Chicago Automobile Trade Association

NHTSA booklet's end sought

June 8, 2012
Federal legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in May seeks repeal of an obsolete mandate that requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to print and distribute to all new-vehicle dealers an insurance report on the cost of repairing new vehicles.
Under a 1972 law, NHTSA must send the “Relative Collision Insurance Cost Information” booklet each year to more than 17,500 new-car dealerships across the country. Dealers, in turn, are required to provide the information to their customers upon request.
But in a recent survey of 815 of its members, the National Automobile Dealers Association found that 96 percent of dealers reported that none of their customers had ever asked to see the booklet.
“The reality in dealer showrooms needs to be recognized,” said NADA President Phil Brady. “This government mandate should be eliminated.”
Under H.R. 5648, NHTSA still could make insurance loss data available online if consumers in the market for a new vehicle find it useful.
The NADA is urging dealers to help build support for H.R. 5648, the Owens-Harper Obsolete Mandate bill, by asking their U.S. representatives to cosponsor the legislation. The representatives’ offices can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121.
The federal government reportedly has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars since 1991 to print and mail the booklet annually to all U.S. new-car dealers.


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