House Energy and Commerce Committee asks GAO to review NHTSA

The House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Wednesday to review the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) following its perceived botched handling of two safety recalls.

In a letter signed by a bipartisan group of committee leaders, including Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), it asks the GAO – a non-partisan watchdog – to review NHSTA in the wake of the General Motors ignition switch and Takata airbag recalls.

The Energy and Commerce Committee is asking the GAO to find answers specifically to the following questions:

1. To what extent have NHTSA or other organizations evaluated NHTSA’s ability to adapt its regulatory structure to new developments in automotive technology? To what extent has NHTSA successfully adapted to new developments in automotive technology?

2. How does NHTSA facilitate information sharing across its directorates about new developments in automotive technology and safety?

3. What challenges, if any, does NHTSA face in its oversight of new automotive technologies?