AUTOS: The Price of Safety

When an automaker recalls cars so that dangerous defects can be corrected free of charge, not everybody connected with the company loses money. "The average dealer is tickled pink by recalls," says Douglas Toms, director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Once the defective car gets into the shop, there's a lot of other maintenance that's usually done. It's also an opportunity to sell new cars."

By that logic Chevrolet dealers may not mind a special consumer-protection bulletin that Toms issued last week. Well armed with evidence (500 documented case histories plus daily complaints from Chevy owners), the NHTSA warned...

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