U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony FoxxEnlarge Photo
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversees a long, thorough process for recalling flawed vehicles. It collects complaints, launches investigations, and formally requests recalls from automakers.
One thing NHTSA can't do, though, is halt sales of poorly or improperly manufactured vehicles -- at least, not on its own. According to Auto News, though, that could soon change.
It's budget time in Washington, D.C., and at the top of U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx's to-do list has been the completion of a $478 billion transportation bill -- one that includes a hefty chunk of change for infrastructure improvements and increased funding for NHTSA, among other things.
But also included in Foxx's proposal are tools to expand and enhance NHTSA's regulatory authority. For example:
Under normal circumstances, we'd say that Foxx's proposals have slim-to-no chance of approval. With the GOP in charge of Congress, and with many GOP leaders dubious of federal regulation, an expansion of NHTSA's oversight capabilities seems like a losing proposition.