AUTOS: The Largest Recall

Skimming through the voluminous stacks of mail that reach him in Washington, Ralph Nader last summer began picking up an unusual pattern of complaints about some products made by his old antagonist, G.M.'s Chevrolet Motor Division. Scores of engines on Chevies made from 1965 to 1969, the letters indicated, were twisting loose from car frames, sometimes with the frightening result that the auto's accelerator pedal was pulled all the way down to the floor and the brakes failed. At roughly the same time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was looking into similar complaints. Last week that combined scrutiny...

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