WASHINGTON -- The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday recommended the nomination of Heidi King to be NHTSA administrator.
She passed on a party-line vote of 14-13. Democrats are unsatisfied with the agency's efforts to speed recalls for Takata airbag inflators; press automakers to issue recalls sooner when made aware of defects; issue safety regulations required by law; and set voluntary guidance for deployment of autonomous vehicles on public roads.
King has served as deputy administrator, and de facto agency chief, since September. President Donald Trump decided to promote her in April.
"Ms. King's continued leadership at NHTSA will help make cars and the driving public safer, and strengthen the agency's ability to execute the rules of the road for self-driving cars," U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Energy & Commerce digital commerce and consumer protection subcommittee, said in a statement.
The full Senate must now vote to confirm her.