Only America Haters Are Afraid of Cars
Today National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration officials announced a new policy that would prevent consumers, lawyers, and public safety advocates from getting access to data collected by the government about vehicles sold in the US. The data consists of warranty claims and customer complaints and is mandated by the Transportation, Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act of 2000.
Spokesman for NHTSA, Louie "V8" McDougald, said of the new policy:
We're just looking out for the American consumer here. You make too much of this kind of data available, and people might stop buying cars. Where would we be then, huh? I gotta feed my ki--uh--you know this might be a terrorist thing. Maybe Osama wants people to stop driving--make 'em take planes. Easier targets...you know?---
Read the article folks. I'm making light of this but am still amazed at how the administration is rolling over for the auto industry. Every day...more secrecy.
Also, what happens to companies like JD Powers? They collect information from consumers on new vehicles and rate the models according to defects. Will they have to close up shop?
You're both right that consumers have all sorts of other information available to them.
Also, don't be surprised to see this supported by all members of the Michigan delegation to Congress, regardless of party. It is the Michigan delegation that has been behind raising the CAFE standards. John Conyers may be a hero to many for his desire to impeach Bush, but just like Biden rolls over for MBNA, Conyers rolls over fore the car companies.
btw, David Lazarus is one of the people who make the Chronicle (sometimes) worth reading. He's done a whole lot of great reporting on anti-consumer practices by the big corporations.
DBK, I hope that the Dems take a look at this, though I'm not sure there's much they can do being a purely regulatory issue.
this supported by all members of the Michigan delegation to Congress,
I think you're wrong, dbk - by a wide margin.
PoP, most everything by this point. I'm waiting for Bush's speeches to be reduced to long series of beeps.
TFWY, can you expand on that last statement. If some of the members of the Michigan delegation aren't/wouldn't be supporting it, I'd be interested in knowing why. One thing that springs to mind is that stats on foreign autos are a part of this as well, and they certainly haven't been without their own recalls.
Every day our gummint grows more shrouded in mystery.
This is not good. Only bad can come from a secretive government.
It's not like they're the Knight's Templar in charge of protecting the Holy Grail. It's bad emough $2.3 Trillion in Pentagon spending cannot be accounted for due to Black Ops programs.
Hell, it's bad enough the Kennedy Assasination files are still sealed.
At this rate we won't have the right to know anything about our gov and what it does.