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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 1, 2000


Today I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 5164, the "Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act." The TREAD Act represents an important first step toward strengthening our Nation's motor vehicle safety laws, and its vigorous and quick implementation will help save lives and prevent injuries.

Most important, the Act responds directly to some of the key shortcomings in identifying the recent Firestone tire problem. Some of the deaths and injuries associated with these tires might have been prevented if automobile manufacturers and their suppliers had been required to provide the Government with more timely information about potential safety defects. The Act addresses this by: (1) specifically requiring manufacturers, within 5 days, to report to the Secretary of Transportation any relevant safety recalls or other safety campaigns in foreign countries; and (2) granting the Secretary of Transportation new authority to develop an early warning system that requires automobile manufacturers and their suppliers to submit information and analysis concerning possible safety defects in vehicles and equipment.

With this new authority, however, comes the important responsibility to notify the public, as quickly as possible, of any relevant investigative efforts and other safety-related information submitted to the Secretary by the manufacturers or their suppliers. Thus, today I am also directing the Secretary of Transportation to implement the information disclosure requirements of the Act in a manner that assures maximum public availability of information.

Finally, among many other important measures, the Act also includes proposals put forth by my Administration to provide for longer recall periods, to increase civil penalties for violations of the motor vehicle safety laws, and to authorize more funds for investigations into defective cars and their parts. I strongly support all of these provisions.


                              THE WHITE HOUSE,
                              November 1, 2000.

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