WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives repeals an obsolete mandate that requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to print and distribute an insurance report to more than 17,500 new-car dealerships across the country, which is mailed through the U.S. Post Office.
The “Relative Collision Insurance Cost Information” booklet sought to provide car buyers with insurance data on the cost of repairing new vehicles. Under a 1972 law, NHTSA is required to collect, prepare, print and distribute the report to new-car dealerships. Dealers are required to provide it to their customers upon request.
The National Automobile Dealers Association, in a recent survey of 815 of its members, found that 96 percent of dealers reported that none of their customers had ever asked to see the booklet. NHTSA has been publishing the booklet since 1991.
“The reality in dealer showrooms needs to be recognized,” said NADA President Phil Brady. “This government mandate should be eliminated.”
Under H.R. 5648, introduced by Reps. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., and Gregg Harper, R-Miss., NHTSA could still make insurance loss data available online if consumers in the market for a new vehicle find it useful.
“The federal government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars since 1991 to print and mail this booklet to every new car dealer in America, yet consumers practically never use it,” said Bob Vancavage, president of the New York State Automobile Dealers Association. “New York new car dealers applaud Congressman Owens’ effort to eliminate this needless government mandate.”
“Cutting unnecessary federal spending and obsolete rules—no matter how small—is one way to get the economy back on track,” said Bill Lehman, president of the Mississippi Automobile Dealers Association. “I commend Congressman Harper for rooting out this government waste.”
Editor’s note: Click here for the Relative Collision Insurance Cost Information booklet.