Waxman at it again – vehicle black boxes

waxman

He's at it again

What is it about this guy that makes him believe that the government should be looking up your sphincter at all times – making sure you’re behaving properly? Is it his overriding feeling of superiority? His belief that without the government, we would all simply implode because we’re just too stupid to survive?

Rep. Henry Waxman sees a new crisis to exploit with more government regulation. (story here from WAPO)

All new cars would have to be equipped with “black boxes” that record performance data and federal safety regulators would be granted the authority to order immediate recalls under newly proposed auto-safety legislation being considered by Congress.

The draft of a bill was released Thursday by one of the House committees investigating Toyota’s massive recalls for unintended acceleration in its vehicles. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House commerce committee, and Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chair of the Senate commerce committee, have said they intend to collaborate on automobile safety legislation this year.

Of course the vehicle manufacturers are going to absorb the costs of development and equipping their cars with these black boxes. Just a simple reminder here – the Toyota recall for unintended acceleration affected about 2.3M vehicles. This is what spun congress and the state-run media into a frenzy. How many of you heard about the eight recalls in 2009 involving almost 16M vehicles by Ford Motor Co. for a fire hazard defect? (more here) Right – I thought so.

Motor vehicles are complex machines with thousands of parts that are susceptible to design or manufacturing flaws. No “black box” technology could hope to monitor more than a few of the most critical systems. Furthermore, unless there are systems in place to regularly monitor these black boxes, they would do little to protect the consumer. I don’t think all regulation is bad. I believe that we need to step back and say, “Do we really need this?”

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