He's back and with a vengeance.
Consumer advocate and former presidential contender Ralph Nader is refocusing on the automotive
industry, a move that brought him critical acclaim back in the Sixties. According to the Boston Herald, Nader
accuses the U.S. government of acting as a "consulting firm" to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA), insurance agencies of failing to promote greater safety and government agencies of continuing
to use substandard vehicles. (See here for the
Autoblog post and link to the report.) And he wants to establish an office in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., to monitor the
The NHTSA has already fired back, pointing to all-time low fatality rates and the high rate of
seatbelt use by vehicle occupants. Automakers are also defending themselves, noting that side air bags can be found in
about seventy-five percent of today's vehicles and are set to be standard by 2009. According to automakers it's the
public, not the government, who is demanding these features. We think what they're trying to say Ralph is, "See?
The free-market economy does work on its own sometimes."
[Source: Associated Press via the Boston