As part of a $302-billion, four-year plan to fund both infrastructure and highway construction, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx  has reportedly asked Congress to allow the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin- istration (NHTSA) to boost maximum fine amounts on automakers that fail to  recall defective vehicles from the current $35 million per violation to $300 million per violation. The action follows the recent criticism of an auto company for its purported delay in handling alleged vehicle defects.

Other recall-related provisions of the legislation DOT has proposed would apparently (i) prevent rental companies and dealerships from lending or renting vehicles subject to a recall and (ii) give the federal government new authority to require removal of cars when a defect is first discovered. See Bloomberg BNA Product Safety & Liability Reporter™, April 29, 2014.