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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration needs more funding

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The administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will tell a US congressional subcommittee that his agency needs more money to help keep motorists safe, according to prepared remarks released on Monday.

[DETROIT] The administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will tell a US congressional subcommittee that his agency needs more money to help keep motorists safe, according to prepared remarks released on Monday.

Mark Rosekind, administrator of NHTSA, will be one of the witnesses on Tuesday at a subcommittee hearing on the safety of Takata Corp air bags. About 34 million vehicles equipped with the safety devices have been recalled in the United States.

Mr Rosekind, in a prepared statement he plans to give the US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, said: "At NHTSA, we address safety risks every day. In my judgment as a safety professional, NHTSA's lack of resources is a known risk." Malfunctioning of some Takata air bags has been linked to six deaths worldwide. "While NHTSA's analysis of the data shows that prolonged exposure to hot, humid climates is associated with greater risk, the full story is not yet known and a definitive root cause has not been identified," Mr Rosekind's statement says.

Mr Rosekind plans to tell the subcommittee that NHTSA's budget at a time when it needs to keep up with changing technology is, adjusted for inflation, 23 per cent lower than it was a decade ago.

He will cite statistics to show that front-seat air bags saved 2,388 lives in 2013 and since 1987 have saved 39,866 lives. "We need to make sure that people trust their air bags,"Mr Rosekind's statement says.

REUTERS