NHTSA Safety Systems Team (SST)

NHTSA Safety Teams

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just issued a press release regarding the formation of two new teams designed to improve safety and address safety risks identified in a recent report. These newly formed safety panels will have trained experts to help implement improvements in the NHTSA’s current system of enforcement, vehicle safety and behavioral safety efforts. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx released two reports that outline the newly adopted changes, many of which stemmed from the GM ignition switch fiasco of 2014.

NHTSA Stepping Up Safety Efforts

If there’s one thing we learned from the unprecedented number of safety recalls last year, it’s that the NHTSA wasn’t as effective as it could have been with both investigations and enforcement. Based on a recent safety report “NHTSA’s Path Forward,” a newly formed safety team will be addressing weaknesses identified during the GM ignition switch investigation. The three-person Safety Systems Team (SST) will improve the NHTSA’s ability to hold manufacturers accountable for collecting information more efficiently and auditing automakers and their parts manufacturers. Additionally, they will also be expanding the NHTSA’s work on new and emerging safety technologies. Listed below are the three members on the new, all-star SST.

NHTSA Safety Systems Team (SST)

  • Dr. Joseph Kolly, Ph.D., director of the Office of Research and Engineering at the National Transportation Safety Board.
  • Dr. J. Victor Lebacqz, Ph.D, former associate administrator for aeronautics research at NASA.
  • Dr. James P. Bagian, M.D., Former NASA astronaut and current director of the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety at the University of Michigan.

Risk Control in Auto Manufacturing

In addition to the formation of the SST, the NHTSA also announced their Risk Control Innovations Program that will utilize multi-disciplinary teams to address safety concerns and develop strategies for issues that fall outside of the NHTSA’s normal programs. Hopefully, these new safety teams and programs will increase safety in auto manufacturing and efficacy in recall enforcement and investigations. Already this year, we have seen a variety of recalls being issued. Sadly, a common theme with many of these recalls is companies that try to hide defective parts and safety hazards from consumers.

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