Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 3059 (rs) To amend title 49, United States Code, to require motor vehicle [Reported in Senate] ...

S. 3059 (rs) To amend title 49, United States Code, to require motor vehicle [Reported in Senate] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3059

    To amend title 49, United States Code, to require motor vehicle 
   manufacturers and motor vehicle equipment manufacturers to obtain 
  information and maintain records about potential safety defects in 
   their foreign products that may affect the safety of vehicles and 
        equipment in the United States, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 15, 2000

 Mr. McCain (for himself, Mr. Gorton, and Mr. Specter) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                 Commerce, Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To amend title 49, United States Code, to require motor vehicle 
   manufacturers and motor vehicle equipment manufacturers to obtain 
  information and maintain records about potential safety defects in 
   their foreign products that may affect the safety of vehicles and 
        equipment in the United States, 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 ``Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle 
Equipment Defect Notification Improvement Act''.

SEC. 2. IMPROVED INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION CONCERNING SAFETY-RELATED 
              DEFECTS.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 301 of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec.  30106. International cooperation
    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary of Transportation may cooperate 
with the transportation authorities of foreign countries to enhance 
motor vehicle and traffic safety by exchanging information with those 
authorities related to motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment safety 
defects, noncompliance with motor vehicle safety and motor vehicle 
equipment standards and regulations.
    ``(b) Confidential Information.--The Secretary may authorize the 
disclosure of confidential commercial information submitted to the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or incorporated in 
agency-prepared records, to a foreign governmental agency that performs 
functions similar to those performed by the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration as part of cooperative law enforcement or 
regulatory efforts if--
            ``(1) the Secretary determines that disclosure would be in 
        the interest of improved motor vehicle safety; and
            ``(2) the foreign governmental agency provides a statement 
        in writing to the Secretary that--
                    ``(A) establishes the agency's authority to protect 
                confidential commercial information from public 
                disclosure; and
                    ``(B) commits the foreign governmental agency not 
                to disclose any such information provided to it under 
                this subsection without the written permission of the 
                person to whom the information relates or a written 
                confirmation from the National Highway Traffic Safety 
                Administration that the information has ceased to 
                qualify as confidential commercial information under 
                United States law.
    ``(c) Nonpublic Information.--The Secretary may authorize the 
disclosure of nonpublic, pre-decisional documents concerning 
regulations or other regulatory requirements of the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration or other Federal agencies, and other 
nonpublic information relevant to agency activities, to a foreign 
governmental agency that performs functions similar to those performed 
by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of 
cooperative law enforcement or regulatory activity if--
            ``(1) the Secretary determines that disclosure is 
        reasonably necessary to facilitate motor vehicle safety related 
        cooperative law enforcement or regulatory activity; and
            ``(2) the foreign governmental agency provides a statement 
        in writing to the Secretary that--
                    ``(A) establishes the foreign governmental agency's 
                authority to protect the document or information from 
                public disclosure; and
                    ``(B) commits the foreign governmental agency not 
                to disclose any document or information provided to it 
                under this subsection without a written confirmation 
                from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
                that it has no objection to disclosure of the document 
                or that the information has ceased to qualify as 
                nonpublic information under United States law.
    ``(d) Limit on Disclosure.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
law, a document or information disclosed under subsection (b) or (c) to 
a foreign governmental agency is not required to be disclosed to the 
public under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, or any other 
provision of law, unless the information has ceased to qualify as 
confidential commercial information under United States law.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The chapter analysis for subchapter I of 
chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
the end the following:

``30106. International cooperation''.

SEC. 3. INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT FOR RECALLS OF MOTOR VEHICLES OR MOTOR 
              VEHICLE PARTS.

    (a) International Agreement.--The President is authorized and 
requested to initiate, within 60 days after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, negotiations for an international agreement governing the 
recall by manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment 
with safety-related defects.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of these negotiations shall be to 
establish an international agreement under which government officials 
agree to cooperate in furthering global transparency with respect to 
motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment recalls so as to promote 
consumer safety and to enhance consumer confidence.
    (c) Guidelines.--The international agreement negotiated under 
subsection (a) should incorporate the following provisions:
            (1) Each signatory will designate a competent authority 
        within its national government as the responsible authority for 
        disseminating, to the public and to other foreign authorities, 
        information about recalls of motor vehicles or motor vehicle 
        equipment.
            (2) Each signatory will cooperate at the international 
        level through its designated authorities through information 
        exchange, communication, and joint action.
            (3) Each signatory will make available, to the public and 
        to other governments, through an Internet site, at a minimum, 
        the following information:
                    (A) The name, title, and contact information for 
                the competent authority for motor vehicle or motor 
                vehicle equipment recalls.
                    (B) The names of any motor vehicle or motor vehicle 
                equipment manufacturer in its jurisdiction that has 
                issued a recall, the company's contact information, and 
                the specific motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment 
                that is the subject of a recall.
                    (C) The country in which the recall is in effect, 
                and the date of the recall.
            (4) Each signatory, in the interest of getting all relevant 
        information to its competent authority and having the authority 
        share it with the competent authorities of other countries, 
        will disseminate widely the final guidelines negotiated to all 
        relevant governmental departments, agencies, and branches of 
        government.
            (5) Each signatory that is an advanced industrialized 
        country will seek to assist other countries that are 
        signatories to implement the agreement, and to aid efforts by 
        those countries to ensure compliance with the agreement.
            (6) Each signatory will establish a framework to conduct 
        regular oversight and review to assess the operation and 
        effectiveness of the agreement and to create a forum in which 
        each signatory can share with other signatories the laws and 
        regulations it has adopted to implement the agreement.
    (d) Guidelines for Enterprises Engaged in Trade.--The international 
agreement negotiated under subsection (a) should incorporate the 
following guidelines on recalls for manufacturers engaged in exporting 
motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment or manufacturing motor 
vehicle equipment for inclusion in motor vehicles to be exported:
            (1) Transparency and disclosure.--Each such manufacturer 
        should disclose all relevant information regarding any recall 
        it undertakes to the competent authority in the country in 
        which it initiates the recall and to the competent authority in 
        the country in which it is incorporated. The information should 
        be extensive enough to facilitate public notice described in 
        subsection (c)(3).
            (2) Consumer interests.--Each such manufacturer should be 
        cognizant of the fact that consumers cross international 
        borders and often take vehicles with them, and should, to the 
        greatest extent practical, make consumers aware of recalls of 
        its motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment, particularly in 
        countries that border or are in proximity to a country in which 
        the recall was initiated.
            (3) Cooperation with regulatory authorities.--Each such 
        manufacturer should cooperate promptly with the national 
        authorities in any country that is requesting information about 
        a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment recall in an effort 
        to safeguard consumer safety.

SEC. 4. COMPLIANCE REQUIRED FOR CERTIFICATION.

    Section 30115 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end the following: ``A person may not affix a certification 
label or tag to a motor vehicle or an item of motor vehicle equipment 
under this section unless that person has established, through testing 
or engineering analyses, that the vehicle or equipment complies with 
all applicable motor vehicle safety standards prescribed under this 
chapter.''.

SEC. 5. DEFECT AND NONCOMPLIANCE NOTIFICATION FOR OEM EQUIPMENT; 
              ACCIDENT DATA.

    (a) In General.--Section 30118 of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) by striking ``motor vehicle or replacement equipment'' 
        in subsections (a), (b), and (c) and inserting ``motor vehicle, 
        original equipment, or replacement equipment'';
            (2) by redesignating subsections (d) and (e) as subsections 
        (e) and (f); and
            (3) by inserting after subsection (c) the following:
    ``(d) Review of Safety-related Data.--A manufacturer of a motor 
vehicle, original equipment, or replacement equipment shall review and 
consider information regarding accidents and incidents involving motor 
vehicles or equipment manufactured by that manufacturer (or a related 
party) that resulted in fatalities, serious injuries, or fires, 
including information about such accidents and incidents outside the 
United States, and notify the Secretary if the manufacturer has reason 
to believe that the vehicle or equipment involved has a safety-related 
defect or fails to comply with any motor vehicle safety standard 
prescribed under this chapter.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) take 
effect 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 6. EXTENSION OF TIME FOR NO-CHARGE REMEDIES.

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

SEC. 7. USED MOTOR VEHICLES.

    Section 30126 of title 49, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(a) In General.--'' before ``To 
        ensure''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(b) Sales of Used Motor Vehicles for Which Notice Has Issued.--
            ``(1) In general.--A dealer may not sell a used motor 
        vehicle, except for purposes other than resale, or lease a used 
        motor vehicle to another, unless the dealer--
                    ``(A) informs the purchaser or lessee of any 
                notification of a defect or noncompliance under section 
                30118(b) or (c) with respect to that vehicle that has 
                not been remedied; and
                    ``(B) either--
                            ``(i) offers to remedy the defect or 
                        noncompliance (within the meaning of such term 
                        as used in section 30120); or
                            ``(ii) obtains from the purchaser or lessee 
                        a signed statement in writing acknowledging 
                        receipt of a document that describes the defect 
                        or noncompliance (including any relevant 
                        information from such a notification) and the 
                        offer.
            ``(2) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                    ``(A) Dealer.--Notwithstanding section 30102(a)(1), 
                the term `dealer' means a person who sold at least 10 
                motor vehicles to purchasers for purposes other than 
                resale within the 12 months preceding the sale of the 
                vehicle referred to in paragraph (1). For purposes of 
                this subparagraph, the term motor vehicle does not 
                include a motor vehicle sold for parts or scrap as a 
                junk automobile (as defined in section 30501(4)) or a 
                motor vehicle that is a salvage vehicle (as defined in 
                section 30501(7)).
                    ``(B) Used motor vehicle.--The term `used motor 
                vehicle' means a motor vehicle that has previously been 
                purchased for purposes other than resale.''.

SEC. 8. SCHOOL BUSES.

    Section 30125 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(d) Operation After Notification.--
            ``(1) In general.--A person who owns or leases a school bus 
        who receives a notice of a defect or noncompliance for that 
        school bus under section 30118(b) or (c) may not operate the 
        school bus as a school bus for more than 30 days after receipt 
        of the notice unless the defect or noncompliance is remedied 
        (within the meaning of that term as used in section 30120) or 
        the Secretary grants a waiver. The Secretary may grant a waiver 
        from the prohibition in the preceding sentence, or extend the 
        30-day period, if the Secretary, in the Secretary's sole 
        discretion, finds that the waiver or extension is in the public 
        interest.''.

SEC. 9. COMMERCIAL PASSENGER VEHICLES.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter II of chapter 301 of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:
``Sec.  30128. Commercial passenger vehicles
    ``A person who owns or leases a motor vehicle used to transport 
passengers for compensation who receives a notice of a defect or 
noncompliance for that motor vehicle under section 30118(b) or (c) may 

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