- Written by webmin
We shouldn’t be surprised that Congress acts schizophrenically, but we really thought that after the bailout the Feds would have some leverage. As we’ve reported previously, the legislation included language requiring everything from black box event data recorders, to new reporting standards, to giving the DOT power to assess unlimited fines.
No longer. As the bills currently read, fines have been capped, all timetables thrown away and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood now only has to “consider” the black box – he can elect to scrap the idea altogether (LaHood does have a history of going his own way, through, so the whole thing could get interesting). L.A. Times points out that “More than a dozen members of the House committee where the bill originated come from auto-producing states in the Midwest and South, including Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), the panel’s chairman emeritus.”
Opposition was funneled though Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which ironically didn’t complain about emerging evidence that the Toyota unintended acceleration scandal is completely bogus (only a single instance of mechanical failure has been found; the rest appear to be driver error), but that the goals were too hard to meet.