FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2019
Contact: Grace Garver, (202) 328-7700, [email protected]
Center for Auto Safety Urges Senate Committee to Reject Heidi King as NHTSA Administrator
Center Submits Letter Opposing the Confirmation Before Scheduled Wednesday Vote
There are few products that impact as many Americans as automobiles. There is no agency that impacts the safety of those automobiles more than National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As the world has seen in recent weeks with the revelations of lax oversight leading up to the Boeing airline crashes, delegating the safety of the American people to industry is short sighted at best and extraordinarily dangerous at worst.
Unfortunately, in her eighteen months as Deputy Administrator Heidi King’s record for removing unsafe vehicles from the road, as well as getting safety features into vehicles, raises serious concerns about her ability to effectively lead the nation’s leading car safety and law enforcement agency. The Center for Auto Safety, founded in 1970, is an independent, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy not only for our members, but everyone on the roads across the county. On behalf of those members, and all individuals nationwide who depend on NHTSA to ensure the safety of our nation’s vehicles, the Center has called on the Senate Commerce Committee to reject the confirmation of this nominee.
“Deaths and injuries from traffic crashes remain a public health crisis, with over 37,000 dead and over 2 million seriously injured every year. Cars continue to hold their place as the number one killer of Americans ages 5-24,” said Jason Levine, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety. “NHTSA needs an Administrator whose focus is on the safety of each and every driver, passenger, and pedestrian. Much to our disappointment under Ms. King’s leadership, NHTSA continues to tell the world that safety is a priority but the agency’s actions show that it is industry needs which come first.”
The Center submitted a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation which is due to consider Ms. King’s re-nomination for the position of NHTSA Administrator at an Executive Session of the Committee on Wednesday, April 3. Ms. King has not had a confirmation hearing since Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA) assumed their current roles leading the Committee in January. The Center’s letter highlights some of the many mandated rulemakings NHTSA has failed to produce under Ms. King’s tenure; along with a review of the agency’s voluntary approach to driverless cars, the almost complete lack of civil penalties, the historic lows in new defect investigations, and the agency’s continuing decreasing budget requests.
The letter can be found here.
Over the last 49 years, the Center for Auto Safety has successfully led the fight for lemon laws in every state, airbags in every vehicle, and recall repairs being made at no cost to the consumer. The Center is a membership-driven organization headquartered in Washington, DC and is also home to the Safe Climate Campaign which fights global warming by working for big, specific measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Center publishes TheCarBook.com, which has for the last 39 years been America’s most comprehensive car buying guide and now offers, exclusively for members, the monthly Safety Tune-Up Report, for regular alerts on safety issues relating to their cars. To learn more about the Center, please visit www.AutoSafety.org.