US Senator John Thune wants some answers from Tesla CEO Elon Musk about that fancy Autopilot thing.
The Senate Commerce Committee accepted some amendments to improve auto safety in the new transportation bill, but several wider reaching ones failed. Among them, auto execs aren't going to face criminal punishments for safety lapses, and used car dealers don't need to fix recalls before selling a vehicle.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee gave its full support to a bill that would encourage whistleblowers in the auto industry. Under the legislation someone that speaks out could get 30 percent of any federal fines against automakers for safety lapses.
Drivers in the US might be stuck with quite a wait to get their vehicles repaired under the Takata airbag inflator recall. As things stand now, the Japanese supplier could need as long as two years to produce enough replacement parts to service every affected model in America. If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is successful in making the campaign nationwide, then that timeline could grow even longer.
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.
Tesla Motors has been fighting to sell cars in many states, but has come up against laws prohibiting the electric automaker to exercise its direct-to-consumer business model. Such has been the case in Pennsylvania. Recently, though, Tesla worked out a deal with the Pennsylvania senate to approve a bill allowing five Tesla stores in the state, with the blessing of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The bill, though crafted with Tesla in mind, doesn't specifically name the California-based
Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill (shown above) has had it with automotive execs stalling when it comes to recalls. The Missiourian has proposed a new bill, the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Enhancement Act, which aims to improve the automotive safety following the high-profile fiascos involving General Motors and Toyota.
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