Lutz calls for crash test break so small cars can be brought to U.S.

With this year's rise in gas prices, sales of small fuel efficient cars have gone through the roof and companies like Ford and Honda are selling every single Civic, Fit and Focus they can produce. Over in other parts of the world, automakers have long sold many vastly more efficient cars that aren't available on American roads. American drivers aware of this are of course clamoring for these cars to be offered here, but since those vehicles aren't designed for the American market, automakers just can't bring them over as is. Automakers are planning to bring the next generation of many of these smaller cars to the U.S. market with cars like the new Ford Fiesta, but most aren't due for a makeover for a few more years. To address this problem, last week at a 2009 model preview in Illinois, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz called for a three-year moratorium on some crash test requirements. The idea is that companies like GM would be able to use that time to temporarily bring in some existing models from overseas to cover the gap until cars designed to meet U.S. standards are ready. That would potentially allow us to get cars like the Opel Corsa and Chevy Beat onto American roads. Many of you expressed interest in sacrificing safety to get better efficiency, so how do you feel about this proposal?

[Source: Wards Auto World]

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