H.R. 5381 (111th): Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of May 25, 2010 (Reported by House Committee).

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Union Calendar No. 307

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5381

[Report No. 111–536]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 25, 2010

(for himself, Mr. Rush, Mr. Dingell, Mr. Stupak, and Mr. Braley of Iowa) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

July 14, 2010

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on May 25, 2010


A BILL

To require motor vehicle safety standards relating to vehicle electronics and to reauthorize and provide greater transparency, accountability, and safety authority to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Definitions.

Title I—VEHICLE ELECTRONICS AND SAFETY STANDARDS

Sec. 101. Electronics and Engineering Expertise.

Sec. 102. Brake override standard.

Sec. 103. Accelerator control systems.

Sec. 104. Pedal placement standard.

Sec. 105. Electronic systems performance standard.

Sec. 106. Push-button ignition systems standard.

Sec. 107. Transmission configuration standard.

Sec. 108. Vehicle event data recorders.

Sec. 109. Commercial motor vehicle rollover prevention and crash mitigation.

Sec. 110. Minimum sound requirement.

Sec. 111. Driver alcohol detection system research.

Title II—TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Sec. 201. Public availability of early warning data.

Sec. 202. Improved NHTSA vehicle safety database.

Sec. 203. Promotion of vehicle defect reporting.

Sec. 204. NHTSA hotline for manufacturer, dealer, and mechanic personnel.

Sec. 205. Corporate responsibility for NHTSA reports.

Sec. 206. Appeal of defect petition rejection.

Sec. 207. Deadlines for rulemaking.

Sec. 208. Reports to Congress.

Sec. 209. Restriction on Covered Vehicle Safety Officials.

Title III—Funding

Sec. 301. Vehicle safety user fee.

Sec. 302. Authorization of appropriations.

Title IV—ENHANCED SAFETY AUTHORITIES

Sec. 401. Civil penalties.

Sec. 402. Imminent hazard authority.

Title V—Additional Provisions

Sec. 501. Preemption of State law.

2.

Definitions

As used in this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1)

The term passenger motor vehicle means a motor vehicle (as defined in section 30102(a)(6) of title 49, United States Code) that is rated at less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicular weight. Such term does not include—

(A)

a motorcycle;

(B)

a trailer; or

(C)

a low speed vehicle (as defined in section 571.3 in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations).

(2)

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Transportation, acting through the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

I

VEHICLE ELECTRONICS AND SAFETY STANDARDS

101.

Electronics and Engineering Expertise

(a)

Center for vehicle electronics and emerging technologies

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall establish, within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a Center for Vehicle Electronics and Emerging Technologies. The Center shall—

(A)

build, integrate, and aggregate the agency’s expertise in vehicle electronics and other new and emerging technologies;

(B)

coordinate with all components of the agency responsible for vehicle safety, including research and development, rulemaking, and defects investigation; and

(C)

conduct research into the use of lightweight materials in vehicles, including through the implementation of the Plastic and Composite Intensive Vehicle Safety Roadmap (Report No. DOT HS 810 863).

(2)

Limitation

Not more than 20 percent of the funds spent by the Center in a given year may be spent for the purposes described in paragraph (1)(C).

(b)

Honors recruitment program

(1)

Establishment

The Secretary shall establish, within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an honors program for engineering students and other students interested in vehicle safety that will enable them to train with engineers and other safety officials for a career in vehicle safety. The Secretary is authorized to provide a stipend to students during their participation in the program.

(2)

Targeted student

The Secretary shall develop a plan to target and make an aggressive outreach to recruit the top 10 percent of science, technology, engineering and mathematics students attending—

(A)

1890 Land Grant Institutions (as defined in section 2 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7061));

(B)

Predominantly Black Institutions (as defined in section 318 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059e));

(C)

Tribal Colleges or Universities (as defined in section 316(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059c(b))); and

(D)

Hispanic Serving Institutions (as defined in section 318 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 059e)).

102.

Brake override standard

(a)

Unintended acceleration

The Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, to prescribe or amend a Federal motor vehicle safety standard that would mitigate unintended acceleration in passenger motor vehicles. The standard—

(1)

shall establish performance requirements that enable a driver to bring a passenger motor vehicle safely to a full stop by normal braking application even if the vehicle is simultaneously receiving accelerator input signals;

(2)

may permit compliance with such requirements through a smart pedal system that requires brake pedal application, after a period of time determined by the Secretary, to override an accelerator input signal in order to stop the vehicle; and

(3)

may permit vehicles to incorporate a means by which the driver would be able to temporarily disengage the technology or mechanism required under paragraph (1) to facilitate operations, such as maneuvering trailers, or other operating conditions, that may require the simultaneous operation of the service brake and accelerator pedal.

(b)

Deadline

The Secretary shall issue a final rule under subsection (a) within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.

103.

Accelerator control systems

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding to amend Federal motor vehicle safety standard 124 to require that at least 1 redundant circuit or other mechanism be built into accelerator control systems, including systems controlled by electronic throttle, to maintain vehicle control in the event of failure or malfunction in the accelerator control system.

(b)

Deadline

The Secretary shall issue a final rule under subsection (a) within 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

(c)

Combined

If the Secretary considers it appropriate, the Secretary may combine the rulemaking proceeding required by subsection (a) with the rulemaking proceeding required by section 102.

104.

Pedal placement standard

(a)

Consideration of Rule

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, to consider prescribing or amending Federal motor vehicle safety standards to prevent the potential obstruction of pedal movement in passenger motor vehicles by establishing minimum clearances for passenger motor vehicle foot pedals with respect to other pedals and the vehicle floor (including aftermarket floor coverings), taking into account various pedal mounting configurations.

(b)

Deadline for decision

If the Secretary determines such safety standards are reasonable, practicable, and appropriate, the Secretary shall prescribe the safety standards described in subsection (a) not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of this Act. If the Secretary determines that no additional safety standards are reasonable, practicable, and appropriate the Secretary shall transmit a report to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate describing the reasons such standards were not prescribed.

105.

Electronic systems performance standard

(a)

In General

Not later than 2 years after the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, to consider requiring electronic systems in passenger motor vehicles to meet minimum standards for performance. The Secretary shall consider the findings and recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences pursuant to its study of electronic vehicle controls and unintended acceleration. The standard may include requirements for electronic components, the interaction of those electronic components, or the effect of surrounding environments on those electronic systems.

(b)

Deadline for decision

If the Secretary determines such safety standards are reasonable, practicable, and appropriate, the Secretary shall prescribe the safety standards described in subsection (a) not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of this Act. If the Secretary determines that no additional safety standards are reasonable, practicable, and appropriate the Secretary shall transmit a report to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate describing the reasons such standards were not prescribed.

106.

Push-button ignition systems standard

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, to prescribe or amend a Federal motor vehicle safety standard for passenger motor vehicles equipped with push-button ignition systems, to establish the standard operation and function of such systems when used by drivers, including drivers unfamiliar with the vehicle, in an emergency situation when the vehicle is in motion.

(b)

Deadline

The Secretary shall issue a final rule under subsection (a) within 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

107.

Transmission configuration standard

(a)

In General

The Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, to revise Federal motor vehicle safety standard 102, to improve the recognition of the gear selector positions for drivers, including drivers unfamiliar with the vehicle, and to improve the conspicuity of the neutral position.

(b)

Deadline

The Secretary shall issue a final rule under subsection (a) within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.

108.

Vehicle event data recorders

(a)

Required event data recorders

Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall modify the regulation contained in part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require that passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements for event data recorders set forth in such part. The Secretary shall require manufacturers to include such event data recorders in their entire fleet beginning in model year 2015.

(b)

Requirements for event data recorders

The Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, to require that the event data recorders required to be installed in passenger motor vehicles pursuant to subsection (a) continuously record vehicle operational data that can be stored and accessed for retrieval and analysis in accordance with subsections (c) and (d).

(c)

Specifications

The rule—

(1)

shall require such recorders to store data covering a reasonable time before, during, and after a crash or airbag deployment, including information on engine performance, steering, braking, acceleration, vehicle speed, seat belt use, and airbag deployment level, deactivation status, deployment time, and deployment stage, and may require such recorders to store other data, such as data related to vehicle rollovers, as the Secretary considers appropriate;

(2)

shall require such recorders to store data covering at least a sufficient period of time to capture all relevant data from a crash, including vehicle rollovers, and shall establish appropriate recording times for capturing data prior to a crash event;

(3)

may require such recorders to capture certain events such as rapid deceleration and full braking lasting more than 10 seconds, even if there is not a crash or airbag deployment;

(4)

may not require information recorded or transmitted by such data recorders to include the vehicle location, except for the purposes of emergency response;

(5)

shall require that data stored on such recorders be accessible, regardless of vehicle manufacturer or model, with commercially available equipment;

(6)

shall specify any data format requirements or other requirements, including a standardized data access port, the Secretary determines appropriate to facilitate accessibility and analysis; and

(7)

shall require that such recorders meet at least the performance requirements for crash resistance included in part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (as amended January 14, 2008), and, if the Secretary determines that these requirements do not provide adequate temperature, crash, or water resistance, shall establish such additional standards.

(d)

Limitations on information retrieval

(1)

Ownership of data

The rule issued under subsection (b) shall provide that any data in a data recorder required under the rule is the property of the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle in which the data recorder is installed.

(2)

Privacy

The rule issued under subsection (b) shall provide that information recorded or transmitted by such a data recorder may not be retrieved by a person other than the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle in which the recorder is installed unless—

(A)

a court authorizes retrieval of the information in furtherance of a legal proceeding;

(B)

the owner or lessee consents to the retrieval of the information for any purpose, including the purpose of diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the motor vehicle; or

(C)

the information is retrieved by a government motor vehicle safety agency for the purpose of improving motor vehicle safety if the personally identifiable information of the owner, lessee, or driver of the vehicle and the vehicle identification number is not disclosed in connection with the retrieved information.

(3)

Tamper resistance

The rule issued under subsection (b) shall establish performance requirements for preventing unauthorized access to the data stored on such event data recorder in order to protect the security, integrity, and authenticity of the data.

(e)

Disclosure of existence and purpose of event data recorder

The rule issued under subsection (a) shall provide that any owner’s manual or similar documentation provided to the first purchaser of a passenger motor vehicle for purposes other than resale shall disclose that the vehicle is equipped with such a data recorder and explain the purpose of the recorder.

(f)

Access to event data recorders in defect investigations

Section 30166(c)(3)(C) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting , including any electronic data contained within the vehicle’s diagnostic system or event data recorder after equipment.

(g)

Deadline for rulemaking

The Secretary shall issue a final rule under subsection (a) not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

109.

Commercial motor vehicle rollover prevention and crash mitigation

(a)

Rulemaking

Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding pursuant to section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, to prescribe or amend a Federal motor vehicle safety standard to reduce commercial motor vehicle rollover and loss of control crashes and mitigate deaths and injuries associated with such crashes for air-braked motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds.

(b)

Required performance standards

The rulemaking proceeding initiated under subsection (a) shall establish standards to reduce the occurrence of rollovers consistent with stability enhancing technologies that address both rollovers and loss-of-control crashes.

(c)

Deadline

The Secretary shall issue a final rule under subsection (a) not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

110.

Minimum sound requirement

(a)

Rulemaking

Not later than 18 months following the date of enactment of this Act the Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding under section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, to promulgate a motor vehicle safety standard to establish performance requirements for an alert sound that allows blind and other pedestrians to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle operating below the cross-over speed, if any. Such standard—

(1)

shall require new electric or hybrid vehicles to provide an alert sound conforming to the requirements of the motor vehicle safety standard established under this subsection;

(2)

shall not require either driver or pedestrian activation of the alert sound;

(3)

shall allow the pedestrian to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle in critical operating scenarios, including but not limited to constant speed, accelerating, and decelerating;

(4)

shall allow manufacturers to provide each vehicle with 1 or more alert sounds that comply with the motor vehicle safety standard at the time of manufacture; and

(5)

shall require manufacturers to provide, within reasonable manufacturing tolerances, the same alert sound or set of alert sounds for all vehicles of the same make and model and shall prohibit manufacturers from providing any mechanism for anyone other than the manufacturer or the dealer to disable, alter, replace, or modify the alert sound or set of alert sounds, except that the manufacturer or dealer may alter, replace, or modify the alert sound or set of alert sounds in order to remedy a defect or non-compliance with the motor vehicle safety standard.

(b)

Consideration

When conducting the required rulemaking, the Secretary shall—

(1)

determine the minimum level of an alert sound emitted from a motor vehicle that is necessary to provide blind and other pedestrians with the information needed to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle operating at or below the cross-over speed, if any;

(2)

determine the performance requirements for an alert sound that is recognizable to a pedestrian as a motor vehicle in operation; and

(3)

consider the overall noise impact to streets and communities.

(c)

Phase-in required

The motor vehicle safety standard prescribed pursuant to subsection (a) shall establish a phase-in period for compliance, as determined by the Secretary, and shall require full compliance with the required motor vehicle safety standard for motor vehicles manufactured on or after September 1 of the calendar year that begins 3 years after the date on which the final rule is issued.

(d)

Consultation

When conducting the required study and rulemaking, the Secretary shall consult with—

(1)

the Environmental Protection Agency to assure that the motor vehicle safety standard is consistent with existing noise requirements overseen by the Agency;

(2)

consumer groups representing individuals who are blind;

(3)

automobile manufacturers and professional organizations representing them; and

(4)

technical standardization organizations responsible for measurement methods such as the Society of Automotive Engineers, the International Organization for Standardization, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations.

(e)

Deadline

The Secretary shall issue a final rule under subsection (a) not later than 36 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

(f)

Study and report

Not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall complete a study and report to Congress as to whether there exists a safety need to apply the motor vehicle safety standard required by subsection (a) to conventional motor vehicles. In the event that the Secretary determines there exists a safety need, the Secretary shall initiate rulemaking under section 30111 of title 49, United States Code to extend the standard to conventional motor vehicles.

(g)

Definitions

For purposes of the motor vehicle safety standard required under this section—

(1)

the term alert sound means a vehicle-emitted sound that enables pedestrians to discern vehicle presence, direction, location, and operation;

(2)

the term cross-over speed means the speed at which tire noise, wind resistance, or other factors eliminate the need for a separate alert sound, as determined by the Secretary;

(3)

the term conventional motor vehicle means a motor vehicle powered by a gasoline, diesel, or alternative fueled internal combustion engine as its sole means of propulsion;

(4)

the term electric vehicle means a motor vehicle with an electric motor as its sole means of propulsion; and

(5)

the term hybrid vehicle means a motor vehicle which has more than one means of propulsion.

111.

Driver alcohol detection system research

(a)

Research

The Secretary shall carry out a collaborative research effort to continue to explore the feasibility and the potential benefits of, and the public policy challenges associated with, more widespread deployment of in-vehicle technology to prevent alcohol-impaired driving.

(b)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit a report annually to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate—

(1)

describing progress in carrying out the collaborative research effort; and

(2)

including an accounting for the use of Federal funds obligated or expended in carrying out that effort.

(c)

Authorization

From amounts appropriated under section 30104 of title 49, United States Code, the Secretary is authorized to expend $8,000,000 during each of fiscal years 2011 through 2015 to conduct the research required under this section.

II

TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

201.

Public availability of early warning data

(a)

In general

Section 30166(m) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by in paragraph (4), by striking subparagraph (C) and inserting the following:

(C)

Disclosure

The information provided to the Secretary pursuant to this subsection shall be disclosed publicly unless exempt from disclosure under section 552(b) of title 5.

.

(b)

Regulations

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue regulations regarding public access to information submitted pursuant to section 30166(m). The Secretary may establish categories of information provided pursuant to such section that must be made available to the public and categories that are exempt from public disclosure under section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code.

(c)

Consultation

In conducting the rulemaking required under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consult with the Director of the Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives and the Director of the Office of Information Policy of the Department of Justice.

(d)

Presumption and limitation

The Secretary shall issue the regulations with a presumption in favor of maximum public availability of information. The following types of information shall not be eligible for protection under section 552(b)(4) of title 5, United States Code, and shall not be withheld from public disclosure:

(1)

Production information regarding passenger motor vehicles, information on incidents involving death or injury, and numbers of property damage claims.

(2)

Aggregated numbers of consumer complaints.

(e)

Nullification of prior regulations

Beginning 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the regulations establishing early warning reporting class determinations in Appendix C of section 512 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, shall have no force or effect.

202.

Improved NHTSA vehicle safety database

(a)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall improve public accessibility to information on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s publicly accessible vehicle safety databases by—

(1)

improving organization and functionality, including design features such as drop-down menus, and allowing for data to be searched, aggregated, and downloaded;

(2)

providing greater consistency in presentation of vehicle safety issues; and

(3)

improving searchability about specific vehicles and issues through standardization of commonly used search terms.

(b)

Vehicle recall information

The Secretary shall require that motor vehicle recall information be made available to consumers on the Internet, searchable by vehicle identification number in a format that preserves consumer privacy. The Secretary may initiate a rulemaking proceeding to require that such information be available on manufacturer websites or through other reasonable means.

(c)

Accessibility of manufacturer communications

Section 30166(f) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting , and make available on a publicly accessible Internet website, after Secretary of Transportation.

203.

Promotion of vehicle defect reporting

Section 32302 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(d)

Motor Vehicle Defect Reporting Information

(1)

Rulemaking required

Within 1 year after the date of enactment of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 the Secretary shall prescribe regulations that require passenger motor vehicle manufacturers to affix, in the glove compartment or in another readily accessible location on the vehicle, a sticker, decal, or other device that provides, in simple and understandable language, information about how to submit a safety-related motor vehicle defect complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The information may not be placed on the label required by section 3 of the Automobile Information Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. 1232).

(2)

Application

The requirements established under paragraph (1) shall apply to passenger motor vehicles manufactured in model years beginning more than 1 year after the date on which a final rule is published under that paragraph.

.

204.

NHTSA hotline for manufacturer, dealer, and mechanic personnel

The Secretary shall—

(1)

establish a means by which mechanics, automobile dealership personnel, and automobile manufacturer personnel may contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration directly and confidentially regarding potential passenger automobile safety defects; and

(2)

publicize the means for contacting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a manner that targets mechanics, automobile dealership personnel, and manufacturer personnel.

205.

Corporate responsibility for NHTSA reports

(a)

In General

Section 30166 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(o)

Corporate Responsibility for Reports

The Secretary shall require, for each company submitting information to the Secretary in response to a request for information in a safety or compliance investigation under this chapter, that a senior official responsible for safety residing in the United States certify that—

(1)

the signing official has reviewed the submission; and

(2)

based on the official’s knowledge, the submission does not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in light of the circumstances under which such statements were made, not misleading.

.

(b)

Civil penalty

Section 30165(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by striking A person in paragraph (3) and inserting Except as provided in paragraph (4), a person; and

(2)

by adding at the end thereof the following:

(4)

False, misleading, or incomplete reports

A person who knowingly and willfully submits materially false, misleading, or incomplete information to the Secretary, after certifying the same information as accurate and complete under the certification process established pursuant to section 30166(o), shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per day. The maximum penalty under this paragraph for a related series of daily violations is $5,000,000.

.

206.

Appeal of defect petition rejection

Section 30162 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(f)

Judicial review

A decision of the Secretary to deny a petition filed under subsection (a)(2) of this section is agency action subject to judicial review under chapter 7 of title 5, and such action shall not be considered committed to agency discretion within the meaning of section 701(a)(2) of such title. A person aggrieved by the denial of a petition may obtain judicial review by filing an action in the court of appeals of the United States for the circuit in which the person resides or has its principal place of business or the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit not more than 180 days after notice of the denial of the petition is published in the Federal Register.

.

207.

Deadlines for rulemaking

If the Secretary determines that a deadline for a final rule under this Act, or an amendment made by this Act, cannot be met, the Secretary shall—

(1)

notify the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and explain why that deadline cannot be met; and

(2)

establish a new deadline for that rule.

208.

Reports to Congress

(a)

Study on early warning data

Not later than 3, 5, 7, and 9 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation shall complete a study of the utilization of Early Warning data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Each study shall evaluate the following:

(1)

The number and type of requests for information made by the NHTSA based on data received in the Early Warning Reporting system.

(2)

The number of safety defect investigations opened by NHTSA using any information reported to the agency through the Early Warning Reporting system.

(3)

The nature and vehicle defect category of all such safety defect investigations.

(4)

The number of investigations described in paragraph (2) that are subsequently closed without further action.

(5)

The duration of each investigation described in paragraph (2)

(6)

The percentage of each investigation that result in a finding of a safety defect or recall by the agency.

(7)

Other information the Office of the Inspector General deems appropriate.

(b)

Report on operations of the Center for Vehicle Electronics and Emerging Technologies

Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall report to Congress regarding the operations of the Center for Vehicle Electronics and Emerging Technologies. Such report shall include information about the accomplishments of the Center, the role the Center plays in integrating and aggregating expertise across NHTSA, and priorities of the Center over the next 5 years.

(c)

Study of crash data collection

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue a report regarding the quality of data collected through the National Automotive Sampling System, including the Special Crash Investigations, and recommendations for improvements to this data collection program. The report shall include information regarding—

(1)

the analysis and conclusions NHTSA can reach based on the amount of data collected in a given year, and the additional analysis and conclusions NHTSA could reach if more crash investigations were conducted each year;

(2)

the number of investigations per year that would allow for optimal data analysis and crash information;

(3)

the results of a comprehensive review of the data elements collected from each crash to determine if additional data should be collected; which review shall include input from interested parties, such as suppliers, automakers, safety advocates, the medical community and research organizations; and

(4)

the resources that would be necessary for NHTSA to implement these recommendations.

(d)

Submission of reports

Each report shall be submitted to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate upon completion.

209.

Restriction on Covered Vehicle Safety Officials

(a)

Amendment

Subchapter I of chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

30107.

Restriction on covered vehicle safety officials

(a)

In general

For a period of 1 year after the termination of his or her service or employment, a covered vehicle safety official shall not knowingly make, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before any officer or employee of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration on behalf of any manufacturer subject to regulation under this chapter in connection with any matter involving vehicle safety on which such person seeks official action by any officer or employee of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

(b)

No Effect on Section 207

This section does not expand, contract, or otherwise affect the application of any waiver or criminal penalties under section 207 of title 18, United States Code.

(c)

Effective Date

This section shall apply to covered vehicle safety officials who terminate service or employment with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration after the date of enactment of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010.

(d)

Definition

In this section, the term covered vehicle safety official means any officer or employee of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration who, within the final 12 months of his or her service or employment with the agency, serves or served in a technical or legal capacity, and whose job responsibilities include or included vehicle safety defect investigation, vehicle safety compliance, vehicle safety rulemaking, or vehicle safety research, and any officer or employee of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration serving in a supervisory or management capacity over such officers or employees.

(e)

Special Rule for Detailees

For purposes of this section, a person who is detailed from one department, agency, or other entity to another department, agency, or other entity shall, during the period such person is detailed, be deemed to be an officer or employee of both departments, agencies, or such entities.

(f)

Exception for testimony

Nothing in this section shall prevent an individual from giving testimony under oath, or from making statements required to be made under penalty of perjury.

.

(b)

Civil penalty

Section 30165(a) of title 49, United States Code, as amended by section 205, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

(5)

Section 30107

A person who violates section 30107 shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $55,000.

.

(c)

Conforming amendment

The table of contents for chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 30106 the following:

30107. Restriction on covered vehicle safety officials.

.

III

Funding

301.

Vehicle safety user fee

(a)

Amendment

Subchapter I of chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

30108.

Vehicle safety user fee

(a)

Establishment of fund

There is established in the Treasury of the United States a separate account for the deposit of fees under this section to be known as the Vehicle Safety Fund.

(b)

Assessment and collection of vehicle safety fees

Beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010, the Secretary shall assess and collect, in accordance with this section, a vehicle safety user fee from the manufacturer for each motor vehicle that is certified as compliant with applicable motor vehicle safety standards pursuant to section 30115.

(c)

Deposit

The Secretary shall deposit any fees collected pursuant to subsection (b) into the Vehicle Safety Fund established by subsection (a).

(d)

Use

Amounts in the Vehicle Safety Fund shall be available to the Secretary, as provided in subsection (i), for making expenditures to meet the obligations of the United States to carry out vehicle safety programs of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(e)

Vehicle safety user fee

(1)

First, second, and third year fees

The fee assessed under this section for the first three years shall be as follows:

(A)

$3 for each vehicle certified during the first year in which such fees are assessed.

(B)

$6 for each vehicle certified during the second year in which such fees are assessed.

(C)

$9 for each vehicle certified during the third year in which such fees are assessed.

(2)

Subsequent years

The fee assessed under this section for each vehicle certified after the third year in which such fees are assessed shall be adjusted by the Secretary by notice published in the Federal Register to reflect the total percentage change that occurred in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers for the 12 month period ending June 30 preceding the fiscal year for which fees are being established.

(3)

Payment

The Secretary shall require payment of fees under this section on a quarterly basis and not later than one quarter after the date on which the fee was assessed.

(f)

Rulemaking

Not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010, the Secretary shall promulgate rules governing the collection and payment of fees pursuant to this section.

(g)

Limitations

(1)

In general

Fees under this section shall not be collected for a fiscal year unless appropriations for vehicle safety programs of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for such fiscal year (excluding the amount of fees appropriated for such fiscal year) are equal to or greater than the amount of appropriations for vehicle safety programs of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for fiscal year 2010.

(2)

Authority

If the Secretary does not assess fees under this section during any portion of a fiscal year because of paragraph (1), the Secretary may assess and collect such fees, without any modification in the rate, at a later date in such fiscal year notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (e)(3) relating to the date fees are to be paid.

(h)

Collection of unpaid fees

In any case where the Secretary does not receive payment of a fee assessed under this section within 30 days after it is due, such fee shall be treated as a claim of the United States Government subject to subchapter II of chapter 37 of title 31.

(i)

Authorization of appropriations

In addition to funds appropriated under section 30104, there is authorized to be appropriated from the Vehicle Safety Fund to the Secretary for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for each fiscal year in which fees are collected under subsection (b) an amount equal to the total amount collected during the previous fiscal year from fees assessed pursuant to this section. Such amounts are authorized to remain available until expended.

(j)

Crediting and Availability of Fees

Fees authorized under subsection (b) shall be collected and available for obligation only to the extent and in the amount provided in advance in appropriations Acts.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The analysis for such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 30106 the following:

30108. Vehicle safety user fee.

.

302.

Authorization of appropriations

Section 30104 of title 49, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by striking $98,313,500; and

(2)

by striking in each fiscal year beginning and all that follows and inserting

and to carry out the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010—

(1)

$200,000,000 for fiscal year 2011;

(2)

$240,000,000 for fiscal year 2012; and

(3)

$280,000,000 for fiscal year 2013.

.

IV

ENHANCED SAFETY AUTHORITIES

401.

Civil penalties

(a)

In general

Section 30165 of title 49, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)(1)—

(A)

in the first sentence by striking $5,000 and inserting $25,000; and

(B)

in the third sentence, by striking $15,000,000 and inserting $200,000,000;

(2)

in subsection (a)(3)—

(A)

in the second sentence by striking $5,000 and inserting $25,000 ; and

(B)

in the third sentence, by striking $15,000,000 and inserting $200,000,000; and

(3)

by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:

(c)

Relevant factors in determining amount of penalty or compromise

In determining the amount of a civil penalty or compromise, the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation shall be considered. This shall include, where appropriate, the nature of the defect or noncompliance, the severity of the risk of injury, the occurrence or absence of injury, the number of motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment distributed with the defect or noncompliance, the existence of an imminent hazard, the appropriateness of such penalty in relation to the size of the business of the person charged, recognizing the potential for undue adverse economic impacts on small businesses, and such other factors as appropriate.

.

(b)

Civil Penalty Criteria

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and in accordance with the procedures of section 553 of title 5, United States Code, the Secretary shall issue a final regulation providing its interpretation of the penalty factors described in section 30165(c) of title 49, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

(c)

Construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the imposition of penalties under section 30165 of title 49, United States Code, prior to the issuance of a final rule pursuant to subsection (b).

402.

Imminent hazard authority

(a)

In general

Section 30118(b) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(3)

Imminent hazard orders

If the Secretary of Transportation in making a decision under subsection (a) also initially decides that such defect or noncompliance presents a substantial likelihood of death or serious injury to the public, the Secretary shall notify such manufacturer. The opportunity for the manufacturer to present information, views, and arguments in accordance with paragraph (1) shall be provided as soon as practicable but not later than 10 calendar days after the initial decision. The Secretary shall expedite proceedings for a decision and order under paragraph (1) and shall, as appropriate, issue an imminent hazard order.

.

(b)

Procedures

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue procedures for the issuance and enforcement of imminent hazard orders under section 30118(b)(3) of title 49, United States Code (as added by subsection (a)), consistent with the provisions of chapter 301 of such title and the Administrative Procedures Act.

V

Additional Provisions

501.

Preemption of State law

(a)

Congressional authorization required

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall not publish a rule pursuant to section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, that addresses the issue of preemption of State law seeking damages for personal injury, death, or property damage unless Congress expressly authorizes the Secretary to address such preemption.

(b)

Preemption language

Any language addressing the issue of preemption contained within regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, during the years 2005 through 2008 shall not be considered in determining whether any such rule preempts any action under State law seeking damages for personal injury, death, or property damage unless Congress expressly authorizes the Secretary to address such preemption.

July 14, 2010

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed