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Posts Tagged ‘Joan Claybrook’

Feds Expecting Pushback on New Autonomous Vehicle Rules

Despite advocates’ claims, some question safety of self-driving vehicles.

by on Apr.07, 2016

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosakind is an advocate for autonomous vehicles, believing they can improve safety on U.S roadways.

With the first semi-autonomous vehicles already on the road, industry watchers suggest fully self-driving vehicles could start rolling into showrooms by 2020, perhaps even sooner. But there are some key obstacles in the way, and not all of them are technological.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to address one of the most significant roadblocks by introducing new federal guidelines overseeing development of automated vehicles, and it will hold a first public hearing on Friday.

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NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind has suggested that the use of autonomous vehicles could eventually eliminate highway deaths in the U.S., and wants the agency to help promote development of the technology. But there are plenty of skeptics who plan to attend this week’s meeting, including some safety experts who want to slow the process down. (more…)

Critics Demand Barra Come Clean about Ignition Decisions

Open letter calls for full disclosure by GM’s CEO.

by on Apr.17, 2014

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Automotive Safety, penned a letter with Joan Claybrook, president emeritus of Public Citizen, demanding GM CEO Mary Barra be transparent about the decision-making process that produced the faulty ignition switches in its small cars.

General Motors executives knew much more about the design flaw in the ignition switch installed in its small cars during the past decade much earlier than GM has officially acknowledged, according to two long-standing critics of the auto industry’s efforts at automotive safety.

In an open letter to GM CEO Mary Barra, Joan Claybrook, president emeritus of Public Citizen, and Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, said it was time GM came clean about how and when the decisions were made to use the cheaper ignition switch and to replace them half a decade later without changing the part number or notifying federal regulators, which could have triggered a recall by GM.

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GM had no immediate comment on the Claybrook-Ditlow letter. (more…)

‘Switchgate’: What Did GM Know and When Did GM Know It?

Revised timeline raises new concerns about long delay in launching GM recall.

by on Mar.13, 2014

There are new alegations that GM knew about the problem with its ignition switches as early as 2001.

This story has been revised to reflect General Motors’ official response to the letter sent to Mary Barra by safety advocates Clarence Ditlow and Joan Claybrook.

As new evidence continued to pour out about a break-in of Democrat campaign headquarters that came to be known as “Watergate,” one of the critical questions posed about then-President Richard Nixon was what did he know and when did he know it. Four decades later, a similar question is being asked about General Motors in what some are now calling “Switchgate.”

The “-gate” reference has become a tired cliché, applied in far too many instances of crisis and intrigue. But the fundamental concern is much the same as with the Watergate scandal: It now appears that General Motors may have had the first signs of trouble as early as 2001 with ignition switches it used in a wide range of its compact models now linked to a dozen deaths, 31 crashes and hundreds of complaint reports.

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That dates back to well before the first of the vehicles were put into production – and 13 years before GM announced it was recalling 1.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other models to make repairs to switches that could inadvertently turn from the On position to Off or ACC, in the process stalling out and leaving their airbags inoperable. (more…)