H.R.5154 - Transportation Information Recall Enhancement Act106th Congress (1999-2000)
Text: H.R.5154 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)
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Introduced in House (09/12/2000)
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[Congressional Bills 106th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 5154 Introduced in House (IH)] 106th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 5154 To amend title 18, United States Code, to impose criminal and civil penalties for false statements and failure to file reports concerning defects in foreign motor vehicle products, and to require the timely provision of notice of such defects, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES September 12, 2000 Mr. Hutchinson (for himself, Mr. Green of Texas, Mr. Rogan, and Mr. Bilbray) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend title 18, United States Code, to impose criminal and civil penalties for false statements and failure to file reports concerning defects in foreign motor vehicle products, and to require the timely provision of notice of such defects, 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 Information Recall Enhancement Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. (a) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (1) in an interview with ABC News on September 3, 2000, Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater stated that he thinks there should be a law requiring that the United States be immediately notified of a foreign recall, ``especially in the global economy when you've got U.S. goods really being used by individuals around the world. We should know when there's a problem someplace else.''; (2) as of the date of enactment of this Act, there is no legal requirement for manufacturers of motor vehicles and their components to notify United States agencies of a recall issued in a foreign country; (3) between August 1999 and spring 2000, Ford Motor Company replaced Firestone tires on 46,912 vehicles in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Malaysia, and South America; (4)(A) on May 2, 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary evaluation into Firestone ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness AT tires after receiving 90 complaints, primarily from consumers in the Southeast and Southwest, about tread separations or blowouts; (B) as of September 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received over 1,400 complaints, including reports of more than 250 injuries and 88 deaths; and (C) some of the complaints date back to the early 1990s, and 797 of the complaints report that a tire failure took place between August 1, 1999, and August 9, 2000; and (5)(A) on August 9, 2000, Bridgestone/Firestone announced a United States recall of 6,500,000 ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness AT tires; and (B) that date was 3 months after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration commenced its investigation and nearly 9 months after Ford Motor Company initiated the replacement of the tires in foreign countries. (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to ensure that defects in motor vehicles or replacement equipment in foreign countries are quickly, accurately, and truthfully reported to the United States Secretary of Transportation in cases in which-- (1) the motor vehicles or replacement equipment is manufactured for export to the United States; or (2) the motor vehicles or replacement equipment is manufactured in the United States using a manufacturing process that is the same as, or similar to, the manufacturing process used in the foreign country, with the result that the motor vehicles or replacement equipment manufactured in the United States may also be defective. SEC. 3. CRIMINAL AND CIVIL PENALTIES IN CONNECTION WITH REPORTING OF DEFECTS IN FOREIGN MOTOR VEHICLE PRODUCTS. (a) In General.--Chapter 47 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``Sec. 1036. Penalties in connection with reporting of defects in foreign motor vehicle products ``(a) Definitions.-- ``(1) Foreign motor vehicle product.--The term `foreign motor vehicle product' means a motor vehicle or replacement equipment that-- ``(A) is manufactured in a foreign country for export to the United States; or ``(B) is manufactured in a foreign country using a manufacturing process that is the same as, or similar to, a manufacturing process used in the United States for a motor vehicle or replacement equipment. ``(2) Other terms.--The terms `defect', `manufacturer', `motor vehicle', and `replacement equipment' have the meanings given the terms in section 30102 of title 49. ``(b) Criminal Penalty.--A manufacturer of a foreign motor vehicle product, or an officer or employee of such a manufacturer, that, in connection with a report required to be filed under section 30118(f) of title 49, willfully-- ``(1) falsifies or conceals a material fact; ``(2) makes a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or ``(3) makes or uses a false writing or document knowing that the writing or document contains any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. ``(c) Civil Penalty.-- ``(1) In general.--In addition to any civil penalty that may be assessed under chapter 301 of title 49, a manufacturer that violates section 30118(f) of title 49 shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500,000 for each day of the violation. ``(2) Compromise of penalty.--The Attorney General may compromise the amount of a civil penalty imposed under paragraph (1). ``(3) Determination of amount.--In determining the amount of a civil penalty or compromise under this subsection, the Attorney General shall consider-- ``(A) the appropriateness of the penalty or compromise in relation to the size of the business of the manufacturer liable for the penalty; and ``(B) the gravity of the violation. ``(4) Deduction of amount of penalty.--The United States Government may deduct the amount of the civil penalty imposed or compromised under this section from any amount that the Government owes the manufacturer liable for the penalty.''. (b) Conforming Amendment.--The analysis for chapter 47 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``1036. Penalties in connection with reporting of defects in foreign motor vehicle products.''. SEC. 4. REPORTING OF DEFECTS IN FOREIGN MOTOR VEHICLE PRODUCTS. Section 30118 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(f) Reporting of Defects in Foreign Motor Vehicle Products.-- ``(1) Definition of foreign motor vehicle product.--The term `foreign motor vehicle product' means a motor vehicle or replacement equipment that-- ``(A) is manufactured in a foreign country for export to the United States; or ``(B) is manufactured in a foreign country using a manufacturing process that is the same as, or similar to, a manufacturing process used in the United States for a motor vehicle or replacement equipment. ``(2) Reporting of defects.-- ``(A) Initial report.--Not later than 48 hours after determining, or learning that a government of a foreign country has determined, that a foreign motor vehicle product contains a defect that could be related to motor vehicle safety, the manufacturer of the foreign motor vehicle product shall report the determination to the Secretary. ``(B) Written report.-- ``(i) In general.--Not later than 5 days after the end of the 48-hour period described in subparagraph (A), the manufacturer shall submit to the Secretary a written report that meets the requirements of clause (ii). ``(ii) Contents of written report.--A written report under clause (i) shall contain-- ``(I) a description of the foreign motor vehicle product that is the subject of the report; ``(II) a description of-- ``(aa) the determination of the defect by the government of the foreign country or by the manufacturer of a foreign motor vehicle product; and ``(bb) any measures that the government requires to be taken, or the manufacturer determines should be taken, to obtain a remedy of the defect; ``(III) information concerning any serious injuries or fatalities possibly resulting from the defect; and ``(IV) such other information as the Secretary determines to be appropriate. ``(3) Reporting of possible defects.--Upon making a determination that there have been a significant number of serious injuries or fatalities in a foreign country that could have resulted from a defect in a foreign motor vehicle product that could be related to motor vehicle safety (as determined in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary), the manufacturer of the foreign motor vehicle product shall report the determination to the Secretary in such manner as the Secretary establishes by regulation.''. SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act and the amendments made by this Act take effect on the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act. <all>