NHTSAês Rosekind asks dealers to repair all cars under recall
Spotlighting the key role that auto dealers play in vehicle recall campaigns, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind, speaking as the U.S. keynoter at The Washington Auto Show last week on its media day, Jan. 21, asked dealers to take two actions: (1) make recall visits a high priority and make it easy for consumers to complete a recall; and (2) donêt sell any vehicle, new or used, without getting safety defects repaired.
Would taking such a step involve difficulties for auto dealers? said Rosekind. Absolutely. But a proactive safety culture means that eliminating risk becomes the top priority. He cited AutoNationês announcement last fall that it would repair any recalled vehicle before retailing it and urged all dealers to follow their lead.
Rosekind warned that the progress of vehicle safety is starting to slow. Early data shows that in the first six months of 2015, vehicle deaths rose by 8.1 percent. In 2014, he said, 32,675 people died on the road. NHTSAês goal is to take that number to zero.
If regulations and enforcement are our only tools to protect the public, then we are restricted to more of the same old story, Rosekind said, cat-and-mouse games between regulator and the regulated; endless rounds of cost-benefit analysis and regulatory red tape before new rules can be enacted; processes that lag far behind the pace of technological advancement.
Clearly, he said, NHTSA has not given up on those tools. Rosekind also said he hopes that the agreement between the agency and major automakers the previous week would help prevent problems and identify them sooner.
In addition to his request to dealers on recalls, Rosekind announced the launch of Safe Cars Save Lives. Itês a yearlong digital ad campaign urging consumers to use NHTSAês VIN lookup tool regularly to check for open recalls and then repair those cars under recall.Download Bulletin PDF