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Monday, April 12, 2004

Corruption, and the Auto Industry

The Detroit News has an enormous multi article story on weak roofs on cars. The American auto industry is once again skimping on safety to the detriment of the health of the car buying public. The fact that a 1968 standard is used for roofs, and the fact that vehicles with a high center of gravity that are likely to tip over are incredibly popular now, makes the actions of the auto industry deplorable.

I'm reading John De Lorean's autobiography, On a Clear Day You can See General Motors. It's a frightening look at how an American car company is run. The chapter "When Moral Men make Immoral Decisions" is especially relevant to the subject of safety. Executives knew that the Chevy Corvair had a habit of tipping over because of a poor rear axle, yet the program continued on anyway. The same is true here. The culture of big business, and big profits, makes moral men and women make decisions they would normally never do. No sane person would knowingly kill another for money, yet these decisions are still being made.

It's this blog writer's hope that Congress and the NHTSA pass laws that overhaul the roof standards for vehicles. Otherwise, needless deaths and paralysis like those detailed in the above article will continue.

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