Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Deception – Scientists Estimate Effects on People

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Scientists have estimated the effects of diesel emissions from Volkswagen’s deliberate vehicle cheating on U.S. emission tests.

“Abstract “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a notice of violation against Volkswagen (VW) for installing a defective device in certain models of diesel cars to circumvent emission tests for nitrogen oxides (NOx). We quantified the health and economic impacts of extra NOx emissions attributable to non-compliant vehicles in the U.S. using the EPA’s Co-Benefits Risk Assessment model. We estimated that the total extra NOx emitted over one year of operation would result in 5 to 50 premature deaths, 687 to 17,526 work days with restricted activity, and economic costs of $43,479,189 to $423,268,502, based on various assumptions regarding emission scenarios and risks. This study highlights the potential impacts of VW vehicles’ lack of compliance on the health and well-being of the U.S. population.”
Note:  This is based on one year of operation.  The deception took place over a decade.
For more on VW criminal deception see  http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2016/09/09/business/09reuters-volkswagen-emissions.html“VW has so far set aside about $18 billion to cover the cost of vehicle refits and a settlement with U.S. authorities, but analysts think the bill could rise much further as a result of lawsuits and regulatory penalties.”  See  http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2016/09/21/business/21reuters-volkswagen-emissions-lawsuit.html
Short History of Air Pollution
This is part of a 50 year war on automotive emissions that have harmed people’s health in the U.S., damaged people worldwide, and the planet.  See
1.  As a whistle blower in 1971, I was fired from EPA trying to warn that emission testing by the Nixon EPA was being rigged to benefit auto companies under Administrator William Ruckelshaus.
2.  A recent MIT study found that all automotive emissions, not just diesel emissions, were estimated to be resulting in 53,000 early deaths each year in the U.S.A. today.
3.  Last year, President Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom to William Ruckelshaus.  See http://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-medal.php
Last week, on September 15, 2016, I commented on a NY Times article “Pardon Snowden” on whistle blowing.   I received the NY Times link athttp://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/15/opinion/pardon-edward-snowden.html?comments#permid=19799984:19805678
I had made the three points above about my experience as a whistle blower.  Within a couple of hours my comments were recommended by more than 150 readers.   One reader replied saying that my comments were “the scariest post” he had ever read.
Then the NY Times removed my comments and those of the people who had replied to my comments.
Lou Lombardo

Tip Save Your Money – Don’t Overbuy Gasoline Octane

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

In the early 1970’s I was the principal consumer advocate for octane posting on gasoline pumps.   Advocacy resulted in enactment of Title II – Octane Disclosure – of the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (P.L. 95-297) requiring the posting of gasoline octane quality ratings on all gasoline pumps to reduce consumer octane overbuying. Octane overbuying in the 1970s was resulting, each day, in an economic waste of three million consumer dollars, energy waste of one million gallons of gasoline, and air pollution emissions of 400,000 pounds of lead.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/about-louis.php

Today we read in the NY Times overbuying is still a problem in the U.S.A.“According to a report this week from AAA, 16.5 million drivers used premium fuel on average at least once a month over the last year, although their cars required only regular grade gasoline, accomplishing nothing positive and wasting $2.1 billion.”  See  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/automobiles/dont-waste-money-on-premium-gas-if-your-car-is-made-for-regular.html?hpw&rref=automobiles&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

See good report and informational materials published by AAA at http://newsroom.aaa.com/2016/09/u-s-drivers-waste-2-1-billion-annually-premium-gasoline/

Nice to see AAA warning Americans about overbuying as we did in the 1970’s when we did not have octane ratings on the pumps.  Americans still need to stop overbuying. But now all gasoline is lead free – and importantly blood lead levels in children are now much lower – though still not low enough from other sources of lead.   Seehttps://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/data/Chart_Website_StateConfirmedByYear_1997_2015.pdf

Lou Lombardo

Saving Kids From Deaths in Hot Cars

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

An excellent article in Forbes tells us of the need and the status of developments in saving kids from dying in hot cars.  See

Twitter link: http://bit.ly/2cd9ZRu

Spread the word to save lives.

Lou

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com

Obama Auto Company Freedom To Profit Over People s Freedom From Harm

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Auto Industry: Call for Guidance Not Regulation
“WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —  This evening, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released guidance for the operation of autonomous vehicles. The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets released the following statement from David Strickland, Coalition spokesperson and general counsel, in response to the guidance:  “This is an important step forward in establishing the basis of a national framework for the deployment of self-driving vehicles…. “We look forward to continued collaboration with NHTSA and other federal and state policymakers to further develop the national framework for safe and timely deployment that avoids a patchwork of requirements that could inhibit self-driving vehicle development and operations.”  See Attached Release by Self Drive Coalition and former Obama Administration appointee NHTSA Administrator Strickland.
President Obama: Worries Regulation Can Go Too Far

“Right now, too many people die on our roads – 35,200 last year alone – with 94 percent of those the result of human error or choice. Automated vehicles have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year. And right now, for too many senior citizens and Americans with disabilities, driving isn’t an option. Automated vehicles could change their lives.

Safer, more accessible driving. Less congested, less polluted roads. That’s what harnessing technology for good can look like. But we have to get it right. Americans deserve to know they’ll be safe today even as we develop and deploy the technologies oftomorrow.

That’s why my administration is rolling out new rules of the road for automated vehicles – guidance that the manufacturers developing self-driving cars should follow to keep us safe. And we’re asking them to sign a 15-point safety checklist showing not just the government, but every interested American, how they’re doing it.

We’re also giving guidance to states on how to wisely regulate these new technologies, so that when a self-driving car crosses from Ohio into Pennsylvania, its passengers can be confident that other vehicles will be just as responsibly deployed and just as safe.

Regulation can go too far. Government sometimes gets it wrong when it comes to rapidly changing technologies. That’s why this new policy is flexible and designed to evolve with new advances.”  See http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/Op-Ed/2016/09/19/Barack-Obama-Self-driving-yes-but-also-safe/stories/201609200027

Joan Claybrook and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety: Guidance Not Enough

“The Department of Transportation (DOT) must use its federal regulatory authority to assure the American public of the safety of autonomous cars. Safety performance standards encourage competition among automotive companies because they help to assure a market for the real innovators and suppliers. The manufacturers always complain about new federal protections, but autonomous cars are a whole new technology with great promise but also with the potential for serious public harm.

We are pleased that DOT is planning to address these issues and seeking public comment for this new system of transportation but it must not shy away from assuring public safety with minimum federal vehicle safety standards. It should not rely instead on mere guidance, including for the initial elements of automatic vehicle operation such as Automatic Emergency Brakes (AEB) that currently is only guided with a useless industry voluntary standard (it was the key element that failed in the Tesla fatal crashes.)  Seehttp://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-FwdAdvocatesStatementonDOTReleaseofAVPolicy.php

Consumer Reports: Set Safety Standards

President Barack Obama, a strong advocate of driverless cars, voiced his support in an editorial published Tuesday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“Automated vehicles have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year,” he wrote. “And right now, for too many senior citizens and Americans with disabilities, driving isn’t an option. Automated vehicles could change their lives.

“But we have to get it right,” he continued. “Americans deserve to know they’ll be safe today even as we develop and deploy the technologies of tomorrow.”

Consumer Reports supports the development of autonomous technology but believes these cars won’t be widely accepted until consumers can trust they are safe. “We urge the Transportation Department to move quickly to put actual safety standards in place for how these systems are designed and tested, before these vehicles wind up on the road,” Tellado says. 

See http://www.consumerreports.org/self-driving-cars/self-driving-car-guidelines-not-enough-protection-for-consumers/?loginMethod=auto

Documents:

Thanks to Ben Kelley additional public documents are attached.

Nader Release on Celebration – With Purpose – of 50th Anniversary of Safety Laws

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Please see attached Release

For More Information or to arrange interviews with Ralph Nader

Contact: Hunter Jones or Todd Main

202-387-8034

info@csrl.org

The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Acts – Fiftieth Anniversary (1966-2016)

 Nader Holds Four-Day Conference to Commemorate Fiftieth Anniversary Year of

the Publication of Unsafe at Any Speed

Today, September 9, 2016, marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the National Highway Traffic Safety Act, a result of Ralph Nader’s landmark book Unsafe at Any Speed, which was published the previous yearThe book opened with the faulty rear suspension system of the General Motors Corvair, This defect could cause the Corvair to skid violently and roll over. The corporate negligence that had produced the various Corvair defects, Nader said, was “one of the greatest acts of industrial irresponsibility.” More broadly, Unsafe at Any Speed documented how Detroit habitually subordinated safety to style and marketing concerns. The main cause of automobile occupant injuries, Nader demonstrated, was not the “nut behind the wheel” so often blamed by the auto industry, but the inherent engineering and design deficiencies of motor vehicles that were woefully unsafe, especially in terms of “crashworthiness”—no seat belts, etc.

At the signing, President Johnson said, “I am proud of the 89th Congress, which took my proposals and brought forth these laws. And I’m proud at this moment to sign these bills—which promise, in the years to come, to cure the highway disease, to end the years of horror and give us hope.”

See full copy attached.

Lou Lombardo

Nader Conference “Breaking Through Power” on Tort Law

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

With all the wrongdoing that has gone on, and continues to this day, we need to see and hear the people with the experience of righting wrongs.

Who has done more to right more wrongs than Ralph Nader?

Nader is devoting a day of his Conference on “Breaking Through Power” to Tort Law.

He is including Marianne Karth, the mother who lost two daughters in a truck underride crash.  Marianne has worked tirelessly to convert her grief into good so that other Americans need not suffer such tragedies.She has been researching and writing about what happened, its consequences, the historical failures for decades to promulgate solutions, and what can be done to end preventable vehicle violence for all of us – forevermore.  She obtained 20,000 signatures on a petition to President Obama for adoption of a National Vision Zero Goal and delivered them in March 2016.  See http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Vision-Zero-Petition-Book-3rd-Edition.pdf

She has taught me to better appreciate the injustice and the inequality of corporate and Federal government policies of weighing people’s lives against corporate dollars.

Attend this Conference and help us all learn how we can advance justice and reduce inequality.  See  http://eepurl.com/cfM1ib
Lou Lombardo

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com

Nader, Auto Hall of Fame, Millions of Lives Saved in Last 50 Years, & Breaking Through Power

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

The Beginning:

Please watch Nader’s talk at his Induction into the Auto Hall of Fame.  He tells us all how it began.See  https://nader.org/
The Results:

And in “Federal Regulation Saves Millions of Lives” he describes the results.  See https://blog.nader.org/2016/09/09/federal-regulation-saves-millions-of-lives/

The Future:

And in his forthcoming Conference on “Breaking Through Power” he will help us look ahead as to how we can advance our “safety and happiness” by restoring our government “of, by, and for the people.”  See https://www.breakingthroughpower.org/

Lou Lombardo

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com