“The legislation sent to Capitol Hill by President Obama and Secretary Foxx yesterday was not only an important step in starting a robust discussion on how we fund the nation’s roads and bridges, but it also works to address the disturbing trend of recall shortcomings that are front of mind for motorists. This includes recent reports that General Motors was again reluctant to act to recall vehicles with potentially life-threatening defects. These continued reports of some manufacturers weighing the cost of recall against that of inaction, and choosing the latter, must be addressed.
As Secretary Foxx put well yesterday, fines on automakers need to be ‘more than a rounding error’ to ensure compliance. AAA believes that increasing potential penalties from their current maximum of $35 million to $300 million would be a step in the right direction. Similarly, it is appropriate to strengthen the recall process and provide DOT with both the authority and obligation to require manufacturers to quickly remove automobiles from the market when a dangerous defect is discovered. Likewise, rental car companies should participate in the recall of unsafe vehicles AAA will continue to support swift action to protect the safety of American motorists.”