WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives will vote this week on the Conference Report to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) represented the committee for the House-Senate Conference Committee, which today filed its report. The legislation, which aims to improve our nations infrastructure, includes provisions resulting from the committee’s ongoing work to improve #Safety4Drivers and ensure America’s energy security and builds on the committee’s #RecordOfSuccess.
The Conference Report to the FAST Act:
- Enhances transparency at NHTSA by requiring the agency to submit an annual agenda to Congress on its activities for the upcoming year.
- Increases funding for NHTSA’s vehicle safety programs over the next five years to assist the agency in reducing fatalities, injuries, and the associated economic and societal costs resulting from motor vehicle defects and roadway accidents.
Improves Vehicle Safety Recall Processes
- Increases the availability and accessibility of safety recall information to consumers, and establishes a pilot grant program for States to notify consumers of vehicle recalls.
- Provides greater protections to motorists by extending the time period that automakers and tire manufacturers must pay for defect remedies for motor vehicles and tires in order to reflect the greater longevity of cars on the road.
- Broadens a company’s recall obligations in the event of bankruptcy and increases corporate responsibility for documents submitted to NHTSA.
- Incentivizes automotive industry employees to come forward with original information about possible motor vehicle safety violations by allowing the Secretary of Transportation to pay awards of up to 30% from a portion of recovered sanctions.
- Enhances tire safety by directing NHTSA to update standards related to Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems to ensure tires are not reset to significantly underinflated pressure levels.
Increases Accountability Among Automakers and Others Within the Automotive Industry
- Incentivizes dealers to check for open recalls at the time of service for all patrons and requires rental car companies to ground vehicles that are subject to an open safety recall until they are fixed.
- Increases the maximum cap on civil penalties for violations of motor vehicle safety standards and laws from $35 million to $105 million upon NHTSA’s certification that its final rule on civil penalty factors has been completed.
- Fosters greater awareness of vehicle safety issues from both automakers and regulators by requiring automakers to retain safety records from 5 years to 10 years. This will also help efforts to identify safety defects earlier.
Facilitates Faster Deployment of Advanced Safety Technologies
- Incentivizes the development and utilization of new crash avoidance technologies that can help reduce the severity of accidents, or prevent accidents altogether.
- Promotes entrepreneurship and innovation within the automotive industry by creating a framework for low-volume vehicle manufacturers to produce replica vehicles.
Ensures America’s Energy Security
- Ensures that our energy infrastructure, including the electric grid, is more resilient to 21st century risks such as physical attacks, cyber attacks, and extreme weather.