Life sentences for auto execs who delay recalls? image

Claire McCaskill, U.S. Democratic Senator has proposed a new bill for the automotive execs who keep stalling when it comes to recalls. The Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Enhancement Act is set to improve the automotive safety after high-profile car failures involving Toyota and General Motors happened.

The plan includes a double budget for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the next 6 years and the $35 million limit for fining automakers removed. It also includes a provision that would punish auto executives if it’s discovered they knowingly delayed recalls. The punishment? Life in prison.

McCaskill’s office said the bill “gives federal prosecutors greater discretion to bring criminals prosecutions for auto safety violations and increases the possible penalties, including up to life in prison for violations that result in death.” And if a delayed recall led to serious injuries, auto executives still face a 15-year period behind bars.
The change in the fine structure for automakers, the removal of the limit is complemented by an increase in the per-vehicle fine, from $5000 to $25.000. GM could be accounted for $55 BILLION in fines caused by the ignition switch recall, instead of $35 MILLION. That would be quite a difference!

McCaskill said that “With millions of Americans behind the wheel every day, and more than 33.000 killed on our roads, each year, we’ve got to do more to keep our cars and the roads we drive them on safe. Painful recent examples at Toyota and GM have shown us we also must make it easier to hold accountable those who jeopardize consumers’ safety. For too long, auto safety resources have remained virtually stagnant while cars and the safety challenges they present have become more complex.”

Let us know what you think of McCaskill’s proposed bill.

By Gabriela Florea