Judge Orders NHTSA To Revisit Early Warning Records Rulemaking

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V3 Issue 3, May/June 2006

Washington, D.C. – A U.S. District Court judge has kicked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration final rule on the confidentiality of records submitted under the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act back to the agency. On March 31, Judge Robert Leon found that NHTSA “pulled a switcheroo” when it published its Business Information Confidentiality rule regarding the confidentiality of defect-related information in the early warning database established under TREAD nearly three years ago, and did not allow adequate opportunity for public comment. Continue reading

Cooper Tire Subverts Evidence, Investigative Process, Attorney Alleges

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V. 3 Issue 3, May / June 2006

Did Cooper Tire knowingly hire a felon convicted of insurance fraud charges to spirit away physical evidence of failed tires before police investigators or plaintiffs’ attorney could collect or analyze then? And where is a key piece of evidence in a 2001 tread separation case that was taken from the accident scene?

These are the questions plaguing Loza V. Cooper, a Phoenix rollover case, set for trial this September. In September 2001, Elisa Loza was the rear-seat passenger in a 1996 Ford Super Club E350 with Cooper-made Hercules all-track radial LTs. Her husband was driving on a highway near Gila Bend, Arizona, when, her estate alleges, a Cooper tire experienced a tread separation. Mrs. Loza died in the rollover accident that resulted. Continue reading