NHTSA wants dealers to check service cars for recalls

NHTSA wants dealers to check service cars for recalls

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said last week he wants franchised dealers to check all service vehicles for open recalls and notify the owner of the results.

President Obamaês transportation bill would make that requirement. –Itês a simple step that can take less time than checking the oil,” Rosekind said in a speech at the World Traffic Safety Symposium. –This is a step dealers could take today, without congressional action.”

Rosekind noted that dealers are already required to ensure that any new car they deliver is free from open recalls. Twice in the past six months, he said, NHTSA has assessed civil penalties on dealers who sold vehicles that were under recall. To help address the situation GM changed its computer inventory system so dealers cannot submit requests for dealer sales incentives on vehicles under recall that have not been repaired.

Rosekind encouraged all automakers and dealers to take such proactive stands. –The more proactive we are, the more lives we can save,” he said.

The NHTSA administrator also said that dealers should fix any open recalls on a used vehicle before they can sell it. NADA president Peter Welch met with Rosekind last month and said that such a requirement would be difficult to meet, reported the Detroit News. Welch asked if NHTSA could provide aggregate data to dealers so they could more easily check for recalls, but Rosekind said NHTSA did not have the resources to do that.

–The overwhelming majority of recalls involved issues that do not warrant the drastic step of grounding, so we look forward to reviewing government estimates of how much these proposals would cost consumers,” NADA spokesman Jared Allen told the Detroit News.

NHTSA plans a summit this summer to discuss vehicle safety practices with the CEOs of the major automakers, Rosekind told the Detroit News. He said that other modes of transportation, such as the aviation industry, are more proactive about safety culture than the auto industry. The fact that –people are concerned that the fines arenêt high enough to change behavior” means more needs to be done, Rosekind said.

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