Carmakers, Regulators To Announce Agreement To Improve Vehicle Safety

Federal regulators and automakers from around the world are set to announce an agreement on Friday to reform and improve auto safety following a year of record fines and safety recalls. 

Reuters reports that the agreement, which will be unveiled at the Detroit auto show, is intended to spur a culture change within the auto industry.

Automakers taking part in the agreement, which has been in discussions for several weeks, include General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Diamler AG, Fiat Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai.

According to sources briefed on the matter, among other things, the agreement would improve vehicle cyber security and the use of early warning data to detect potential defects that could lead to large-scale recalls. Additionally, the agreement would create government-industry task forces that would work long term to improve auto safety.

In a letter to NHTSA last week, automakers said that support for the agreement “reaffirms our shared commitment to safety, and signals to the public the areas in which government and industry intend to collaborate to further improve automotive safety.”

Still NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind tells Reuters that the agency won’t hesitate to aggressively enforce rules and fine automakers that fail to follow mandates in the future.

While the agreement showcases growing collaboration between automakers and regulators, it falls short of meeting safety advocates call for binding legal requirements to toughen safety rules.

In fact, Rosekind tells Reuters that the new agreement isn’t enforceable, but that it does meet the agency’s mission to find new tools to make sure vehicles are safe.

Exclusive: U.S., major automakers to announce safety accord Friday – sources [Reuters]