Autos: The Japanese Safety Issue

To their consternation, the Japanese have discovered that auto safety is not only a U.S. issue. A check by the New York Times with the U.S. National Highway Safety Bureau disclosed last month that the Japanese Big Two—Toyota and Nissan—had been secretly recalling defective cars sold in the U.S. Alarmed, the Japanese Diet demanded that all twelve Japanese automakers reveal the extent of engineering flaws. Public dismay grew as both the press and the national police began investigating accidents that could have been caused by defective cars.

By last week the automakers had listed approximately 2,500,000 autos as potentially defective. Although...

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