When Government and Industry Fail To Protect Us, Tragedies Continue
“The auto industry recalled almost 64 million vehicles for safety problems last year, a record, according to figures released on Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The number of recalled vehicles exceeded the total for the previous three years combined.
The agency and automakers faced intense scrutiny in 2014 and sometimes scorching criticism from Congress about whether safety defects were being investigated properly and vehicles recalled promptly….”
“An investigation last year by The New York Times of the N.H.T.S.A. found that the agency had frequently been slow to identify problems, tentative to act and reluctant to employ its full legal powers against companies….” “In a departure from its practice in previous years, N.H.T.S.A. did not release the number of recalls by manufacturer. But General Motors accounted for almost 27 million of the recalled vehicles, the automaker said.” See
AP reporter Tom Krisher writes an excellent in depth article on a tragic Jeep crash.“As Kayla White slowed her SUV behind two other cars to exit a suburban Detroit freeway on Veterans Day, it was rammed from behind by a Cadillac STS. Her red 2003 Jeep Liberty bounced off a Nissan in front of it, rolled onto its side and exploded in flames.
Other drivers ran to help but were forced back by the heat. Firefighters arrived in just three minutes but were too late. White, a 23-year-old restaurant hostess who was eight months pregnant, died of burns and smoke inhalation….
“Heath had no alcohol in his system and wasn’t texting or distracted by his cellphone, says Cooper, the prosecutor. He faces up to a year in jail. Cooper says White’s “horribly tragic” death was the result of Heath’s careless driving.
But Douglas Hampton, Heath’s attorney, isn’t so sure. He has more investigating to do but will probably argue that White’s death was caused by the vulnerable fuel tank and that Heath shouldn’t be charged with causing her death.
“If it wasn’t for the gas tank, that would be an appropriate charge,” Hampton says.”