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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.

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An amendment to a bill in the Senate would force rental car companies to repair recalled vehicles before handing over the keys to customers.

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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.

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Drivers are one step safer to having improved privacy behind the wheel. The Senate Commerce Committee has granted bipartisan approval to legislation that aims to protect the information on automotive Event Data Recorders (EDR), also known as black boxes. The committee concluded that the vehicle owner is the one who owns the information stored on the device.

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Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, held an all-day summit on Thursday to discuss the dangers of using modern technology while driving, during which an ad that Mazda aired during the Super Bowl was used as an example of the worrisome future towards which we're headed. While seemingly innocuous at first glance, the ad, which can be seen below, shows a brief glimpse of a driver using the Mazda Connect infotainment system in a Mazda3 to check/update his Facebook page while dri

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Congress is gearing up for a comprehensive overhaul of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, implementing some significant safety measures for automobiles along the way. The campaign, encouraged by safety advocates for over a year now, has gained significant ground as the Senate Commerce Committee endorsed a series of measures which it will seek to incorporate into a highway reauthorization bill due for approval early in the new year.

If you were waiting for the federal government to lay down the law on distracted driving, we've got bad news for you. New bipartisan legislation from Congress has effectively put the issue back into the hands of individual states. That means that instead of a single, nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving like most advocates were hoping for, we'll likely be stuck with the same status quo for a few more years. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportat

The situations with GM and Chrysler are beginning to look like what happens after a fumble in an NFL game: a dozen men pile on top of each other all trying to get the ball. The difference in the case of GM and Chrysler is there are far more than two teams struggling for the prize. The latest to hop on and shove a hand in is the Senate Commerce Committee, which wants the CEOs to testify "early next month" regarding the planned dealership closings.