The Obama administration has asked Congress to raise the maximum fines for automotive recalls to $300 million from the current maximum of $35 million. This is part of a four-year transportation bill the administration introduced last month. The $302 billion transportation reauthorization proposal, labeled the “Grow America Act,” would increase the civil penalties the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can levy against automakers who fail to timely recall defective vehicles.
The bill would force rental car companies to fix recalled vehicles before renting the vehicles out to customers again. The bill will also gives safety regulators the “authority to require manufacturers to expeditiously remove automobiles from the market when a defect is first discovered,” according to a Department of Transportation fact sheet. The transportation bill also addresses the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund by adding $87 million to fix the nation’s deficient bridges and aging transit systems, as the fund is set to dry up by the end of this summer.
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