The Automotive Service Association (ASA) Parts Safety Task Force met with senior officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) April 28 to discuss automotive safety defects, ways to raise awareness of safety defects and aftermarket crash parts regulation.
Members of ASA's Parts Safety Task Force are Ron Nagy, AAM, ASA chairman-elect, Nagy's Collision Center, Wooster, OH; April Hernandez Miller, AAM, Hernandez Collision Center, Savannah, GA; Bill Moss, AAM, ASA Mechanical Division director, Ferris Automotive Inc., Warrenton, VA; Eddie Ehlert, Mazdonly Ltd., Chamblee, GA; and Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative.
Of interest for both parties is the increased accessibility of NHTSA's automotive safety-based website, www.SaferCar.gov. Among this website's many features is a tool for consumer complaints on automotive safety defects. The Vehicle Owner's Questionnaire (VOQ) form is used to measure frequency and severity of defects to determine if a recall is necessary. A common goal is to make the VOQ more consumer-friendly and well-known to encourage drivers to report problems. Further, NHTSA and ASA hope to create a compatible form for repair shops.
ASA sent a letter to NHTSA's administrator earlier in the year with regard to the regulation of aftermarket crash parts, stating: "As the new NHTSA administrator, ASA asks that you review why NHTSA does not regulate aftermarket crash parts. Voluntary certification of aftermarket crash parts has not succeeded in the collision repair industry. Congress has given NHTSA the authority to regulate these parts. We ask that NHTSA review its authority and begin an aftermarket crash parts regulatory program as soon as feasible."
ASA's task force also had meetings on Capitol Hill to discuss upcoming safety legislation being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.