The U.S. government and a group of auto manufacturers will be unveiling a voluntary agreement at the Detroit auto show today in an attempt to improve auto safety standards and create changes within auto companies to ensure safety remains a top priority in the manufacturing of vehicles. The agreement comes after a record year in 2015 of safety fines, recalls, and investigations into malfunctioning vehicles made by major automakers including General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co., and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
However, many are not convinced of the efficacy that proponents of the agreement claim it will have to curtail these issues. There are calls for actual binding legal requirements to be adopted by Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Because the agreement is a voluntary one, it is not enforceable and thus individuals hope to instead have Congress act to put into place legally binding auto safety rules. While some auto safety advocates have praised manufacturers for working with the government to come to the agreement, they too are troubled by its not being legally enforceable and its exclusion of input from outside parties such as safety advocates and consumers.