The Unsafe at Any Speed reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Unsafe at Any Speed

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Unsafe At Any Speed is a book by Ralph Nader, published in 1965, detailing his claims of resistance by car companies to the introduction of safety features, like seat belts, and their general reluctance to spend money on improving safety. One of the main targets of the book was General Motors' Chevrolet Corvair, which had a suspension that made it liable to roll over.

Exhibit featuring book at Ford Museum, DetroitEnlarge

Exhibit featuring book at Ford Museum, Detroit

GM responded in two ways, by trying to silence Nader and also by improving the Corvair's suspension. GM President James Roche was forced (on March 22, 1966) to appear before a Senate subcommittee, and to apologize to Nader for its campaign of harassment and intimidation.

Some say that the book still has relevance today; it denounced what Nader perceived as the political meddling of the car industry to oppose new safety features. Some see parallels in contemporary debates over the mandatory fitting of air bags, in the United States, and industry efforts by the ACEA to delay the introduction of crash tests to assess vehicle front pedestrian protection in the European Union.

A similar book trading on the well-known title of Nader's is Unsafe At Any Height by John Godson, discussing air safety.

Further reading

Interview With Dr. Jorg Beckmann of the ETSC. "Safety experts and the motor car lobby meet head on in Brussels." TEC, Traffic Engineering and Control, Vol 44 NĂ°7 July/August 2003 Hemming Group ISSN 0041 0683