Senators Edward J. Markey and Richard Blumenthal introduced the bill, dubbed "Repairing Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives" or "RECALL" Act, in the wake of the massive Takata airbag recall and the GM recall to repair defective ignition switches.
The legislation would require vehicle owners to complete all safety recalls before renewing their plates and registration.
Exceptions include if the vehicle owner wasn't notified of the recall when the registration renewal reminder came out or if the manufacturer lacks the parts or labor to complete the recall.
In addition, if the vehicle owner demonstrates that there is no reasonable opportunity to fulfill the recall, the state department of motor vehicles can grant a temporary registration of up to 60 days.
The RECALL Act would also require vehicle owners to be informed of outstanding recalls on their vehicles at the same time the DMV sends out a registration renewal reminder or sends out proof of registration documentation.
"This legislation represents the three R's of automotive safety: recall, repair, register," said Senator Markey in a statement. "We need to inform all vehicle owners of open safety recalls and ensure repairs get made quickly so our roads are kept safe. The RECALL Act will help prevent any more avoidable deaths from unrepaired recalls."
"Our goal is to achieve a 100 percent repair rate for every recall in order to prevent injuries and save lives, and this legislation will help achieve that," said Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc., in a statement on Monday.
About a third of all cars and trucks recalled in America for safety defects are never brought to the dealer for repair.
Edmunds says: This proposal is not law yet, but it appears to be a common-sense way of helping consumers stay on top of potentially lifesaving recalls.