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Maryland Introduces ‘Amber’s Law’ to Protect Drivers From Unfair Automaker Practices

In light of the recent record-breaking car recalls and auto safety scandals making headlines, Maryland has introduced a new piece of legislation. Dubbed “Amber’s Law,” the legislation aims to improve the public’s access to key safety and warranty information, as well as challenge unfair car practices of major automakers.

Within “Amber’s Law,” there’s also a package of reforms that intend to save lives by speeding up both repairs and recalls. According to recent stats, neglecting vehicles can cost up to $2 billion each year, as well as countless lives that are unnecessarily lost due to faulty vehicles. One example of vehicle neglect is oil change, which despite innovative oil technology, still needs to be tended to every 10,000 miles,

Mechanic man holding clipboard and check the car

“Our bill is about safety and transparency for all Maryland drivers,” Maryland Senator Susan Lee notes. “It’s a scandal that consumers today aren’t getting the full information they need. This bill changes that equation to protect Maryland families.”
Recently, GM recalled more than 200,000 cars for Takata airbag troubles, and this isn’t the only problem GM has faced recently. Due to GM ignition switch failures and long-delayed airbag recalls, countless drivers have been injured or killed while on the road.

“Amber’s Law” will enable dealers to share their warranty policy updates with customers, as well as service bulletins and other major safety information. Currently, auto manufacturers share this information with dealers, but dealers aren’t allowed to disclose it to drivers unless specifically asked about it.

“That secrecy deprives drivers of information they need to know — information that can save lives and help consumers keep their cars safe on the road,” Consumer Auto executive director Franz Schneiderman said in a press release. “Our bill makes clear that dealers can share that information with their customers. The sunshine that puts on dangerous defects will speed up repairs and recalls for all drivers.”

The bill has been named in honor of Amber Marie Rose, a 16-year-old Charles County teen who died in 2009 after an ignition switch failure in her new Chevy Cobalt. Amber was the first of at least 124 people to die from GM’s failure.
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