In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (4/17), Sam Kazman, general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writes, “The super-high efficiency minicar has become the Holy Grail for many environmentalists,” but an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study found that minis offer “significantly less protection for their passengers” during two car crashes. “That’s not what advocates of higher fuel-economy standards want to hear. Greater weight may increase crashworthiness, but it also decreases miles per gallon, so there’s an inevitable trade-off between safety and efficiency.” However, “with the exception of IIHS, there’s practically no one else providing information on the size-safety issue.” A federal appeals court found the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “guilty of using ‘mumbo jumbo’ and ‘legerdemain’ to conceal” the “lethal effects” of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123993371229527975.html
“Don’t expect” the Environmental Protection Agency to “admit to CAFE’s dangers,” Kazman writes, adding that Consumer Reports “has consistently failed to mention the importance of size and weight in discussing how to choose a safer car.”
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