The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was blasted in a new report released today by the Transportation Department, which said that the agency’s poor management and lack of trained staff members has had deadly consequences on the highway.
The report says that for years, the NHTSA has failed to hold automakers responsible for vehicle defects — a problem that culminated in a failure to warn the public about faulty ignition switches in General Motors vehicles. This mistake has been linked to at least 114 highway deaths.
The Transportation Department found that the NHTSA ignored 90% percent of consumer complaints, spending just seconds glancing at most of them. It also found that most of the staff members requests to investigate a possible defect are denied.
The report also listed 17 changes that the NHTSA should make in order to bolster systematic weaknesses and improve highway safety.
After reading the report, Congress said that the NHTSA must “do better”.