Right now, it takes a Freedom of Information Act request to get information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) pertaining to any unsafe automobile conditions. Despite this, the auto manufacturers can declare information that they provided to the NHTSA be kept confidential!. Yup, this means that even with the Freedom of Information Act, you are not guaranteed to obtain critical and potentially life-threatening information.

Automobile manufacturers can declare critical information concerning deaths and accidents be withheld from the public!

Automobile manufacturers and even companies that make safety products for vehicles, like car seats for children; can be testing for a year or more before any information hits the public, if they do indeed test. There is no guarantee when and if a company will take complaints of deaths and injuries due to their products seriously and begin to investigate. For example, a manufacturer of a popular car seat had been investigating complaints of it not standing up to accidents as it was designed to. So, how many injuries or worse were incurred while Evenflo tried to determine if a problem existed.

What is worse is whether or not the NHTSA will investigate an issue or not. This is on top of the problem of carefully controlled dissemination of information. When a formal investigation was announced by the NHTSA concerning the Chevrolet Volt, it was also learned that they had already been quietly testing them for six months. The NHTSA denied that it was an investigation. According to the NHTSA, an investigation only occurs once the agency has a reasonable belief a defect may exist. This leaves the agency with a lot of leeway not to mention allowing potentially life threatening problems to go unannounced for too long.

So the main defense there seems to be is not allowing any potential bad press to effect a manufacturer until concrete proof is made that a problem exists. In other words, it is designed to protect the companies, not the consumers.

When will the consumer be protected from this type of idiocy???

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