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Center for Auto Safety v. NHTSA (I)

This case challenged claims by automobile manufactures that information that they provided to NHTSA, at NHTSA’s request, for the agency to use in developing a new rule on air bag design constituted trade secrets and confidential commercial information. The briefs addressed the interpretation of Exemption 4 of FOIA. The court of appeals held that none of the information was trade secret, but that the information was confidential within the meaning of exemption 4 unless CAS could rebut the manufacturers’ claims that they did not customarily dislcose it to the public. After the court of appeals ruling, the parties settled, with the agency agreeing to disclose several categories of information.