The US auto safety regulator – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – could soon have a new chief after the White House’s administration has finally decided to nominee a candidate.
The Obama administration looks ready to nominate Mark Rosekind, a specialist in human fatigue and alertness, for the agency’s top job – just as the NHTSA faces an investigation that seeks to find why it did a botched job in recalling defective airbags linked to at least five deaths. The regulator has been criticized a lot this year, first for its slowness to react when faced with GM’s ignition switch scandal and now in the case of the Takata airbag safety crisis.
Rosekind, currently a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, is poised to replace deputy director David Friedman, who was acting chief of the NHTSA since David Strickland left his position earlier this year. “Mark is a leader ready-made for this critical responsibility,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was quoted by Bloomberg. “I expect him to hold not only the auto industry accountable, but I also expect him to help us raise the bar on safety ever higher within the U.S. Department of Transportation.”
In the meantime, yesterday also took place a US Senate hearing called to cast light on the investigation and recall of about 8 million autos in the US because of the Takata airbag recall debacle.