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House Passed Act

Congressional Record-House
August 17, 1966, 19671

(b) (1) Pangraph (1) of rubeoction (a) Itom of motor vehicle equipment is not in shall not apply to the sale, the offer for sale, conformity with appucable foderal motor or the introduction or delivery for introduc. vobide naloty standards, or to any person tion in interstate commerce of any motor who, prior to such Arnt purabajo, bolda . vobicle or motor vehicle equipment after the certid cate lasued by the manufacturor or imArst purchase of it in good faith for purposos porter of such motor vehicle or motor vehi. other than resalo. In order to masure a con. clo equipmont, to the effect that such vebidlo tinuing and effective national tramc safety or equipment conforms to all applicable Modprogram, it is tubo poucy of Congress to on eral motor vehicle safety standards, walons courage and strongthon the onforcemont of such person know that ruch vehiclo or Stato inspoction of used motor vehicles. oquipment does not so conform. Thorofore to that ond the Socretary shall “(8) A motor vehicle or item of motor voconduct a thorough study and investigation Liclo aquipment odored for importation in to dotormino tho adequacy of motor vehiclo violation of paragraph (1) of rubroction (a) matoty standards and motor vehicle inspoc- shall be refused admission into the United tion requirements and procodures applicable States under joint regulations lesuod by the to usod motor vehicles in each state, and the Socretary of the Treasury and the Socretary; oft oct of programs authorized by this title

except that the Secretary of the Treasury upon such standards, requirements, and pro and the Secretary may, by such regulations, codures for usod motor vehicles, and report provide for autboriang the importation of to Congress as soon as practicable but not such motor vehicle or item of motor vabicle later than one year after the date of anact- equipment into the United States upon such mont of this title, the results of such study, terms and conditions (including the furnishand rocommondations for such additional ing of a bond) as may appear to them apprologislation as he dooms Docessary to carry priate to insure that any such motor vehicle out the purposes of this Act. As soon as or item of motor vehiclo equipment will be practicable after the submission of such ro- brought into conformity with any applicable port, but no later than one yoar from the Federal motor vehicle safety standard prodate of submission of such report, the Socre- scribed under this title, or will be exportod or tary, after consultation with the Council and abandoned to the United States. ruch interestod public and private agoncios “(4) The Socretary of the Treasury and and groups as ho doems advisable, shall as tho Secretary may, by joint regulations, pertablish uniform Moderal motor vehicle safety mit the temporary importation of any motor standards applicable to all used motor ve- vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment bialos. Such standards aball bo expressed in after the Arst purchase of it in good faltb for torms of motor vehiclo maloty performance. purposes other than resale. The Secretary us authorized to amend or re “(8) Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) shall voke such standards pursuant to this Act. not apply in the case of a motor vobicle or

“(2) Paragraph (1) of subooction (a) whall item of motor vehicle equipment intended not apply to any parson who ostablahos that solely for export, and so labeled or tagged on bo did not now or have ronson to know in

o know in the vehicle or item itself and on the outside the exercise of due care that such vabicle or of the container, I any, which is exported.

House Debate

Congressional Record-House
August 17, 1966, 19626


The bill prohibits the manufacture, standards for such vehicles, as well as importation, or sale of vehicles which inspection requirements in each State, fail to meet issued standards. These and to report his findings to Congress provisions do not apply to resale of used within 1 year of enactment. Within cars. The bill does provide some con. the next year, safety standards are to be trol over used car resales, The Secretary issued covering used cars. is authorized to make a study of safety

Congressional Record-House
August 17, 1966, 19631 and 19632
Mr. ROGERS of Florida.


The committee in this legislation is therefore continuing its activity concerning motor vehicle safety. It is also appropriate to mention at this point that the House Commerce Committee also

dopted an amendment I offered as set forth in section 108, relative to separate safety inspection standards being issued applicable to used cars. After careful consideration of the practical problems involving safety of used cars, it became clear that the most effective approach to the safety problem concerning used cars could be accomplished through Federal standards incorporated with state in spection procedures. ..........................

The committee has treated the problem of safety standards for used cars by including in section 108 a mandate that at the end of 1 year from the date of enactment of this act, the Secretary shall complete a study of the problems relating to the safety standards for used vehicles, and make recommendations to the Congress for any additional legislation he feels necessary. It is the intent of my amendment that no later than 1 year from the date of the submission of the Secretary's report, the Secretary, after consultation with the Council and other interested public or private agencies, shall establish Federal vehicle safety inspection standards applicable to used motor vehicles. These inspection standards, expressed in terms of vehicle performance, may be revised by the Secretary from time to time after advice from the Council. In this mandate to the Secretary, such used car safety inspection standards would become effective upon issue by the Secretary or within & reasonable time thereafter. The full effect of these used car inspection standards lies in the enforcement provisions seen in H.R. 13290, which offers grant incentives and withholds Federal road construction funds to hasten adoption of vehicle inspections by the States.

There are 90 million motor vehicles on American roads today. Each year, approximately 9 million new cars are sold. The basis for congressional action in the auto safety field rests with the annual loss of 50,000 lives due to highway accidents. With this basis in mind, a new Federal program of safety standards for new cars was initiated. However, due to their condition, new cars are presumably safer than old cars. If the Congress is going to act on the auto safety problem, then to make the approach through standards for new cars alone seems to touch only 10 percent of the basic matter of auto safety standards. There are 30 million used cars sold in America each year. These sales represent one-third of all the vehicles on the road. I the Con. gress is going to do something about safety by issuing Federal standards, such standards must deal with the question of used cars as well as new ones. The used car provisions of section 108 will enable the Secretary of Commerce to proceed within the existing framework of State inspection laws. Section 108, as written, will minimize Federal preemption of a question traditionally left to the States, yet will allow the thrust of Federal safety efforts to be felt through 90 percent of the vehicles annually once the auto safety program is set in motion.

The importance of motor vehicle inspections can be seen in the experience of the State of Texas, for example, which reports that prior to its Inspection program in 1951, some 19 percent of vehicles involved in fatal accidents had un. safe conditions. In 1963, the percentage had been reduced to 4 percent. Virginia reports similar findings. The vehicle in. spection provisions of title III, spelled out in H.R. 13290 as reported by the House Public Works Committee, are designed to ultimately reach every vehicle on the road. The House Commerce Committee has addressed itself to the two specific areas of safety standards: new and used cars.

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In my personal opinion the third dilference constituted the greatest change made by this House in the substantive provisions of S. 3005. It had been my conviction from the beginning, and the conviction likewise of many of the members of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee that it was our duty to make some provision for used-car standards.

Even though the eventual implementation and enforcement of used-car standards must be accomplished at the State and local level and under the provisions of the bill emanating from the Public Works Committee, it nevertheless was

not only desirable but imperative that a provision be made for the imposition of minimum standards for those 80 million cars untouched by the other provisions of this bill. It could not be left to chance or speculation that other legislation might be adequate.

For these reasons our House bill required the Secretary to create and impose standards for used automobiles after certain preliminary research and studies were completed. The conferees agreed to accept this portion of the House bil, and in my opinion this alone would make the conference version worthy of acceptance by this body.

House Committee Report House Report 1776, Pages 22, 23, and 24


Prohibited acts.—Section 108(a) of the reported bill prohibits every person from manufacturing for sale, selling, offering for sale, or introducing or delivering for introduction in interstate commerce, or importing into the United States, any vehicle or item of equipment manufactured on or after the date a Federal safety standard applicable thereto takes effect unless it conforms with that standard, except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section. This subsection also prohibits any person to fail to keep records, or refuse access to records, or to refuse to permit the copying of such records, or to fail to make reports, or to provide information required in section 112(b) and (c) of this title. It is further prohibited for any person to issue any certificate that a vehicle or item of equipment conforms to all of the Federal safety standards applicable to it if that person in the exercise of due care either knows or has reason to know that the certificate is false or misleading in any material respect. The purpose of this section is to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or importation into this country of vehicles or items of equipment that fail to meet the Federal safety standards. Sections 109 and 110 provide methods for enforcing these prohibitions, civil penalties, and injunctions. The principal addition made by the committee to this subsection is the provision prohibiting the issuance of a false or misleading certificate. (Section 114 imposes an affirmative duty on certain persons to issue these certificates.)

Limitation used car standards.—Section 108(b)(1) provides that the prohibited acts enumerated in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section (that is, the manufacture, sale, and importation of vehicles or equipment which do not meet safety standards) shall not apply to any sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction in interstate commerce after the first purchase of the motor vehicle or item of equipment in good faith for purposes other than 23 resale.

This means that the safety standards would be enforced only up through the first purchase of the vehicle or equipment by the first person who acquires it for purposes other than resale.

Section 108(b)(1) further contains a declaration of congressional policy to encourage and strengthen the enforcement of State inspection of used vehicles. In order to carry out this policy the Secretary is required to conduct a thorough study of safety standards and inspection requirements and procedures applicable to used vehicles in each State and the effect of various programs authorized by this title thereon, and report to Congress not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this title the results of the study and his recommendations for additional legislation. As soon as practicable thereafter, but not later than 1 year from the date this report is submitted, the Secretary after consultation with the Council and such other interested public and private agencies as he deems advisable shall establish uniform Federal safety standards to apply to all used motor vehicles. These standards have to be expressed in terms of performance and he is authorized to amend or revoke them..

The committee realized that the manufacture of vehicles and equipment is but one part of the larger vehicle and equipment story. If efforts are made to improve only new motor vehicles and equipment through establishing safety standards only a small portion of the total problem will be dealt with. These provisions relating to used vehicles were added to encourage State action to inaugurate inspection of all motor vehicles where such inspection does not exist and to improve existing State inspections, by providing uniform inspection standards for vehicles in use.

Exemptions.—Section 108(b) (2) of the reported bill provides that paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section (prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or importation of vehicles or equipment not meeting safety standards) shall not apply to any person who establishes that he did not know or have reason to know in the exercise of due care that such vehicle or item of equipment is not in conformity with an

applicable Federal safety standard nor shall it apply to any person who before the first purchase for purposes other than resale holds a certificate issued by either the manufacturer or importer of the vehicle or equipment to the effect that such vehicle or equipment conforms to all applicable safety standards unless that person knows that such vehicle or equipment does not so conform.

This exemption from the prohibitions contained in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section applies if a person proves that, in the exercise of due care, he did not know or have reason to know that the vehicle or item of equipment failed to meet the Federal standard. This exemption also applies to any person who has a certificate issued by the manufacturer or importer that the vehicle conforms to all applicable or Federal standards unless that person does in fact know that the vehicle or equipment does not so conform. Thus, under this exemption there is no imposition of absolute liability; however, the burden of proof is placed upon the person who claims this exemption and once a failure to comply becomes known any continued failure could be stopped by injunction and would be subject to the assessment of a civil penalty in accordance with section 109.

Importation.-Section 108(b)(3) prohibits the admission into the 24 United States of any vehicle or equipment offered for importation in violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section. This refusal of admission shall be under joint regulations issued by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce. However, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce may permit the importation of a vehicle or item of equipment which does not conform to the Federal safety standards upon such terms and conditions as they determine appropriate to insure that it will either be brought into conformity, or exported, or abandoned to the United States.

This paragraph provides the necessary administrative flexibility to permit the importation of vehicles where it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce that such vehicles or equipment will be brought into conformity with applicable Federal safety standards or will be exported, or abandoned to the United States.

Temporary importation.-Section 108(b)(4) of the reported bill authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce by joint regulation to permit temporary importation of used motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment into the United States.

The provisions of this paragraph are designed to accommodate foreign tourists who may bring their vehicles with them on visits to this country and also to permit importation of certain vehicles for diplomatic use. It is emphasized that the authority granted in this paragraph is to be exercised only for the importation of vehicles and equipment for temporary periods.

Export.-Section 108(b)(5) provides that paragraph (1) of subsection (a) does not apply in the case of a vehicle or item of equipment which is intended solely for export, which is so labeled or tagged, and which is in fact exported.

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