The United States has done a fairly good job so far of policing the safety of cars and trucks. The number of deaths in traffic accidents dropped to an estimated 34,000 last year — the least since the 1950s. But that is still too many deaths.

The recall of millions of Toyota cars and trucks because of persistent problems of uncontrolled acceleration has exposed unacceptable weaknesses in the regulatory system. These weaknesses are allowing potentially fatal flaws to remain undetected. Democrats in Congress are pushing legislation to improve regulation and oversight of auto safety. It should be passed into law without delay.