Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
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Justinian Lane's Blog

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NHTSA - opaque or transparent?

The article presents both sides of an important issue: Whether or not the NHTSA releases enough information to the public regarding auto safety investigations.

The information that would be available to consumers and safety advocacy groups if early investigatory work were public includes testing, correspondence with manufacturers, injuries and deaths, says Allan Kam, a former NHTSA senior enforcement attorney.

On the other hand, delaying or deciding against starting a formal investigation can save automakers the bad press that comes from public probes — especially if they don't lead to a recall.

"Maybe the agency and the manufacturer know, but the public doesn't know and may want to provide input," Kam says.

Source: Auto safety concerns often stay secret

Here’s what offends me:

But if NHTSA were to [release more information], "Consumers wouldn't have any idea what to trust when it comes to the safety of their vehicles. There are fatalities every single hour of every single day," Strickland says.

In other words, “we’re not releasing our publicly-funded work because taxpayers are too stupid to understand it.”