It’s the kind of golden nexus that has had federal regulators and Atlanta personal injury lawyers very concerned. The trend of employees at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration leaving their jobs to take up cushy positions at prominent auto makers like Toyota, has been popular for a while now. After leaving their positions, these former NHTSA employees would then enjoy a cozy relationship with their former coworkers at the agency.
It has not been confirmed if this kind of relationship impacts auto safety. According to the Department of Transportation, there is no evidence to show that there was an unhealthy relationship between Toyota lobbyists who were former NHTSA officials, and the agency that they used to work for. However that hasn’t convinced some legislators. Sen. Barbara Boxer is working on an auto safety bill that would prohibit ex-NHTSA employees from working as lobbyists or in any other position that would require them to be in contact with their former employer. This restriction would be in place for a period of at least three years after the person quit his job at the NHTSA.
The Toyota crisis has also led to other lawmakers putting on their thinking caps and devising new legislation to keep American motorists safe. One such bill would require automakers to install anti-runaway technology in their vehicles. These technologies will include the override systems that are currently in place in several vehicles, and stop-start technologies. The bill is being drafted by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Rep Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.