Transportation department says NHTSA defect investigation process falls short

Jan. 9, 2002

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) "still faces challenges in fully implementing the (Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation or TREAD) Act and improving its ability to identify potential safety defects," according to a Department of Transportation statement issued earlier today.

"We found that NHTSA has made progress in meeting TREAD Act requirements," department officials say.

However, they recommend that NHTSA "issue regulations required under the TREAD Act in a timely manner" and "establish a peer review panel to ensure that data used to identify potential defects are thoroughly analyzed."

They also want investigations to be "opened and prioritized in a consistent manner" and say NHTSA needs to "identify techniques for collecting and analyzing defect information from a wider range of sources."

On top of that, the Department of Transportation wants NHTSA to use "an independent entity" to develop a new defect database "and ensure that data being transferred to the new system is accurate and complete."