AUTOS: Too Fast For Comfort

Too Fast For Comfort

U.S. sales of the West German-built Audi 5000 plunged after reports circulated in 1986 that the car sometimes surged forward even though the accelerator was not depressed. The sudden accelerations allegedly caused more than 1,300 accidents, which resulted in five deaths and 441 injuries. While attention has focused on Audi, the problem may be much more common than originally thought, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating similar complaints about other manufacturers' models.

The company most affected is General Motors. The NHTSA, which has been looking into 573 reports of acceleration incidents in H-body cars (Buick LeSabres and Oldsmobile...

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