US: NHTSA ready to act on Takata, Jeep fire recalls image

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seeks now to make a move within the next couple of weeks to speed up the safety campaigns of Jeep SUVs and Takata airbags.

The US auto safety regulator intends to take swift action to mitigate the growing risks associated with the massive recalls of older Jeep models that can catch fire if struck from behind and of Takata airbags, which can explode. NHTSA’s administrator, Mark Rosekind, has talked to the media, hinting the agency will have an action plan for both companies at the beginning of May and has pledged to aggressively seek to further curb the risks of the recalls, which have deadly consequences. The top official pledged to move faster on the sidelines of a NHTSA debate on ways to lift auto recall effectiveness.

The auto safety regulator has repeatedly said it would also reconsider its earlier investigation into the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Jeep recall, assessing whether the automaker needs to change its safety campaign. The carmaker has been putting hitches at the back of the Jeep models to protect them from damage during rear-end collisions, as the fuel tank could rupture and catch fire. The move comes as this month a jury awarded $150 million in compensation to a family that lost their son in a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had the fuel tank in an exposed position. The NHTSA representative also didn’t forget Takata’s woes, remaining critical of the Japanese auto safety supplier’s actions so far.

Via Reuters