Dangerous official vehicles? Bill aims to protect feds, the public

Does your federal job involve using a government vehicle? If so, if you want to be safe behind the wheel, you might need to do more than just fasten your seat belt.

A recent General Services Administration probe, as reported by the Federal Times, reveals chances are better than one in ten chance that your federal vehicle has an outstanding recall item—in many cases, a safety-related matter—that has never been rectified. Hence, you and a good number of your colleagues, oblivious to the potential danger, might be tooling around on duty in possibly hazardous wheels.

Take heart. Congress just this week saw a bill introduced that, if passed, would codify that federal agencies must fix all recall items that apply to their fleets, prior to selling or leasing any automobile to any other agency—or to the public.

The bill is known as the Shielding All Federal Employees and Consumers from Actionable Recall Situations Act, or simply “SAFE CARS Act.”

“The presence of recalled cars on the road is dangerous to drivers and to everyone around them which makes it inexcusable that the federal government is facilitating these risks by continuing to sell and lease such vehicles,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), a co-sponsor of the bill, warned in a statement.

“Historic spikes in automobile fatalities and injuries in 2020—despite dramatic decreases in the number of cars on the roads—leave no doubt that we must strengthen our automobile safety laws,” Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), another partner behind the bill, said. “This bill would prohibit the GSA from continuing to fail to ensure all vehicles are in safe operating condition prior to sale.”

For more detail on the problem and the proposed remedy, go to the article and see the statement issued by Rep. Krishnamoorthi’s office.


Reader comments

Wed, Mar 31, 2021

It's nice the legislature is concerned about the public, but has no concern for the federal employee. The cars just have to be fixed before they are sold to the public, not used by a government employee.

Tue, Mar 30, 2021

Good law. Lots of recalls in recent years!

Tue, Mar 30, 2021 Sam

Yep. One of my agency’s fleet vehicles that I used was very clunky. Junk. Not sure it was about a recall a manager had ignored though.

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