WASHINGTON — Amid partisan sparring, a House panel has advanced a sweeping auto safety bill that critics contend is too tough on the industry.
The measure, approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, goes to the full House.
Toyota Motor Corp. has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles around the globe, leading to the first major review of auto safety laws in Congress in a decade.
Under the bill, automakers would be required to meet new safety standards to prevent unintended acceleration — a key issue in the Toyota recalls. They also would face new rules on brake override systems and vehicle black boxes and tougher penalties for slowing down a recall.
Democrat Henry Waxman of California called it a “balanced bill’’ that would “dramatically improve’’ safety. Republicans said the bill, including tougher fines, was harsh. They questioned efforts to boost funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.