There's still fallout landing from the Firestone-tire-crashing-Explorer episode. Maryland-based Quality Control Systems Corporation has sued NHTSA in an attempt to gain access to any reports Ford made to the agency regarding injuries and deaths from tire-related incidents. This latest action, under the Freedom Of Information Act, has been brought on by NHTSA's refusal to share any data it's collected about Explorer crashes.
NHTSA has been waffling about the level of detail it will release. A federal judge had ordered the agency to revamp a proposed rule allowing a high level of secrecy. The order was appealed by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, we're assuming in the interest of self preservation, and NHTSA is sitting on its hands until that appeal is resolved. If something was amiss with the tires, recommended inflation pressure, or just plain bad driving, the public deserves transparency. NHTSA contends that deciding what level of information to release on a case-by-case basis would be overwhelming – as well as possibly revealing sensitive corporate information. A blanket policy favoring informing the public, rather than protecting companies that make faulty products would be a step in the right direction. Instead, we're going to still be in the dark while time is wasted clogging up the legal system and paying lawyers to duke it out. Now, that's what we call progress.

[Source: Detriot Free Press]


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