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Posts Tagged ‘auto & truck safety’

Now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has come up for air after a mad dash to reimburse dealers for cash for clunkers transactions completed in July and August, the agency has started to release (some) of the real data. And it looks like the glowing sound bytes of last month are giving way to some much less encouraging realities.

Let’s look at how the clunkers program shakes out now that the numbers are in. (more…)

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daimler-chrysler-logoIn a reversal of its position in the bankruptcy proceeding, Chrysler has agreed to assume liability for people injured after the Chrysler bankruptcy by vehicles sold before the bankruptcy.

As background, in late May and early June, Public Citizen represented a bunch of consumer organizations in objecting to the Chrysler bankruptcy sale because the sale documents purported to sell Chrysler “free and clear” of product liability claims. We particularly got involved to represent the interests of future claimants — that is, the claims of people who would be injured or killed in accidents that occurred after the bankruptcy but were caused by defects in Chrysler vehicles sold before the bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court approved the sale free and clear of such future claims, and I argued the issue in front of the Second Circuit. Within minutes after that argument ended, the Court announced that it was upholding the sale for substantially the same reasons as the bankruptcy court and that opinions would be forthcoming. Four days later, we filed a petition for certiorari. (more…)

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The New York Times Wheels blog ran a piece about three small, highly fuel efficient cars that were named Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For going on three decades, there has been a perception that small cars are less safe. This perception is based on a vastly oversimplified view of crash physics, and the attitude that nothing can be done to improve small car safety has frustrated calls for increasing fuel economy. (more…)

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Now that’s what I call having an impact! Just weeks after the New York Times ran the story about Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety making public the government documents showing the risks of driving while talking on a cell phone (regardless if the phone is hands-free), Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced he’s convening a panel of experts to deal with the distracted driving problem.

 From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday he will convene a summit of experts to figure out what to do about driver cell phone use and texting, practices that studies — and a growing number of accidents — show can be deadly. (more…)

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