US:Automakers get more time to report defects
Automakers get more time to report defects
WASHINGTON -- Regulators reluctantly agreed on Tuesday to give auto companies more time to report sensitive safety data to the U.S. government, ending a disagreement with the industry over how long it should take to organize information on potential defects.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now will let vehicle manufacturers, tire makers and other companies file their quarterly early warning reports within 60 days after the end of each three-month period, according to a regulatory filing.
It was the second time the agency had changed the reporting timetable after initially approving a final regulation more than two years ago that required the data submissions 30 days after the end of a quarter beginning in 2004.
Manufacturers have been reporting defect data since last year on the 60-day schedule, but regulators wanted quicker access to the information this year to identify any safety problems sooner.
Although NHTSA prefers a faster reporting schedule, it said the new timetable will not compromise safety because companies will have the extra time to ensure that data is accurate and complete.
But regulators also said they will revisit the issue after two years and could accelerate the reporting deadline.
Companies are required to supply statistics on fatalities, injuries, property damage and warranty claims and consumer complaints as part of NHTSA's early warning network that was put in place under orders from Congress after the Firestone tire debacle.
But tire makers, specifically, said that gathering information and completing reports has been more complex than first thought. For instance, some information comes from overseas and has to be translated.
Still undecided is what safety information from industry the government will make public. Tire makers sued to keep some of the data confidential, arguing that releasing details on deaths and injuries warranty claims and consumer complaints could harm competition.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....