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May 6, 2010 12:10 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Highway safety agency wants more auto recall power

The government's highway safety agency is supporting a plan in Congress to give it more power to conduct auto recalls.

Following the massive Toyota recalls, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to tell a House hearing Thursday that the agency supports draft legislation that would increase its powers. It would allow the government to order an immediate safety recall if it finds an "imminent hazard of death or serious injury."

David Strickland says in prepared testimony that the changes would significantly increase the agency's leverage in dealing with car companies. Toyota's recall of more than 8 million vehicles around the globe has prompted the first major changes to auto safety requirements since 2000.

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