House Democrats introduce bill to require stronger car seat backs

“For over fifty years the government seatback standard has been so inadequate as to allow the average dining room chair to pass a test that is supposed to protect back seat passengers in a rear crash,” Said Jason Levine, executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety. “Representative Rice’s Modernizing Seatback Safety Act will finally require the auto industry and the federal government to upgrade the safety of new vehicle seatbacks for an estimated cost per vehicle that is less than the average car wash.”

Three House Democrats are moving to force the government to raise the safety standards governing car front seat backs, which may collapse during rear-end collisions and injure or kill passengers in the back seat.

Representatives Kathleen Rice, of New York; Jan Schakowsky, of Illinois; and Diana DeGette, of Colorado introduced the Modernizing Seat Back Safety Act in the House Tuesday. In a press release, the lawmakers credited a CBS News investigation with prompting the legislative push to fix the issue.

Their bill would require the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, or NHTSA, to update its decades-old strength standard for vehicle seats to address failures during rear-end collisions within two years.

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