Love them or hate them, there's no question government regulatory agencies now have a significant amount of influence on the automotive industry, from fuel economy to safety technologies and equipment. The increased use of technology in cars has challenged regulatory bodies to keep up with rapidly evolving powertrain and safety technologies being developed by automakers. David Strickland, the chief administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is stepping down within the next few months, according to a report from The Detroit News.
Strickland's tenure has been marked by a number of significant events, including the massive investigation and recall of Toyota Motor Company vehicles for unintended acceleration, the recall of 2.7 million Jeep SUVs, in which Chrysler made the unusual move of initially challenging the agency on the recall request, but ultimately agreed to a fix for the vehicle.
In addition to these high-profile cases, Strickland also oversaw the implementation of regulations regarding installation of seatbelts in commercial buses, the mandatory installation of event data recorders or "black boxes" in new cars, and minimum sound requirements for electric vehicles.
Under Strickland's guidance, the agency also became known for cracking down more aggressively on automakers for timely handling of recalls. In the immediate term following Strickland's departure, the agency's administrative responsibilities will be handed off to deputy director David Friedman.
Source: The Detroit News