How We The People Can Do Better
The Center for Auto Safety has issued a Press Release on its law suit against NHTSA seeking public disclosure of TSBs.“According to CAS Executive Director Clarence Ditlow: “DOT’s new measures to implement the law will save consumers money for repairs covered by Service Bulletins and dealer communications. For Service Bulletins and dealer communications concerning defects that can cause crashes, deaths and injuries, disclosure could save lives. The GM ignition switch provides a good example. In December 2005, GM issued a TSB warning that the ignition switch could shut off while driving that was never posted by DOT. Nine months earlier in February 2005, GM issued a electronic dealer alert warning that the ignition switch could cut off while driving. This alert was never made public. Disclosure of these dealer communications could have saved lives and led to an earlier discovery of the ignition switch defect.”
See Release below.
March 28, 2016202-328-7700
In Response to CAS Lawsuit, NHTSA Announces Plan to Comply With Law to Post TSBs and Manufacturer Communications to Dealers
Until sued by Center for Auto Safety (CAS), DOT violated the Congressional mandate in the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” (MAP-21) enacted on July 6, 2012 that “the Secretary shall make available on a publicly accessible Internet website, a true or representative copy of each communication to the manufacturer’s dealers or to owners or purchasers of a motor vehicle or replacement equipment produced by the manufacturer about a defect or noncompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter in a vehicle or equipment that is sold or serviced.”
On March 25, DOT finally announced its intent to start obeying the law by issuing a Federal Register noticestating it would post all Technical Service Bulletins and communications to dealers on defects in vehicles, regardless of whether the defects were safety related. DOT also required manufacturers of vehicles and equipment to prepare indexes to TSBs and dealer communications, as a guide to consumers looking for information on potential vehicle problems. “At a minimum, an index must identify the make, model, and model year of the affected vehicles and must include a concise summary of the subject matter of the communication.”
According to CAS Executive Director Clarence Ditlow: “DOT’s new measures to implement the law will save consumers money for repairs covered by Service Bulletins and dealer communications. For Service Bulletins and dealer communications concerning defects that can cause crashes, deaths and injuries, disclosure could save lives. The GM ignition switch provides a good example. In December 2005, GM issued a TSB warning that the ignition switch could shut off while driving that was never posted by DOT. Nine months earlier in February 2005, GM issued a electronic dealer alert warning that the ignition switch could cut off while driving. This alert was never made public. Disclosure of these dealer communications could have saved lives and led to an earlier discovery of the ignition switch defect.”
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The Center is represented by Adina Rosenbaum of Public Citizen Litigation Group in Washington DC (202-588-1000).
Center for Auto Safety
1825 Connecticut Ave NW #330
Washington DC 20009
Hillary a Hypocrite
Ralph Nader who I have found to be an accurate citizen in describing the many problems Americans face and possible solutions has noted Hillary Clinton’s hypocrisy. Seehttp://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/274253-ralph-nader-dubs-clinton-hillary-the-hypocrite
Secretary Clinton’s charge against Sen. Sanders’ vote on gun violence and not a word against vehicle violence, substantiate her dependency on corporate contributors. Seehttp://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-hillaryguns.php
Numbers of Crash Victims
Timely article by Ralph Nader is at http://harpers.org/archive/2016/04/suing-for-justice/
Please watch this excellent video and report by CBS News on Seat Back Failures.
The failures of both government and industry to protect the public from foreseeable tragedies – for decades – are described. See
NHTSA Urged to Warn Parents of Seatback Collapse Dangers to Children in Rear Seats & How to Reduce Risk While Keeping Children in Rear
March 9, 2016(202)328-7700
The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) today petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to “take action to protect children riding in the rear seats of vehicles from the risk of being killed or severely injured when struck by a collapsing front seatback in a rear-end crash.” The petition asks NHTSA to warn parents as follows:
If Possible, Children Should Be Placed In Rear Seating Positions Behind Unoccupied Front Seats. In Rear-End Crashes, The Backs Of Occupied Front Seats Are Prone To Collapse Under The Weight Of Their Occupants. If This Occurs, The Seat Backs And Their Occupants Can Strike Children In Rear Seats And Cause Severe Or Fatal Injuries
As the petition states, “The problem underlying the need for the warnings sought by petitioner is, of course, the poor performance of seatbacks in rear-end crashes, and of serious inadequacy of the federal motor vehicle standard, FMVSS 207, which specifies minimum seat and seatback crash performance levels.” Attached to the petition is a timeline, “Collapsing Seatbacks And Injury Causation: A Timeline Of Knowledge,” which summarizes “the history of manufacturer and NHTSA inaction to ensure that in rear-end crashes, front seats provide adequate protection not only for their occupants but for people in the rear seats behind them.”
Separately, the Center filed a detailed analysis of lawsuits, police reports and litigated cases that shows the dangers of seat back collapse are far greater than what the agency recognizes because seat back collapse is not captured by the FARS database on which the agency has relied for all too long to deny there is a seatback collapse danger. FARS does not provide any information on seat back collapse. Out of 64 seat back collapse death and injury crashes, the Center only found 2 where the police report referenced seat back collapse.
For many years NHTSA has urged parents to place children in the rear seats of cars because of the risk that in the front seat, they might be injured by inflating airbags in frontal crashes. But the “unintended consequences” of this policy, the petition notes, has been to “expose them to another kind of hazard – that of being struck or crushed when the back of a front seat occupied by an adult collapses rearward… Until cars on the American highway are equipped with adequately strong front seats and seatbacks, children in rear seats behind occupied front seats will continue to be in danger of death or severe injury from front seatback failures in rear-end impacts.”
The petition reports on the results of an analysis of NHTSA data by Friedman Research Corp. Done at the Center’s request, the analysis shows that over the twenty-four year period 1990-2014, nearly 900 children seated behind a front-seat occupant or in a center rear seat died in rear impacts of 1990 and later model-year cars.
As the Timeline shows, NHTSA has frequently been alerted to the hazards of weak designs and inadequate federal performance standards for seats and seatbacks. “Papers published by the Society of Automotive Engineers as early as 1967 described the need for adequate of front-seat crashworthiness in graphic and alarming terms. A poorly designed car seat ‘becomes an injury-producing agency during collision,’ said one. Another stated, ‘…a weak seatback is not recognized as an acceptable solution for motorist protection from rear end collisions.’”
In 1974, the petition notes, NHTSA announced its intention to develop a new standard “covering the total seating system” and requiring dynamic rear-impact crash testing. But thirty years later, in 2004, it abandoned the plan, saying it needed “additional research and data analysis” and leaving in place the woefully weak requirements of FMVSS 207, a standard which has not been upgraded since its adoption in 1967. In a research study of 30-mph rear crashes done one year earlier which is not cited in the rulemaking termination, NHTSA researchers warned of the danger to children placed in rear seats at NHTSA’s recommendation. “Further, fatalities and injuries to rear child occupants due to seat back collapse of the front seat in rear impacts have also been reported. This is especially of concern since NHTSA recommends to the public that children of age 12 and under should be placed in the rear seat.”
In its conclusion, the petition states that warning parents of the hazards of front seatback collapse to children in rear seat is an essential measure “made necessary by the continued absence of a federal motor vehicle safety standard requiring that cars be equipped with adequately protective front seats.” The agency “can take most of the requested steps on its own, without time-consuming rulemaking, and should do so promptly,” the petition notes.
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Center for Auto Safety
1825 Connecticut Ave NW #330
Washington DC 20009
Please see the following Press Release by 18 organizations.
I suspect that members of our community might not be surprised. But we should be disappointed that this focus is only on financial regulatory agencies.
Crash victims might be forgiven for thinking that other Revolving Doors such as DOT and CDC also result in many deaths and injuries in addition to financial losses every day in the U.S.A. today.
Please see the example in the Press Release letter that states:
Press Release: “The Revolving Door Leads to Regulatory CaptureForum Spotlights Industry Influence Over the Rulemaking ProcessMarch 3, 2016 Contact: David Rosen, firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 588-7742 Amit Narang, email@example.com, (202) 454-5116 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen applauds the Administrative Conference of the United States for hosting a forum today on Capitol Hill that shined a spotlight on the problem of regulatory capture due to a revolving door between industry and government. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) spoke at the event. Panels at the forum discussed how to measure regulatory capture in the rulemaking context, whether weak regulatory enforcement is evidence of capture, and possible solutions to special-interest influence. Earlier this week, Public Citizen spearheaded a letter (PDF) from 18 organizations that was sent to the 2016 presidential candidates in both parties, asking them to commit not to appoint any recipient of a “government service golden parachute” bonus to a financial agency. The letter also asked the candidates to require future financial service regulators to recuse themselves from official actions that could benefit or favor previous employers or clients from the previous two years. “The revolving door is a pernicious influence-peddling scheme that, if left unchecked, can undermine the very integrity of government,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Today’s event shined a spotlight on the need to close the rapidly spinning revolving door between government and industry,” she added. “Closing the revolving door between big business and government agencies is the right way to reform our regulatory system and will ensure our government is serving the interests of American consumers, working families and small businesses instead of big corporations,” said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Unfortunately, this Congress is focused on rigging the system by giving big business and special-interest lobbyists many more opportunities to block or weaken new safeguards that protect the public and hold corporate wrongdoers accountable. Among the reforms that will improve and strengthen our regulatory system, solutions to regulatory capture are at the very top of the list,” he added.” ###View this release on our press page.
Please read “It’s the Corruption, Stupid” at http://www.salon.com/2016/02/23/its_the_corruption_stupid_hillarys_too_compromised_to_see_what_donald_trump_understands/
Nader and Ditlow pointed to the captivity of NHTSA at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/opinion/weak-oversight-deadly-cars.html
Wake up America! Our Safety and Happiness are being bought.
I recommend our community buy this excellent and important book, read it, and be both educated and inspired by it.