Business: WHERE AUTO DEFECTS COME FROM

THE U.S. prides itself on having the world's most efficient industry. If that is the case, why have auto manufacturers, long regarded as star performers, lately been recalling cars at a faster rate than they have been building them? Last week General Motors called back 1,100,000 vehicles—1965 and 1966 Pontiac cars and late-model Chevrolet and G.M.C. trucks, buses and highway tractors—because of possible defects in the braking systems. Only three weeks earlier, G.M. had recalled a record 4,900,000 vehicles, including 2,500,000 Chevrolets built between 1965 and 1968. Although less than 5% of all autos involved usually turn out to be defective,...

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