President Obama nominated Mark Rosekind to be the next leader of the recently beleaguered National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and now he made the first step towards the job – as he survived a Senate committee.
Rosekind, who made an appearance before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said that he is very “concerned” with the “slowness” the agency has initiated its recalls and announced his intention to be very aggressive with the automakers that try to impede safety recalls. While not very implicated with the auto industry, Rosekind has been since 2010 on the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates civil aviation accidents and crashes involving marine, railroad and pipeline transport.
This year alone the automakers present on the US market have recalled a record number of vehicles – around 50 million (for comparison the SAAR for November was of 17.2 million new vehicles in 2014). And the US safety regulator in particular had a deeply disturbing year, in which the No. 1 US automaker General Motors was found to have concealed for more than a decade a deadly safety flaw in ignition switches. The latest setback for the agency was just this week when Japan’s Takata Corp refused to comply with NHTSA’s order to expand to a nationwide level a deadly airbag flaw regional recall.