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H.R. 6051 (112th): Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2012

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

6/28/2012--Introduced. Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2012 - Repeals the prohibition against a motor vehicle safety standard's requiring or allowing a manufacturer to comply with it by using a buzzer designed to indicate a safety belt is not in use, except a buzzer that operates only during the eight-second period after the ignition is turned to the "start" or "on" position. (Thus allows manufacturers to comply with the standard by using any sort of buzzer.)

Directs the Secretary of Transportation (DOT), with respect to odometer disclosures required when ownership of a motor vehicle is transferred, to prescribe regulations permitting any written disclosures or notices and related matters to be provided electronically.

Increases civil penalties (including damages) for violations of federal prohibitions against tampering with odometers.

Prohibits a person from selling, offering for sale, introducing in interstate commerce, or importing into the United States motor vehicles or equipment about which a notice of a defect or order of noncompliance with federal motor vehicle safety requirements has been issued.

Prescribes conditions on the importation of vehicles and equipment.

Requires an officer or employee designated by the Secretary to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) for inspections and sampling of motor vehicle equipment being offered for import to determine compliance with federal transportation law.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) require motor vehicle safety recall information be made available to the public on the Internet, and (2) publicize the means for contacting a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) motor vehicle safety defect hotline for manufacturer, dealer, and mechanic personnel.

Directs the Secretary to issue regulations to require passenger motor vehicle manufacturers to affix, in a readily accessible location, a device that provides information on how to submit a safety-related motor vehicle defect complaint to NHTSA.

Directs the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on the quality of data collected through the National Automotive Sampling System, including the Special Crash Investigations Program.

Declares that filing for bankruptcy shall not negate a manufacturer's duty to comply with motor vehicle safety requirements for the recall of defective motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment.

Directs the Secretary to establish within NHTSA a Council for Vehicle Electronics, Vehicle Software, and Emerging Technologies.

Directs the Secretary to complete an examination of the need for safety standards with regard to electronic systems in passenger motor vehicles.

Directs the Secretary to modify federal motor vehicle safety standards to: (1) improve the protection of children seated in child restraint systems during side impact crashes, (2) improve the ease of use of child restraint anchorage systems, and (3) provide a safety belt use warning system for designated seating positions in the rear seat.