FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2016
Contact: Allison Kennedy, 202-408-1711, firstname.lastname@example.org
STATEMENT OF JACKIE GILLAN, PRESIDENT OF ADVOCATES FOR HIGHWAY AND AUTO SAFETY, ON SEN. BILL NELSON’S (D-FL), RANKING MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION, REPORT ON TAKATA AIRBAGS, “The Takata Recalls: Consumers Are Still Stuck in Neutral”
The report released by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), “The Takata Recalls: Consumers Are Still Stuck in Neutral,” clearly reveals that our government’s system of identifying and recalling defective airbags is completely broken, is failing the public and is needlessly jeopardizing safety.
As a result of Sen. Nelson’s inquiries, we are now finding out that consumers are in peril whether driving a car that has a recalled Takata airbag or purchasing a new car equipped with the same old defective inflator. The auto industry’s unsatisfactory recall completion rates and their unacceptable revelation that several companies have not even started replacing defective airbags are astoundingly callous to the threats these airbags pose to public safety. Furthermore, consumers need to know, want to know and have a right to know if faulty Takata airbags are in the new car they plan to purchase.
Last year, Congress passed auto safety legislation and had a prime opportunity to correct many of these serious problems by enacting criminal penalties for corporate wrongdoers, creating stronger requirements for consumer information, closing the loophole that allows auto dealers to sell used cars with unrepaired safety defects, and giving the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the needed resources to be the tough cop on the beat. Unfortunately, this report validates what happens when auto industry friends in Congress put corporate priorities before public safety.