8/12/2019

NHTSA’s Acting Chief to Step Down by September

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The U.S. Dept. of Transportation confirms that Heidi King, acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will resign at the end of this month.

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The U.S. Dept. of Transportation confirms that Heidi King, acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will resign at the end of this month.

Reports about her departure surfaced late last week. She will be succeeded as acting head by James Owens, NHTSA’s deputy general counsel.

King was named deputy NHTSA administrator in 2017 and became acting chief last spring. She was nominated by President Donald Trump in April 2018 to head the agency on a permanent basis.

But King’s confirmation has been mired in the Senate, which is controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans. Her approval has been blocked by concerns about the agency’s handling of the complex recall by 19 carmakers of roughly 100 million explosion-prone Takata airbag inflators.

NHTSA has been without an official chief since Trump took office in January 2017.