US seeks auto recall power

LEGISLATION giving regulators more power to force car recalls and create standards to prevent unintended acceleration is headed to the full US House of Representatives.

Prompted by industry and regulatory shortcomings identified in the congressional investigation of recent Toyota recalls, the most sweeping auto safety legislation in nearly a decade would increase caps on fines and mandate regulations for vehicle data recorders.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the bill by a 31-21 margin yesterday, sending it to the full House for consideration.

A deal between committee chairman Henry Waxman and industry ally, representative John Dingell, is expected to improve its chances of passage in the Democratic-led House.