Text: H.R.5154 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/12/2000)

 
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 5154 Introduced in House (IH)]







106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 5154

  To amend title 18, United States Code, to impose criminal and civil 
 penalties for false statements and failure to file reports concerning 
 defects in foreign motor vehicle products, and to require the timely 
      provision of notice of such defects, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           September 12, 2000

  Mr. Hutchinson (for himself, Mr. Green of Texas, Mr. Rogan, and Mr. 
   Bilbray) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
    Committee on Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the 
 Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, 
 in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the 
                jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend title 18, United States Code, to impose criminal and civil 
 penalties for false statements and failure to file reports concerning 
 defects in foreign motor vehicle products, and to require the timely 
      provision of notice of such defects, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Transportation Information Recall 
Enhancement Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) in an interview with ABC News on September 3, 2000, 
        Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater stated that he thinks 
        there should be a law requiring that the United States be 
        immediately notified of a foreign recall, ``especially in the 
        global economy when you've got U.S. goods really being used by 
        individuals around the world. We should know when there's a 
        problem someplace else.'';
            (2) as of the date of enactment of this Act, there is no 
        legal requirement for manufacturers of motor vehicles and their 
        components to notify United States agencies of a recall issued 
        in a foreign country;
            (3) between August 1999 and spring 2000, Ford Motor Company 
        replaced Firestone tires on 46,912 vehicles in Saudi Arabia, 
        Thailand, Malaysia, and South America;
            (4)(A) on May 2, 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety 
        Administration opened a preliminary evaluation into Firestone 
        ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness AT tires after receiving 90 
        complaints, primarily from consumers in the Southeast and 
        Southwest, about tread separations or blowouts;
            (B) as of September 2000, the National Highway Traffic 
        Safety Administration has received over 1,400 complaints, 
        including reports of more than 250 injuries and 88 deaths; and
            (C) some of the complaints date back to the early 1990s, 
        and 797 of the complaints report that a tire failure took place 
        between August 1, 1999, and August 9, 2000; and
            (5)(A) on August 9, 2000, Bridgestone/Firestone announced a 
        United States recall of 6,500,000 ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness 
        AT tires; and
            (B) that date was 3 months after the National Highway 
        Traffic Safety Administration commenced its investigation and 
        nearly 9 months after Ford Motor Company initiated the 
        replacement of the tires in foreign countries.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to ensure that defects in 
motor vehicles or replacement equipment in foreign countries are 
quickly, accurately, and truthfully reported to the United States 
Secretary of Transportation in cases in which--
            (1) the motor vehicles or replacement equipment is 
        manufactured for export to the United States; or
            (2) the motor vehicles or replacement equipment is 
        manufactured in the United States using a manufacturing process 
        that is the same as, or similar to, the manufacturing process 
        used in the foreign country, with the result that the motor 
        vehicles or replacement equipment manufactured in the United 
        States may also be defective.

SEC. 3. CRIMINAL AND CIVIL PENALTIES IN CONNECTION WITH REPORTING OF 
              DEFECTS IN FOREIGN MOTOR VEHICLE PRODUCTS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 47 of title 18, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 1036. Penalties in connection with reporting of defects in 
              foreign motor vehicle products
    ``(a) Definitions.--
            ``(1) Foreign motor vehicle product.--The term `foreign 
        motor vehicle product' means a motor vehicle or replacement 
        equipment that--
                    ``(A) is manufactured in a foreign country for 
                export to the United States; or
                    ``(B) is manufactured in a foreign country using a 
                manufacturing process that is the same as, or similar 
                to, a manufacturing process used in the United States 
                for a motor vehicle or replacement equipment.
            ``(2) Other terms.--The terms `defect', `manufacturer', 
        `motor vehicle', and `replacement equipment' have the meanings 
        given the terms in section 30102 of title 49.
    ``(b) Criminal Penalty.--A manufacturer of a foreign motor vehicle 
product, or an officer or employee of such a manufacturer, that, in 
connection with a report required to be filed under section 30118(f) of 
title 49, willfully--
            ``(1) falsifies or conceals a material fact;
            ``(2) makes a materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent 
        statement or representation; or
            ``(3) makes or uses a false writing or document knowing 
        that the writing or document contains any materially false, 
        fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or 
both.
    ``(c) Civil Penalty.--
            ``(1) In general.--In addition to any civil penalty that 
        may be assessed under chapter 301 of title 49, a manufacturer 
        that violates section 30118(f) of title 49 shall be subject to 
        a civil penalty of not more than $500,000 for each day of the 
violation.
            ``(2) Compromise of penalty.--The Attorney General may 
        compromise the amount of a civil penalty imposed under 
        paragraph (1).
            ``(3) Determination of amount.--In determining the amount 
        of a civil penalty or compromise under this subsection, the 
        Attorney General shall consider--
                    ``(A) the appropriateness of the penalty or 
                compromise in relation to the size of the business of 
                the manufacturer liable for the penalty; and
                    ``(B) the gravity of the violation.
            ``(4) Deduction of amount of penalty.--The United States 
        Government may deduct the amount of the civil penalty imposed 
        or compromised under this section from any amount that the 
        Government owes the manufacturer liable for the penalty.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The analysis for chapter 47 of title 18, 
United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

``1036. Penalties in connection with reporting of defects in foreign 
                            motor vehicle products.''.

SEC. 4. REPORTING OF DEFECTS IN FOREIGN MOTOR VEHICLE PRODUCTS.

    Section 30118 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(f) Reporting of Defects in Foreign Motor Vehicle Products.--
            ``(1) Definition of foreign motor vehicle product.--The 
        term `foreign motor vehicle product' means a motor vehicle or 
        replacement equipment that--
                    ``(A) is manufactured in a foreign country for 
                export to the United States; or
                    ``(B) is manufactured in a foreign country using a 
                manufacturing process that is the same as, or similar 
                to, a manufacturing process used in the United States 
                for a motor vehicle or replacement equipment.
            ``(2) Reporting of defects.--
                    ``(A) Initial report.--Not later than 48 hours 
                after determining, or learning that a government of a 
                foreign country has determined, that a foreign motor 
                vehicle product contains a defect that could be related 
                to motor vehicle safety, the manufacturer of the 
                foreign motor vehicle product shall report the 
                determination to the Secretary.
                    ``(B) Written report.--
                            ``(i) In general.--Not later than 5 days 
                        after the end of the 48-hour period described 
                        in subparagraph (A), the manufacturer shall 
                        submit to the Secretary a written report that 
                        meets the requirements of clause (ii).
                            ``(ii) Contents of written report.--A 
                        written report under clause (i) shall contain--
                                    ``(I) a description of the foreign 
                                motor vehicle product that is the 
                                subject of the report;
                                    ``(II) a description of--
                                            ``(aa) the determination of 
                                        the defect by the government of 
                                        the foreign country or by the 
                                        manufacturer of a foreign motor 
                                        vehicle product; and
                                            ``(bb) any measures that 
                                        the government requires to be 
                                        taken, or the manufacturer 
                                        determines should be taken, to 
                                        obtain a remedy of the defect;
                                    ``(III) information concerning any 
                                serious injuries or fatalities possibly 
                                resulting from the defect; and
                                    ``(IV) such other information as 
                                the Secretary determines to be 
                                appropriate.
            ``(3) Reporting of possible defects.--Upon making a 
        determination that there have been a significant number of 
        serious injuries or fatalities in a foreign country that could 
        have resulted from a defect in a foreign motor vehicle product 
        that could be related to motor vehicle safety (as determined in 
        accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary), the 
        manufacturer of the foreign motor vehicle product shall report 
        the determination to the Secretary in such manner as the 
        Secretary establishes by regulation.''.

SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act and the amendments made by this Act take effect on the 
date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
                                 <all>