Autos: Drive for Safety

The junior U.S. Senator from New York leaned over the hearing-room table and spoke harshly to the head of the largest manufacturing company in the world. Said Bobby Kennedy to General Motors Board Chairman Frederic Donner: "How can you appear before this committee and not even know about that?"

What seemed to upset Kennedy was that none of the top G.M. executives who appeared last week before a Senate Government Operations subcommittee investigating auto safety had ever seen a Cornell University survey that critically compared G.M.'s door-hinge design with others. In auto collisions, Cornell...

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