Monday, May 3, 2010

Auto bill draft would require black boxes, "vehicle safety user fees"

All new cars would have to be equipped with "black boxes" that record performance data and federal safety regulators would be granted the authority to order immediate recalls under newly proposed auto-safety legislation being considered by Congress. The draft contains a wide array of provisions. Some require new safety features, such as the black boxes -- called event data recorders -- and brake override systems that allow a driver to stop a car even when the throttle is stuck open. Other elements of the bill give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration more power to crack down on automakers that break the rules. The bill would create a "vehicle safety user fee," to be paid by manufacturers on each vehicle. The money would supplement NHTSA's budget. The fee begins at $3 per vehicle and increases to $9 after three years...more

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