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Your New Car May Soon Cost $9 More So NHTSA Can Do Its Job

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Wrecked Toyota Prius owned by Elizabeth James, photo by Ted James, from Houston Press

Wrecked Toyota Prius owned by Elizabeth James, photo by Ted James, from Houston Press

Remember back to last fall, when the whole Toyota recall mess started to unfold?

And do you recall that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration horrified many observers, us included, by saying it had no software or electrical engineers on staff?

Well, our elected officials took note. Yesterday, in the wake of the Toyota incidents, bills were circulated in the House and Senate that would rewrite auto-safety regulations, give the NHTSA new powers, and greatly expand its enforcement budget.

Among other powers, the Agency could order a carmaker to recall, stop selling, and/or stop building vehicles that it found to pose an "imminent hazard of death or serious injury."

Under the House bill, drafted by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Bobby Rush (D-IL), NHTSA's enforcement budget would increase to $280 million by 2013.

To fund this, every new car sale would have a fee added: $3 in the bill's first year, $6 the second year, and then $9 the third year, with increases at the rate of inflation thereafter. That $9 would represent 0.05 percent of the cost of a $20,000 new car.

The bill would also mandate event-data recorders ("black boxes") on all new vehicles within two years, as well as brake-override software that cuts power to the engine if both accelerator and brake pedals are being pushed at the same time.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the bill next Thursday. A draft of a broadly similar Senate bill is being circulated by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).

[Detroit News]

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Comments (9)
  1. The privacy concerns of black boxes have me worried. But if we can lower insurance rates by $900 over its life for a $9 more expensive car, I'm game.
     
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  2. Black-box data will settle, once and for all, that there is no such thing as "sudden acceleration" ... and prove that it's driver error, just like that woman in the Prius in New York state.
     
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  3. Money well spent, but I thought I already paid taxes for this. Is adding this tax to the purchase price more palatable to the voters than raising taxes or registration fees?
     
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  4. Always good reasons to tax folks some more - there are many many good causes that we can tax folks for, government needs to be cutting budget and taxes so jumpstart the economy even further .
     
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  5. The NHTSA and EPA already require onboard diagnostic (OBD) equipment with standardized, accessible output. Most of the hardware is there. More software will turn it into a “crash recorder”. 0bama should stay out of it and not call this a tax or a fee.
     
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  6. Why under the ford chrysler and goverment motors heading you have relative articles. But when i click the Toyota section just negitive articles where is the balance. I think more support is in order when toyota is selling american built car and trucks. The majority of the fords and goverment motors cars are built in mexico or korea. Lets have a little balence.
     
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  7. I think the govt. is aggain try to control what and who we buy from. They are getting too envolved in peoples personal lives.
     
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  8. I'm not sure how everything is Obama's fault. I guess some of you rather put your wife and children in a dangerious car instead of paying $9.00. I kind of have to wonder where your priorities lay or most just want to blame Obama for crap no matter what he does.. As for Goverment motors some of you need to catch up with what is happening. GM has paid back all the money they borrowed with interest so your so called gov. motors don't exsist. Even though Toyota buids a couple of cars here they are still Japan
     
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  9. Hey Lynn, YOU need to pay closer attention to what is (really) happening. GM has paid back 10% of the bailout funds. The other 90% is considered equity in the company and is not even issued stock. No blame, just fact.
     
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