A House committee found that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) mishandled car safety records in relation to the GM recall that led to millions of recalled vehicles. The agency is under investigation after responding slowly to a number of consumer risks.
The Role of the NHTSA
The NHTSA is the agency in charge of setting and enforcing standards in motor vehicle and highway safety. Specifically, the NHTSA is in charge of these activities.
- Investigating safety defects found in automobiles and automobile parts
- Issuing recalls and assessing fines for manufacturers responsible for safety defects
- Informing consumers of dangerous vehicles in a timely manner
- Ensuring that dangerous auto products are taken off the road as soon as possible
- Protecting consumers’ lives
The Cause of the NHTSA Review
The Department of Transportation will conduct the review. Some charge that the NHTSA has responded inordinately slowly to a number of dangerous incidents.
- General Motors’ faulty ignition switches: contributed to at least 19 deaths
- Toyota’s unintentional acceleration incidents
- Takata’s deadly airbags (which explode so forcefully that they have shot metal shrapnel at drivers and passengers)
The current investigation, though, has been kicked off because of the defective Takata airbags, which are present in approximately eight million U.S. vehicles. The agency failed to properly inform these eight million motorists of the defects, and at least four motorists have died from the defective airbags.
In all of the incidents of automobile part defects mentioned above, many have argued that the evidence of these defects was very apparent. Despite the evidence, the NHTSA failed to take quick enough actions to issue recalls and get dangerous vehicles off of the road, according to some legislators.
White House Supports a Review of the NHTSA
The review of the NHTSA by the U.S. Department of Transportation has been supported by the White House, which has acknowledged issues with the agency. A spokesperson for the White House told reporters that the review of the NHTSA by the Department of Transportation is the right step, and that the action is correct in making sure the agency is focused on strengthening their response to consumer dangers.
Hopefully, an investigation will lead to discoveries about the causes of significant delays in issuing recalls or conducting investigations of dangerous and defective automobiles and parts. Additionally, the investigation will hopefully bring new light to more effective strategies that the NHTSA could implement to conduct reviews, investigations, and order recalls in a more timely and efficient manner.
If You’ve Been Injured by a Defective or Dangerous Automobile
If you’ve been in an accident that was caused by a defective car or car part, or if you’ve been injured by a defective Takata airbag, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
By filing a lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages for any or all of the following.
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
The attorneys at Max Meyers Law, PLLC, can help you file your claim for damages, present evidence to defend your position, and ultimately recover the benefits to which you’re entitled. You have the right to operate a vehicle that is free from safety defects. Call us now at 425-399-7000 to speak with one of our attorneys or contact us online to set up an appointment to get your case evaluated.