"Every time someone takes their focus off the road — even if it's just for a moment — they put their lives and the lives of others in danger," he said in 2010.
During his tenure he slapped Toyota Motor Co. with record fines for delaying safety recalls and failing to promptly report problems to federal regulators. And he recently ordered United Airlines to ground its Boeing 787 Dreamliner following mishaps with the aircraft's batteries.
Associated Press writer Joan Lowy contributed to this report.
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