Auto safety rules gave us 10 years of mayhem!
Federal regulations and rules for automobile safety are expensive and extensive. However, supervision and investigation by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under the Department of Transportation has been slow and disorganized on major problems.
The ignition switch problem with GM cars had accidents and fatalities over a time span of 10 years that was investigated after public out cries from families of victims. The exploding air bags with Japanese Takata equipment was known with 10 years of problems. However, action did not happen until it made the news.
We all know that 10 years of faulty automobiles cannot be repaired quickly. The glacier speed of NHTSA and DOT allowed death and mayhem to continue for 10 years. Now, we can feel “safe” with federal protection oversight of automobiles. Informing everyone that their vehicle is recalled is the 1st step. Approving the replacement air bag and installing this replacement in 34 million vehicles will take 5 years. A lot of airbags can pop open and kill or maim many more during recall.
I grew up driving in cars with solid steel dash boards, and no seat belts. Our DOT set specifications for airbags that make them more dangerous. The auto industry engineers wanted to set air bags with slightly slower rates of expansion with lower amounts of explosive. Federal pencil pushers insisted on the bomb being more explosive.
Federal supervision is great at making rules. Federal supervision is not working at protecting us after making rules. 10 years is the new standard for federal response. Hope we all can wait 10 years for every problem.