NHTSA Administrator Corrected By Safety Advocates – Again! Why?

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Safety Advocates have had to correct NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind – once again.

“SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Auto safety advocates today told National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) Administrator Mark Rosekind that “you inexcusably are rushing full speed ahead” to promote the deployment of self-driving robot car technology instead of developing adequate safety standards “crucial to ensuring imperfect technologies do not kill people by being introduced into vehicles before the technology matures.”

A letter to Rosekind from Joan Claybrook, former NHTSA administrator and President Emeritus of Public Citizen; Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety; Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog and John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director, was in response to Rosekind’s recent assertion that NHTSA cannot “stand idly by while we wait for the perfect” before self-driving robot car technologies are deployed.

“This is a false dichotomy,” the advocates wrote. “The question is not whether autonomous technology must be perfect before it hits the road, but whether safety regulators should allow demonstrably dangerous technology with no minimum safety performance standards in place, to be deployed on American highways.”

Read the advocates’ letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrrosekind072816.pdf

Then the American people need to ask:  Dr. Rosekind clearly knows better, so why does this keep happening?
Lou Lombardo

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com

Money At Root of Takata s Tragic History

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

NY Times publishes an excellent article on victims of vehicle violence due to air bag defects known for more than a decade.

“In the late 1990s, General Motors got an unexpected and enticing offer. A little-known Japanese supplier, Takata, had designed a much cheaper automotive airbag.

G.M. turned to its airbag supplier — the Swedish-American company Autoliv — and asked it to match the cheaper design or risk losing the automaker’s business, according to Linda Rink, who was a senior scientist at Autoliv assigned to the G.M. account at the time.

But when Autoliv’s scientists studied the Takata airbag, they found that it relied on a dangerously volatile compound in its inflater, a critical part that causes the airbag to expand.

“We just said, ‘No, we can’t do it. We’re not going to use it,’” said Robert Taylor, Autoliv’s head chemist until 2010.

Today, that compound is at the heart of the largest automotive safety recall in history. At least 14 people have been killed and more than 100 have been injured by faulty inflaters made by Takata. More than 100 million of its airbags have been installed in cars in the United States by General Motors and 16 other automakers.

Details of G.M.’s decision-making process almost 20 years ago, which has not been reported previously, suggest that a quest for savings of just a few dollars per airbag compromised a critical safety device, resulting in passenger deaths. The findings also indicate that automakers played a far more active role in the prelude to the crisis: Rather than being the victims of Takata’s missteps, automakers pressed their suppliers to put cost before all else.”

NY Times also publishes a useful article on what consumers can and should know and do.“Defective airbags made by Takata have been tied to at least 14 deaths and more than 100 injuries. The ensuing recall — the largest in automotive history — has turned out to be messy, confusing and frustrating for car owners.” http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/business/takata-airbag-recall-guide.html
These stories need to be widely shared.  They give us all useful information on the root of vehicle violence: money.

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com

Marianne Karth s Noble Citizen Efforts to End Vehicle Violence

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Let’s help the Karth family.  Only when enough of us do our part will we be able to end vehicle violence.

Where are the reporters, editors, producers that will help spread her story – one that will help us all?
Imagine if NPR carried her story of life or death importance.  Remember NPR is supported by “we the people” as taxpayers taxpayers and donors.

Write about her story of struggle.  See and encourage others to sign her petition to do simple doable actions by the President at: http://annaleahmary.com/2016/07/victims-of-underride-collision-demand-vision-zero-and-an-independent-traffic-safety-ombudsman/

Let us emulate her citizenship and support her efforts.


____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com

Make America Safe Again

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
2016 Republican Convention
Today’s theme at the Republican Convention is “Make America Safe Again”.   Really?
Political Record on Vehicle Violence
Republican policies on vehicle safety have been tragic on a massive scale for nearly a century.  Hoover, Coolidge, Nixon, Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2 carried out corporate policies.  See  https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/assets/MonthlyReportforJanuary2016-Corrected.pdfDemocrats LBJ and Carter made the major historical positive contributions to reduce vehicle violence.  However, President Obama has been a major vehicle safety disappointment.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog/blog-nhtsasresponsibilitiesfordeaths/
The Need For a Safe America Is Real and UrgentToday our clear and present danger of vehicle violence amounts to:

4 Million vehicle deaths in America – nearly 100 per day in the U.S.A. today
1 Billion vehicle injuries in America – nearly 400 serious injuries on an average day

$X Trillions Losses – about $2 billion per day

As we in the U.S. approach our 4 millionth death from vehicle violence, we must remember that we still have no goal to end vehicle violence.  There is a Vision Zero Goal that America still does not have – but others do.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero

As my 7 year old grandson taught me “With great power comes great responsibility.”  (He learned it from Spiderman.)

Today we have an America where “With great power comes great immunity.”  Immunity is enjoyed by both government and industry executives regardless of how many people die, are disabled, and bankrupted by vehicle violence.

So why does the President of the U.S.A. not adopt a Vision Zero Goal?  President Obama:  Meet Marianne Karth.  She has gathered 20,000 signatures on a petition to you to adopt a national Vision Zero Goal.  “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Proverbs.  See http://annaleahmary.com/


____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com

Fwd A Grandma To Be Heard And Heeded

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Marianne Karth, who lost two daughters in a crash, wrote:

My grandson just turned 10 years-old. Lately I’ve been noticing little things that show me how much he is maturing and taking responsibility. And I keep thinking how proud AnnaLeah and Mary would be of him. They both spent so much time with him from the time he was born.

gertie 264Minolta DSC

One thing Marcus asked me about the other day was when he saw my copy of the book Car Safety Wars by Michael Lemov. Car safety wars, he asked?  So I had to try and explain it. I asked him what a war is and what happens in a war. And we talked about how it’s a war because while we’re “fighting for” some things to make cars and roads safer, other people are fighting against them.


See http://annaleahmary.com/2016/07/casualties-of-the-car-safety-wars/

And Marianne Karth asks:“So why is protection from vehicle violence not listed on the Democratic Party Platform?

The 2016 Democratic Party Platform is quite lengthy and I am sure contains many things of interest to many Americans. But the federal government has one role that is unquestionable: to protect its citizens.

. . . the right to protection was not merely a matter of constitutional theory, but a doctrine with concrete legal meaning. In the common law tradition, the protection of the law implied both the recognition of fundamental rights by law, and the enforcement of such rights by government. The paradigmatic instance was the government’s duty to protect individuals against violence. By the middle of the nineteenth century, this duty was understood to include not only the enforcement of civil and criminal law with respect to injuries already committed, but also the responsibility to prevent violence before it occurred. THE FIRST DUTY OF GOVERNMENT: PROTECTION, LIBERTY AND THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT

So why is the protection of American citizens from vehicle violence not listed on the Democratic Party Platform? 2016 Democratic Party Platform July 21, 2016″


See  http://annaleahmary.com/2016/07/so-why-is-protection-from-vehicle-violence-not-listed-on-the-democratic-party-platform/

Marianne’s questions are aimed at making us all safer.  She knows the tragedy of vehicle violence first hand.
I trace the preventability of her tragedy to the first days of the Reagan Administration when NHTSA work on truck underride guards was demoted in the name of “deregulation”.  Reagan appointed Raymond Peck, a former coal industry lobbyist.  NHTSA staff were demoted and reduced by 33% or about 300 people out the door (Now an industry Revolving Door).  And the airbag rule was rescinded.  It took a better Supreme Court than we have today to overturn the Reagan rescission with the words “For nearly a decade, the automobile industry has waged the regulatory equivalent of war against the air bag and lost — the inflatable restraint was proved sufficiently  effective.”  Story at Car Safety Wars, p. 163. Seehttps://www.amazon.com/Car-Safety-Wars-Technology-Politics/dp/1611477476/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469371675&sr=1-1&keywords=car+safety+wars
Disclosure:  I had the honor, working under Joan Claybrook, to have a role in writing and editing the 1980 NHTSA Report “Automobile Occupant Crash Protection, Progress Report No. 3” that the Supreme Court cited.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/assets/1980fullreport.pdf
Hopefully Marianne’s  writings will help our future be safer.
Lou Lombardo

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com

Ford Recall Model of Placing Money Before Customer Safety and Satisfaction

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Forbes has an excellent report on Ford Windstar recall that shows how Ford – and NHTSA – did not put safety ahead of corporate short term money.

Forbes has done its readers, company and government safety engineers, and hopefully some corporate executives a service by showing how companies should not put short term gains ahead of safety and customer satisfaction.

“The danger that caused the recall is supposed to be eliminated, not mitigated, said Joan Claybrook, former head of Public Citizen who was in charge of the N.H.T.S.A. from 1977 to 1981.  She contends the brackets are not a “lawful repair.”

There’s also a problem with charging for the axle, even if it is a discounted price, because federal regulations require a free repair says Clarence Ditlow, the executive director of The Center for Auto Safety.

The safety agency doesn’t have a problem with Ford’s approach.

“The support brackets that were the recall remedy, eliminated the safety-related consequence if they were properly installed,” N.H.T.S.A. spokesman Bryan Thomas said.”

Readers can check the April 2016 issue of Consumer Reports rankings of “Which Brands Make the Best Cars” and find Ford ranks 16th.  Ford ranks 16th!!!

Reminds me of the NHTSA safety engineer that I worked with and had a great reputation.  He bought a Windstar and was very sorry he did so.

This inequality of safety vs. money and power must change for the better to end vehicle violence.
Lou Lombardo

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com