Click above to view video of the 2008 Smart fortwo crash test
Anybody who watches Autoline on Detroit or reads our Autoline on Autoblog posts will know that John McElroy is a certifiably nice guy. Bob Lutz is known more as a brash talker who isn't afraid to make his views known, regardless of what others may think. Both of them, though, are very closely attuned to the auto industry. The head product-honcho at GM and our very own Mr. Nice Guy share the opinion that the Feds should suspend their ever-increasing crash-testing standards for a few years. If a car is safe enough for our European relatives, it should be safe enough for us, right? In reality, this is not the case, as the U.S. standards differ enough from those across the pond that a car sometimes needs to be designed specifically to pass one or the other. For this reason, the Chevy Beat won't be sold on U.S. soil.
To complete the deal, McElroy also suggests doing the same for environmental standards. As with crash tests, though both the U.S. and the European regulations are strict, they don't quite match. Therefore, many cars -- especially those equipped with diesel engines -- can't be sold in the States despite being available in Europe. Lutz doesn't specifically touch on this point, but we'd hazard a guess that he'd go along with it as well.
[Source: Wards Auto]