Sept. 14, 1998

Statement of Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen, on New Air Bag Safety Tests

Today?s Department of Transportation announcement is tremendous news for public safety. The proposal will protect consumers against dangerously designed air bags and means no auto manufacturers will be allowed to cut corners and compromise safety in their air bag designs.

In its final form, this rule must mean that there will be little risk of being killed by an air bag. Congress in June 1998 mandated this rule containing strict deadlines in response to lobbying by consumer groups. It is vital that these deadlines be met so that drivers and passengers of the future are not hurt or killed by the poor air bag designs of the past.