Four insurance trade associations have said they cannot supply data to federal safety regulators that will indicate whether certain passenger vehicles pose a potential danger to consumers.
In a joint statement filed last week with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the American Insurance Association, the Alliance of American Insurers, the National Association of Independent Insurers and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies said the insurance industry does not maintain the type of information that would be useful in establishing an early-warning detection system for defects.
The statement was in response to last year’s legislation, Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, or TREAD, which came in the wake of allegations that Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone were slow to notify consumers about defective tires.
The legislation calls for a feasibility study on safety-related data that Congress and others thought might be available from the insurance industry. In the joint statement, the associations said claims information collected by the industry is not useful for the purposes of the legislation. But the information could possibly be available through vehicle and component manufacturers. Two types of information the industry can provide, however, are industrywide aggregate data on non-crash fires and vehicle crash test data.
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