation on CBS Evening News HERE.
Read the bipartisan committee letters to NHTSA and GM HERE.