National Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966

National Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966

National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was enacted in the United States in 1966 to empower the federal government to set and administer new safety standards for motor vehicles and road traffic safety. The Act created the National Highway Safety Bureau (now National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

Commentary

Why We Had To Regulate The Auto Industry

July 01, 2011

Cry Wolf Quotes

Many of the temporary standards are unreasonable, arbitrary and technically unfeasible . . . If we can’t meet them when they are published we’ll have to close down.

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Henry Ford II, 1966.

Shoulder harnesses and head rests are complete wastes of money.

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In a secretly taped meeting with Nixon, future Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca. National Archives Nixon Project.

From a commercial standpoint in a competitive marketplace [safety devices such as the turn signal and the seat belt must be optional] until a very high proportion of the customers select the item or unless there are compelling reasons for standard installation.

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GM president Frederic G. Donner, Testimony, Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization of the Senate Committee on Government Operations.

And you can see that safety has really killed all of our business...We're not only frustrated, but, uh, we've reached the despair point.

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In a secretly taped meeting with Nixon, future Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca. National Archives Nixon Project.

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

Good Rules: Ten Stories Of Successful Regulation

Demos looks at ten laws and rules that we take for granted.