NHTSA’s Early Safety-Warning Rule Is Coming

The Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act reporting requirements which will go into effect April 1, 2003, will have an impact on all vehicle manufacturers and many suppliers. TREAD is the legislation that swept swiftly through Congress on the heels of the Firestone tire recall and a groundswell of public outcry, and was passed in 2000.

The law establishes early-warning reporting requirements of safety-related tire and automotive defects, establishes criminal penalties for falsifying or withholding information on vehicle safety-related defects and protects corporate whistle blowers.

The new TREAD Act regulations require that all manufacturers of motor vehicles, including trailer manufacturers, report on a quarterly basis to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) information regarding problems associated with an extensive list of vehicle components.

Reports will be required for every model of vehicle manufactured and will include, but will not be limited to, the number of warranty claims, property-damage claims, consumer complaints, certain legal proceedings, fires, deaths and injuries.

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