March 30, 2015 – 2:59 pm ET
WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would be able to order automakers to cease the sale of vehicles with dangerous safety defects under the Obama administration’s multiyear surface transportation funding bill sent to congress today.
imminent hazard authority,” NHTSA would have broad power to ground vehicles “in cases where there is an imminent risk of injury or death,” according to a summary released today of U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s six-year, $478 billion transportation bill. NHTSA would be able to use the authority prior to determining that a safety defect exists and without input from manufacturers — as required under current law, according to the summary.
The new authority, an updated version of a Transportation Department proposal made last year, is one of several reforms intended to bolster NHTSA’s ability to police auto safety.