US Congress to Lift $35 Million Auto Safety Violation Penalty

We imagine that every driver affected one way or another by the GM recall saga blames auto safety regulators for not imposing larger fines to deter manufacturers from doing very stupid things with potentially fatal outcomes.
GM HQ 1 photo
Photo: GM
Fortunately for Stateside motorists, a trio of Senate Democrats and the Transporation Secretary have proposed to hike the maximum $35 million auto safety violation penalty to a much more reasonable $300 million.

Don't get us wrong, we're not hating on GM or any other car brand that took a turn for the worse lately due to call back operations regarding safety issues, but a more consistent fine would result in better made cars from the aformentioned and improved in-vehicle safety.

The current $35 million maximum fine was adopted in 2011 after Toyota's unintended acceleration fiasco. The White House tried to raise the limit to $200 million without success in the past, but this might change after the Department of Transportation recently requested to hike the penalty as well.

Richard Blumenthal, Edward Markey and Bill Nelson are the men responsible for this new bill, along with Transporation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The government officials concluded that the NHTSA should be able to extract more money from dodgy automakers after General Motors moved slower than a blind tortoise with recalling cars affected by the infamous defective ignition switches.

This bill also militates for increasing the uppermost penalty regarding individual auto safety violations from $5,000 to a cool $25,000. We salute the aforementioned for their much needed input in this affair and we keep our fingers crossed these new fines will be bundled in the Obama administration's heavily anticipated transporation bill.

We remind you that GM issued 29 recalls in the U.S. since the 1st of January, affecting 15.8 million vehicles.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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