Autos: Many Are Called But Fewer Are Defective

Since September, all automakers have been required by law to report possible defects to the new National Traffic Safety Agency, whose director. William Haddon, has the authority to make the reports public—if he sees fit. Last week Haddon saw fit: he announced that more than 500,000 late-model cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles have been recalled by domestic and foreign manufacturers to check on some 40 potential flaws. These statistics were deceptive, and Ford Division General Manager Donald Frey, for one, was quick to note that probably no more than 5% of the recalled cars actually had anything wrong with...

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