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Automaker Fee Would Fund Waxman’s U.S. Auto-Safety Measure

Automakers would pay new fees to the U.S. to fund an increase in safety regulations, under a bill proposed by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman in response to Toyota Motor Corp.’s record recalls.

The draft legislation, posted today to the committee’s Web site, would require cars to have event data recorders and would give regulators more authority to issue recalls and fines. Waxman, a California Democrat, would pay for his proposed changes, including doubling vehicle-safety program funding, with a fee for each vehicle certified to meet federal standards.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would have to create standards for electronics and brake-override technology. The draft of the legislation makes regulatory changes Waxman and other lawmakers brought up during congressional hearings this year on Toyota’s recalls and NHTSA’s response to them.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, said earlier this week he would work with Waxman on auto-safety legislation.

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide for defects that may cause unintended acceleration. Three congressional committees have held hearings about the recalls.

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