Ralph Nader Rips US Safety Agency Over Toyota Mess

'The problem here starts not just with Toyota but NHTSA'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2010 4:56 PM CST
Ralph Nader is seen in Washington, on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – Ralph Nader says the US auto safety watchdog bears some of the blame for Toyota's sticky accelerator pedal mess. He faults the NHTSA for failing to take decisive action after six investigations spurred by complaints about involuntary acceleration. The recall is just a "cheap fix" after years of hiding accelerator issues, Nader says, adding that the earlier floor-mat explanation was "largely a ruse."

Nader, who took on the auto industry for unsafe practices in the 1960s with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, says the NHTSA has simply gotten too cozy with the industry it's supposed to regulate. "They have a culture of obeisance where they've become like a consulting firm to the auto companies instead of a regulator and a law enforcement agency," he tells Reuters.

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