US seeks letup to aid Detroit
Washington — In a move to save America's ailing automakers more than $1 billion by 1986, the administration has called for easing or erasing more than 30 regulations that set safety and emission standards for the industry.
The Cabinet-level task force's recommendations include reviewing the requirement that cars have air bags or other passive restraints by 1984. They call for eliminating a rule that all cars meet high-altitude emissions standards by 1984, and dropping bumper crash-worthiness standards.
The administration estimated they will save consumers more than $8 billion in the next five years as well as help rescue the auto industry.
The long-awaited proposals were drawn up by a task force set up by President Reagan and headed by Transportation Secretary Drew Lewis.
A government team arrived in Tokyo Monday to present the administration's plan. Japan, the largest auto exporter to the United States, wants to know about Washington's relief measures before considering what steps it may take to help the distressed US auto industry.
The White House described the industry situation as "serious," with domestic companies in curring losses of $4.3 billion in 1980.