Efforts to limit the number of RV companies required to report safety information to the federal government under the TREAD Act hit a brick wall in the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
NHTSA officials recently said the previously proposed threshold over which businesses would be affected – companies manufacturing more than 500 motorhomes or towables a year – wouldn’t be changed for at least two years.
The Transportation Recall, Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act requires vehicle and equipment makers to submit reports regarding consumer complaints, warranty, legal claims, production volumes, field reports and incidents of death and injury to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) had asked NHTSA to set the production threshold for which firms must report at 5,000 units.
Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education, expressed disappointment that NHTSA didn’t find a compromise in the trade association’s efforts to reduce red tape for its membership.
“We thought the threshold was going to end up somewhere around 2,500,” Hopkins said. “I think they thought that if they lowered it, they would break too many companies loose to the point that they wouldn’t have any reporting at all and they wouldn’t get the data that they want.”
Hopkins said the agency would review the rules in 2005.
The 500-unit threshold will exempt only a handful of companies from the requirement to report quarterly safety-related statistical information to NHTSA.
Some smaller companies may be able to claim an exemption, Hopkins noted, by segregating motorized and towable products for reporting purposes so that one or both would be fewer than 500.
Typical of NHTSA, TREAD final rules weren’t finalized until after their effective date.
The initial quarterly report covering the July-September 2003 quarter was to be filed by Dec. 1, and a one-time historical report that was due Dec. 31 was to contain data for three years beginning July 1, 2000.