If anyone wants a idea of complexity of the regulatory process involved, have a look at NHTSA's web page for this: Manufacturer Info | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
. No, I haven't even read the several regulations involved, but they're linked on the NHTSA page if anyone wants to get a real understanding.
Personally, I doubt that a political process will speed things up, or that there is excessive bureaucracy involved - I like the close management of vehicle manufacturers, because there is a lot at stake in vehicle operation. It looks like a glitch in the process has occurred, and while a fix to speed up the registration process may be possible by the right NHTSA administrator, a bunch of ranting is not likely to lead to the right person to cause the desired action; it certainly won't change rules which are already in effect or processes which are already working for other manufacturers.
NHTSA offers a VIN Decoder
; I was not previously aware of this. I tried my car's VIN and it worked well, but for a sample Escape VIN it reports
Error Code: 7 - Manufacturer is not registered with NHTSA for sale or importation in the U.S. for use on U.S roads; Please contact the manufacturer directly for more information.
... which is, as Sarah explained, the problem.