Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 5164 (enr) To amend title 49, United States Code, to require reports concerning defects in motor vehicles or tires or other motor vehicle equipment in foreign countries, and for other purposes. [Enrolled bill] ...

H.R. 5164 (enr) To amend title 49, United States Code, to require reports concerning defects in motor vehicles or tires or other motor vehicle equipment in foreign countries, and for other purposes. [Enrolled bill] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5164

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To amend title 49, United States Code, to require reports concerning 
defects in motor vehicles or tires or other motor vehicle equipment in 
               foreign countries, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Transportation Recall Enhancement, 
Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act''.

SEC. 2. PRESERVATION OF SECTION 30118.

    The amendments made to section 30118 of title 49, United States 
Code, by section 364 of the Department of Transportation and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 are repealed and such section shall 
be effective as if such amending section had not been enacted.

SEC. 3. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) Defects in Foreign Countries.--Section 30166 of title 49, 
United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(l) Reporting of Defects in Motor Vehicles and Products in 
Foreign Countries.--
            ``(1) Reporting of defects, manufacturer determination.--
        Not later than 5 working days after determining to conduct a 
        safety recall or other safety campaign in a foreign country on 
        a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment that is identical or 
        substantially similar to a motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
        equipment offered for sale in the United States, the 
        manufacturer shall report the determination to the Secretary.
            ``(2) Reporting of defects, foreign government 
        determination.--Not later than 5 working days after receiving 
        notification that the government of a foreign country has 
        determined that a safety recall or other safety campaign must 
        be conducted in the foreign country on a motor vehicle or motor 
        vehicle equipment that is identical or substantially similar to 
        a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment offered for sale in 
        the United States, the manufacturer of the motor vehicle or 
        motor vehicle equipment shall report the determination to the 
        Secretary.
            ``(3) Reporting requirements.--The Secretary shall 
        prescribe the contents of the notification required by this 
        subsection.''.
    (b) Early Warning Reporting Requirements.--Section 30166, of title 
49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(m) Early warning reporting requirements.--
            ``(1) Rulemaking required.--Not later than 120 days after 
        the date of the enactment of the Transportation Recall 
        Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act, the 
        Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding to establish 
        early warning reporting requirements for manufacturers of motor 
        vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to enhance the Secretary's 
        ability to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
            ``(2) Deadline.--The Secretary shall issue a final rule 
        under paragraph (1) not later than June 30, 2002.
            ``(3) Reporting elements.--
                    ``(A) Warranty and claims data.--As part of the 
                final rule promulgated under paragraph (1), the 
                Secretary shall require manufacturers of motor vehicles 
                and motor vehicle equipment to report, periodically or 
                upon request by the Secretary, information which is 
                received by the manufacturer derived from foreign and 
                domestic sources to the extent that such information 
                may assist in the identification of defects related to 
                motor vehicle safety in motor vehicles and motor 
                vehicle equipment in the United States and which 
                concerns--
                            ``(i) data on claims submitted to the 
                        manufacturer for serious injuries (including 
                        death) and aggregate statistical data on 
                        property damage from alleged defects in a motor 
                        vehicle or in motor vehicle equipment; or
                            ``(ii) customer satisfaction campaigns, 
                        consumer advisories, recalls, or other activity 
                        involving the repair or replacement of motor 
                        vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment.
                    ``(B) Other data.--As part of the final rule 
                promulgated under paragraph (1), the Secretary may, to 
                the extent that such information may assist in the 
                identification of defects related to motor vehicle 
                safety in motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in 
                the United States, require manufacturers of motor 
                vehicles or motor vehicle equipment to report, 
                periodically or upon request of the Secretary, such 
                information as the Secretary may request.
                    ``(C) Reporting of possible defects.--The 
                manufacturer of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
                equipment shall report to the Secretary, in such manner 
                as the Secretary establishes by regulation, all 
                incidents of which the manufacturer receives actual 
                notice which involve fatalities or serious injuries 
                which are alleged or proven to have been caused by a 
                possible defect in such manufacturer's motor vehicle or 
                motor vehicle equipment in the United States, or in a 
                foreign country when the possible defect is in a motor 
                vehicle or motor vehicle equipment that is identical or 
                substantially similar to a motor vehicle or motor 
                vehicle equipment offered for sale in the United 
                States.
            ``(4) Handling and utilization of reporting elements.--
                    ``(A) Secretary's specifications.--In requiring the 
                reporting of any information requested by the Secretary 
                under this subsection, the Secretary shall specify in 
                the final rule promulgated under paragraph (1)--
                            ``(i) how such information will be reviewed 
                        and utilized to assist in the identification of 
                        defects related to motor vehicle safety;
                            ``(ii) the systems and processes the 
                        Secretary will employ or establish to review 
                        and utilize such information; and
                            ``(iii) the manner and form of reporting 
                        such information, including in electronic form.
                    ``(B) Information in possession of manufacturer.--
                The regulations promulgated by the Secretary under 
                paragraph (1) may not require a manufacturer of a motor 
                vehicle or motor vehicle equipment to maintain or 
                submit records respecting information not in the 
                possession of the manufacturer.
                    ``(C) Disclosure.--None of the information 
                collected pursuant to the final rule promulgated under 
                paragraph (1) shall be disclosed pursuant to section 
                30167(b) unless the Secretary determines the disclosure 
                of such information will assist in carrying out 
                sections 30117(b) and 30118 through 30121.
                    ``(D) Burdensome requirements.--In promulgating the 
                final rule under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall not 
                impose requirements unduly burdensome to a manufacturer 
                of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment, taking 
                into account the manufacturer's cost of complying with 
                such requirements and the Secretary's ability to use 
                the information sought in a meaningful manner to assist 
                in the identification of defects related to motor 
                vehicle safety.
            ``(5) Periodic review.--As part of the final rule 
        promulgated pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall 
        specify procedures for the periodic review and update of such 
        rule.''.
    (c) Sale or Lease of Defective or Noncompliant Tire.--Section 30166 
of title 49, United States Code, as amended by subsection (b), is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(n) Sale or Lease of Defective or Noncompliant Tire.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Secretary shall, within 90 days of 
        the date of the enactment of the Transportation Recall 
        Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act, 
        issue a final rule requiring any person who knowingly and 
        willfully sells or leases for use on a motor vehicle a 
        defective tire or a tire which is not compliant with an 
        applicable tire safety standard with actual knowledge that the 
        manufacturer of such tire has notified its dealers of such 
        defect or noncompliance as required under section 30118(c) or 
        as required by an order under section 30118(b) to report such 
        sale or lease to the Secretary.
            ``(2) Defect or Noncompliance Remedied or Order Not in 
        Effect.--Regulations under paragraph (1) shall not require the 
        reporting described in paragraph (1) where before delivery 
        under a sale or lease of a tire--
                    ``(A) the defect or noncompliance of the tire is 
                remedied as required by section 30120; or
                    ``(B) notification of the defect or noncompliance 
                is required under section 30118(b) but enforcement of 
                the order is restrained or the order is set aside in a 
                civil action to which section 30121(d) applies.''.
    (d) Insurance Study.--The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct 
a study to determine the feasibility and utility of obtaining aggregate 
information on a regular and periodic basis regarding claims made for 
private passenger automobile accidents from persons in the business of 
providing private passenger automobile insurance or of adjusting 
insurance claims for such automobiles. Not later than 120 days after 
the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit the 
results of such study to the Committee on Commerce of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate.

SEC. 4. REMEDIES WITHOUT CHARGE.

    Section 30120(g)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is amended 
by--
            (1) striking ``8 calendar years'' and inserting ``10 
        calendar years''; and
            (2) striking ``3 calendar years'' and inserting ``5 
        calendar years''.

SEC. 5. PENALTIES.

    (a) Civil Penalties.--Section 30165(a) of title 49, United States 
Code, is amended to read as follows:
    ``(a) Civil Penalties.--
            ``(1) In general.--A person that violates any of sections 
        30112, 30115, 30117 through 30122, 30123(d), 30125(c), 30127, 
        or 30141 through 30147, or a regulation prescribed thereunder, 
        is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty 
        of not more than $5,000 for each violation. A separate 
        violation occurs for each motor vehicle or item of motor 
        vehicle equipment and for each failure or refusal to allow or 
        perform an act required by any of those sections. The maximum 
        penalty under this subsection for a related series of 
        violations is $15,000,000.
            ``(2) Section 30166.--A person who violates section 30166 
        or a regulation prescribed under that section is liable to the 
        United States Government for a civil penalty for failing or 
        refusing to allow or perform an act required under that section 
        or regulation. The maximum penalty under this paragraph is 
        $5,000 per violation per day. The maximum penalty under this 
        paragraph for a related series of daily violations is 
        $15,000,000.''.
    (b) Criminal Penalties.--
            (1) In General.--Subchapter IV of chapter 301 of title 49, 
        United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
        following:
``Sec. 30170. Criminal Penalties
    ``(a) Criminal Liability for Falsifying or Withholding 
Information.--
            ``(1) General rule.--A person who violates section 1001 of 
        title 18 with respect to the reporting requirements of section 
        30166, with the specific intention of misleading the Secretary 
        with respect to motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment safety 
        related defects that have caused death or serious bodily injury 
        to an individual, (as defined in section 1365(g)(3) of title 
        18), shall be subject to criminal penalties of a fine under 
        title 18, or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both.
            ``(2) Safe harbor to encourage reporting and for whistle 
        blowers.--
                    ``(A) Correction.--A person described in paragraph 
                (1) shall not be subject to criminal penalties under 
                this subsection if: (1) at the time of the violation, 
                such person does not know that the violation would 
                result in an accident causing death or serious bodily 
                injury; and (2) the person corrects any improper 
                reports or failure to report within a reasonable time.
                    ``(B) Reasonable time and sufficiency of 
                correction.--The Secretary shall establish by 
                regulation what constitutes a reasonable time for the 
                purposes of subparagraph (A) and what manner of 
                correction is sufficient for purposes of subparagraph 
                (A). The Secretary shall issue a final rule under this 
                subparagraph within 90 days of the date of the 
                enactment of this section.
                    ``(C) Effective date.--Subsection (a) shall not 
                take effect before the final rule under subparagraph 
                (B) takes effect.
    ``(b) Coordination with Department of Justice.--The Attorney 
General may bring an action, or initiate grand jury proceedings, for a 
violation of subsection (a) only at the request of the Secretary of 
Transportation.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The subchapter analysis for 
        subchapter IV of chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, 
        is amended by adding at the end the following:

``30170. Criminal penalties.''.

SEC. 6. ACCELERATION OF MANUFACTURER REMEDY PROGRAM.

    Section 30120(c) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by 
inserting at the end thereof the following:
    ``(3) If the Secretary determines that a manufacturer's remedy 
program is not likely to be capable of completion within a reasonable 
time, the Secretary may require the manufacturer to accelerate the 
remedy program if the Secretary finds--
            ``(A) that there is a risk of serious injury or death if 

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