NHTSA May Reopen Jeep Fire Investigation

NHTSA May Reopen Jeep Fire Investigation

April, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
Which Matters More?  Lives or money?

An excellent article on Jeep Recall shines light on former DOT & NHTSA officials and their role in the continuing endangerment of Americans – and their subsequent financial rewards. 

“The new head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the agency may reopen an investigation into the gas tank fires in older Jeep Cherokees that safety advocates say have taken at least 270 lives.

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind also said the agency is not happy with the plodding pace of the effort to retrofit millions of Jeeps with non-functioning trailer hitches — the scheme cooked up at a secret meeting between Rosekind’s predecessor and Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of often-renamed Chrysler, now known as FCA US LLC in the United States.

“We’re not satisfied with the current situation so we are looking for every avenue that would be appropriate for us to take action,” Rosekind said in a meeting with reporters at the New York International Auto Show, the Detroit News reported. “Given all of the stuff that’s going on, we want to figure out what else we can be doing.”

Rosekind confirmed he is considering reopening the investigation and said: “Everything is on the table. … I have organized a group who is actually looking at any other actions that are available for us given the situation.”

“A federal jury in Georgia last week found that Chrysler showed “reckless or wanton disregard for human life” in the death of Remington Walden, 4, who died when the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by his aunt was rear-ended in a 2012 accident. The jury awarded the family $150 million and said Chrysler was 99% responsible for the accident.”

New NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind is holding a public meeting on recalls.  Seehttps://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/10/2015-08257/retooling-recalls-workshop
This follows a long period of failure to protect Americans that has been well documented in the NY Times.  Seehttp://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/09/19/business/crisis-in-gm-auto-safety.html
Hopefully this meeting signals a change in NHTSA for the better.
But to change the culture of NHTSA requires shifting officials around such that public servants, rather than corporate servants, occupy the responsible positions.
As CEO of NHTSA, Dr. Rosekind needs to change the culture of the agency before he can hope to change the culture in Detroit when he meets the auto CEOs in June.
Time and future lives lost will tell which matters more at NHTSA: lives or money.


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