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H.R. 1181: Vehicle Safety Improvement Act of 2015

Title: Vehicle Safety Improvement Act of 2015

Introduced: Feb 27, 2015 (114th Congress)

Sponsor: (No First Name Found) (No Last Name Found) [-]

Status: Referred to Committee - Referred to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.

Summary: Vehicle Safety Improvement Act of 2015 Revises and expands requirements relating to public disclosure by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of: (1) defects in motor vehicles or equipment, whether or not such defects are safety-related; and (2) noncompliance with vehicle safety standards. Requires public disclosure of: (1) early warning information submitted by vehicle manufactures unless exempt from disclosure by the Freedom of Information Act, and (2) summaries of NHTSA inquiries to manufacturers seeking additional information about fatal incidents. Directs NHTSA to increase public accessibility to and timeliness of information on its vehicle safety databases. Requires the Used Car Buyers Guide window form to include statements of the vehicle's brand history, total loss history, salvage history, and recall repair history. Increases civil penalties for violations of federal motor vehicle safety requirements. Eliminates model year limitations on mandatory manufacturer reports of possible vehicle defects. Specifies additional requirements for reports on incidents involving fatalities. Requires a comprehensive review of the practices of manufacturers of individual light vehicles for reporting incidents involving death or injury. Directs NHTSA to: (1) order notification and remediation of a defect or noncompliance, in motor vehicles or equipment, that presents an imminent hazard, and (2) issue a final rule to establish standards for reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Authorizes NHTSA to enter into cooperative agreements and collaborative motor safety research and development agreements with foreign governments. Changes from discretionary to mandatory NHTSA authority to promulgate rules requiring a senior official responsible for safety in any company to make certain certifications about information submitted regarding a safety defect or compliance investigation. Subjects any NHTSA rejection of a defect petition to judicial review. Prescribes requirements for prompt evaluation of whistleblower complaints. Prohibits any vehicle safety official, during the two-year period after termination of service or employment, from knowingly communicating to or appearing before any NHTSA officer or employee, with the intent to influence NHTSA action, on behalf of any manufacturer subject to NHTSA regulation about a matter involving motor vehicle safety on which the former official seeks official action by a NHTSA officer or employee. Requires a report to Congress on the operations of the Council for Vehicle Electronics, Vehicle Software, and Emerging Technologies. Prohibits a car dealer from selling or leasing a used motor vehicle until any defect or noncompliance has been remedied. Requires manufacturer notifications for any safety problems caused by long-term exposure to environmental conditions. Eliminates regional recalls in favor of national recalls. Requires manufacturers who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection (liquidation) to comply with their recall obligations (currently, this requirement applies only to manufacturers in Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings). Directs NHTSA to: (1) research development of safety standards or performance requirements for the crashworthiness and survivability for passengers in the rear seats of motor vehicles, and (2) initiate related rulemaking. Establishes a Vehicle Safety Fund in the Treasury to fund NHTSA vehicle safety programs from the collection of fees from manufacturers for each motor vehicle certified compliant with motor vehicle safety standards. Reauthorizes the NHTSA motor vehicle safety program through FY2018.


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