The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. However, the agency is often caught up in politics. For example, in recent years, the agency proposed a set of rules that prevents car buyers from learning about complaints filed against car manufacturers. In this situation, the agency put the automobile industry before the traveling public. Consumers would be prevented the ability to learn all they could regarding the safety of the vehicles they buy and subsequently drive in with their family.
Consumer complaints are among the most effective methods of policing the automobile industry. No one wants unsafe vehicles on the road, so it is mysterious why the NHTSA would propose rules that allow the automobile industry to not reveal to potential consumers the safety complaints they have on file. The NHTSA seems to be saying that economic considerations trump vehicle and highway safety.
The American Association for Justice, who has the mission to promote a fair and effective justice system, studied the proposed rule changes and reported that the changes not only allow the automobile industry to hide information about the dangers of their vehicles, but will ultimately allow manufacturers to avoid responsibility for their carelessness. Under the proposed changes, safety issue complaints such as dangerous gas tanks, defective safety constraints, and even common electrical malfunctions would be classified as “trade secrets” and unavailable to the general public.
At Florida Trial MD, we firmly believe that consumers should have free and unfettered access to all available safety information when purchasing a motor vehicle. Restrictions such as those proposed by NHTSA serve only to allow more unsafe vehicles on the road. Our commitment is to the hundreds of millions of motorists and their passengers on the road each year. We know that making an informed choice of the vehicle you drive is one huge step in keeping you and your loved ones safe on the road.