The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for overseeing safety on the nation’s roads. Recently, its chief stated that it lacks the resources necessary to effectively carry out its duties in a timely manner.
The NHTSA’s Role in Keeping Drivers Safe on the Road
One of the NHTSA’s primarily responsibilities is to process vehicle safety complaints and enforce vehicle manufacturers’ obligations to issue recalls when their vehicles present a danger to the public. The agency employs around 50 individuals to review auto defect complaints.
Coming Up Short
However, Administrator Mark Rosekind, who is new to the position, acknowledges that the NHTSA is coming up short. As an example, he cites General Motors’ withholding of key information about an ignition switch problem affecting some 2.6 million of its vehicles. GM allowed the problem to persist for close to a decade – resulting in at least 42 deaths and 58 injuries. With these types of issues out there, the NHTSA is severely in need of additional resources in order to fulfill its duties and protect consumers from this type of conduct by the automakers.
A Long-Term Approach to an Immediate Problem
Still, Administrator Rosekind acknowledges that change will not happen overnight. He has proposed a two-year plan to build the agency’s resources and boost its credibility in the eyes of vehicle manufacturers. In addition to augmenting the current staff, he says he is looking into new software solutions to bring the agency’s systems up to date and develop a better system for discovering potential defects before they lead to accidents on the road.
What this Means for You
Obviously, this news presents a concern. As the GM example suggests, at least some automakers are more concerned with profits than they are with preventing unnecessary deaths and injuries. On top of that, the agency tasked with policing this type of inappropriate behavior openly acknowledges that it is in some respects failing at its job because it lacks the resources it needs to be effective.
So, what can you to do protect yourself?
- If you have been involved in an accident and believe a defect might be to blame, you can hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries and expenses. Attorney Seth Gladstein has years of experience representing injury victims in auto accident litigation.
Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC for More Information
If you have a question about a vehicle defect, or if you have been involved in a vehicle collision, we can help you. Call Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC or contact us online. We offer free, no obligation consultations. Contact us today to get the legal representation you need.