The New York Times published an investigative piece yesterday on the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and poorly-handled automobile safety defects. The Times found that the agency “frequently has been slow to identify problems, tentative to act and reluctant to employ its full legal powers against companies.”
Rebecca Ruiz shared the byline on the story. She says the last time the NHTSA ordered a recall was 35 years ago. Not even the 2,000 complaints that the agency had logged about General Motors’ ignition defects triggered a recall.
“The agency received complaints as early as 1997,” says Ruiz. “Up until the very month that the recalls began in February, NHTSA was responding to drivers who were writing in saying, ‘unfortunately there is not enough evidence for us to open an investigation, but thank you for writing.'”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.