Ralph Nader’s shocking solution to the Toyota “problem”

The answer to the problem of Toyotas running amok, says Ralph Nader in a Los Angeles Times op-ed today?

Choose one response:

1. More regulation.
2. More regulation.
3. More regulation.
4. All of the above.

He observes that the budget of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has declined to half what it once was, thereby making disasters like this more or less inevitable. Yet he also admits that every year cars get safer and safer. They were getting safer when NHTSA’s budget was growing, and safer when NHTSA’s budget was shrinking. Some people might say that indicates there are factors at play other than federal regulation, but not Ralph Nader.

I have repeatedly blogged on the Toyota witch hunt and have a forthcoming article showing it’s exactly that. But then again, Nader knows all about witch hunts.

Nader came to fame with his 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed, in which he hounded the sporty little Chevy Corvair (see inset) into extinction, claiming it had a defective rear suspension making it prone to flip. But two separate NHTSA studies later found it was as safe as any other car on the road at the time.

Thanks, Mr. Nader.