Thursday, September 24, 2015

Outlaw automakers need to be reined in, execs need to go to prison

According to the NYT:
"Long before Volkswagen admitted to cheating on emissions tests for millions of cars worldwide, the automobile industry, Volkswagen included, had a well-known record of sidestepping regulation and even duping regulators. . . The universe of automotive scandals has been a broad and often tragic one, including Ford’s 1978 recalls of 1.5 million Pintos after evidence emerged that its gas tanks were prone to catch fire during impacts. The Chrysler Corporation was indicted in 1987 on charges of disconnecting the odometers of 60,000 cars used by executives and then selling them as new. The Ford-Firestone scandal that started in the late 1990s was linked to 271 deaths. And more than 23 million cars have been recalled by 11 automakers over airbags made by Takata that could violently rupture in an accident. . .
No matter the offense, penalties have often been fleeting. Executives are not jailed; fines are manageable.
In the United States, automakers’ lobbying has ensured that the statute giving powers to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “has no specific criminal penalty for selling defective or noncompliant vehicles,” says Joan Claybrook, a former administrator of the agency and a longtime advocate of auto safety. There are no criminal penalties under laws applying to the E.P.A. for violations of motor vehicle clean air rules, though there is a division of the Justice Department devoted to violations of environmental law.
“I don’t see them changing this behavior unless criminal penalties are enacted into law that allow the prosecutor to put the executives in jail,” Ms. Claybrook said."

This article provides lots of detail on automaker misconduct.

No comments:

Post a Comment