Posted On: December 4, 2006 by Christopher T. Hurley

Automakers hide auto safety files

The auto industry seems to have an agenda of withholding auto safety information from the public. As noted recently by columnist Cindy Skrzycki in the Washington Post:

"For almost three years, the major automakers have shipped voluminous data to U.S. traffic-safety regulators: Eight million consumer complaints, 138 million warranty claims and 5 million field reports on product malfunctions. It's part of an 'early warning reporting' program Congress set up to prevent a repeat of the Firestone tire-failure scandal. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and some German and Japanese manufacturers have argued that this information should be kept strictly confidential. And officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have agreed, despite protests and court challenges from public safety groups. Late last month, the highway-safety administration proposed the latest in a string of rules over the confidentiality of those millions of documents. It did so on the orders of a federal judge, who accused the agency earlier this year of pulling a 'switcheroo' by deleting from an earlier draft a presumption that the data would be available to the public."

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