April 15, 2016
Jeff Carlson, Chairman
National Automobile Dealers Association
Dear Mr. Carlson:
My name is Laura Christian. I am the founder of GM Recall Survivors. Our group gives a voice to those who lost loved ones in defective General Motors (GM) vehicles. My birth daughter, Amber Marie Rose, was one of the first GM ignition switch victims. Since Amber’s death, I have been advocating for critical safety improvements in the auto industry. As such, I felt compelled to write to you about the recent remarks you made in Automotive News.
I am absolutely appalled by your callous comments concerning auto recalls. To say that only 6% of all safety recalls is hazardous is a gross misrepresentation of the truth. As a parent of a child who died because her daughter’s vehicle wasn’t recalled, this type of rhetoric is a slap in the face. There are hundreds of other parents in this country who have been impacted by our broken recall system. Numerous lives have been forever changed because auto manufacturers and auto suppliers like Takata were focused on cover-ups instead of safety.
Given your position, policymakers as well as consumers view you as an industry “expert” and they take your word seriously. But, your remarks down play the seriousness of a very scary situation here in our country. Frankly, you should be ashamed.
You are setting a very dangerous precedent by minimizing the risks of auto recalls. Consumers should take recalls very seriously and work with their local dealers to fix problems as quickly as possible. And, dealers should go out of their way to disclose safety problems to their customers to ensure the cars people are driving are safe.
I hope you will take my views into consideration and think more carefully about the impact your words have on elected officials and consumers. I would also encourage you to retract your statement. You have an opportunity to rectify this wrong; please do the right thing.
Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to discuss this matter in further detail.