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Features of Auto Safety Measure

October 12, 2000|From Associated Press

Provisions of the auto safety legislation passed by Congress and sent to President Clinton:

* Automotive industry officials who withhold information on safety defects could be imprisoned for up to 15 years.

* Auto makers and their suppliers must report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration when they learn of deaths or injuries caused by a possible defect and when they recall products in foreign countries.

* The manufacturers also must periodically report data on claims for personal injuries and property damage and other data that may help identify safety defects.

* Auto manufacturers will have to replace defective products free of charge until they are 10 years old, instead of the 8 years old under current law. It also would increase tire manufacturers' obligation to provide free repairs for tires up to 5 years old, instead of 3 years old.

* The civil penalties for violations of the law will increase from $1,100 to $5,000 per violation. The maximum penalty will increase from $925,000 to $15 million.

* NHTSA must begin driving tests of rollover risk within two years and make the results for each vehicle available to consumers.

* Vehicles must have a warning system within three years to indicate when a tire is under-inflated.

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