Nearly 200 attendees participated in the RV Industry Association’s Third Annual NHTSA Seminar in Elkhart, IN. The full-day event, sponsored by Thor Industries, Forest River Inc, Winnebago Industries, Lippert Components Inc. and Dometic Corp, focused on complementing NHTSA rules by implementing better processes to identify and solve safety issues. The speakers covered a broad array of topics with the aim of educating members on the best practices that could be included in their business models that quickly and efficiently identify trends and address safety issues.

Kyle Correa-Brady, RV Industry Association staff attorney said, “This year we are not focusing on specific issues such as tires or slideout safety, but more on how to identify and act on any safety issue and create a process to face the problem organizationally.”

The line-up of topics hit on matters ranging from how to identify and act on safety issues, creating an internal safety committee, defining roles and responsibilities of an internal safety committee, identifying and reviewing data to pinpoint problems and the role suppliers and distributors play in the manufacturer compliance process.

Terry Current, Chair of RV Industry Association’s NHTSA Technical Subcommittee, moderated the event. The speakers included industry experts from multiple sectors of the industry:

  • Bruce York, NHTSA
  • David Mihalick of Thor Industries
  • Leo Akins of Forest River
  • Christie Iannetta, King & Spalding
  • Bryon Chartier, Lippert Components
  • Brent Diver, Dave Carter & Associates
  • Von Lindsey, Lindsey Research Services
  • Chris Grigorian, Foley & Lardner

Bruce York, NHTSA, discussed identifying risks and outlined successful investigative processes that have worked well in other industries. His presentation focused on educating the industry on NHTSA’s investigation process review. Overall, he stated that the industry has improved significantly over the past several years but, continued education is needed to align the RV Industry with federal regulations.