general motors like a rock Essay

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General Motors Like a Rock

General Motors provided a videotape of the Harry Pearce press conference with retractions by NBC and acceptances by GM. Also available from GM were two videotapes of Michelle Gillen’s interviews with a GM engineer and an attorney representing GM in the Moseley case. The contact was: Mr. Ed Lechtzin, Director of Legal and Safety Issues, GM Communications Staff, New Center One Building--7305, 3031 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit MI, 48202. A segment on the GM pickup trucks was broadcast on the McNeil-Lehrer Report, November 30, 1993. The issue has three components: 1) the dispute over the safety of the pickup trucks, 2) the Dateline program, and 3) the public’s perspective on this affair. The
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For a Nissan light pickup the odds are 1 in 4,521. Heavy pickup trucks were considerably “safer” than passenger cars.1

One concern with the NHTSA accident records was that they do not control for how the vehicles were used, which could affect the frequency with which they were involved in accidents. A more informative approach would be to examine how safely the vehicle protects the passengers in an accident. Data from a study of fatal and major injury accidents indicated that per 1000 collisions GM C/K pickups had a lower rate of fatal and major injuries than did either the Ford F-Series pickup or the Dodge D/W Series Pickup. The frequencies are: GM 33.82, Ford 34.30, Dodge 35.21. For side impact collisions the frequencies of fatal or major injury were: GM 23.03, Ford 23.59, and Dodge 25.53. No statistical test, however, was likely to show that GM pickups were less safe than Ford or Dodge pickups. Newsweek titled the article cited in the previous footnote, “Just as Safe at Any Speed.”

Regardless of these data, safety activists argued that the GM pickups should be recalled. Their viewpoint was that if a hazard can be eliminated then it should be eliminated. NHTSA asked GM to voluntarily recall the C/K pickups, and it refused to do so. Secretary of
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