An automaker alliance, led by Toyota, is preparing to bring in former NHTSA head David Kelly to oversee its investigation into faulty Takata airbag inflators.
Following the significant outcry surrounding the General Motors and Takata airbag safety crises this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seems to be taking a much more aggressive role in pushing owners to repair their recalled vehicles. In the agency's latest move, it's urging Jeep drivers to get their models fixed. Acting NHTSA administrator David Friedman even sent a letter to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne pressing him to get more of the SUVs fixed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hasn't had much to celebrate this year. The botched handling of major recall campaigns from General Motors and for faulty Takata airbag inflators haven't put the agency in the best light. Also, its new VIN lookup for safety campaigns, which should have been a major step forward, crashed the first time it was really needed. Clearly, something must be done, and it appears that the government's solution might be an overhaul of the bureau, starting
With the Takata airbag debacle still yet to be resolved, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found itself in hot water again. Parties both from within and from without the agency's ranks are asking hard questions about NHTSA's handling of the widespread recall, and now the agency's leadership will have to answer some of those hard questions.
At this point, there's little question that General Motors deserves the bulk of the blame for not recalling the millions of vehicles affected by the ignition switch problem earlier than it did. And to a large degree, GM is facing the music and accepting blame for its mistakes, even if that acceptance won't bring back the 13 or more deaths attributed to the faulty components. But does GM deserve all the blame?
One of the major points of contention in the GM ignition switch debacle has centered around just how many people were killed due to the problem. GM claimed, and continues to claim, that 13 people have been killed. Safety advocates and lawyers, though, are arguing that the final total will likely be higher.