Auto Safety

Effectiveness of Ford Transmission Settlement Still at Issue Gao ID: RCED-86-52 June 10, 1986

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the agreement between Ford Motor Company and the Department of Transportation that closed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) investigation of an alleged transmission defect in certain 1970-79 model year automobiles.

As a result of increased injuries and fatalities due to allegedly faulty automobile transmissions, the manufacturer and NHTSA entered into an agreement in 1980 to inform owners of the proper parking procedures to use before exiting their vehicles. GAO found that the: (1) manufacturer will monitor the case by collecting incident and fatality data and investigating newly reported fatalities, and will inform consumers about the problem; (2) NHTSA incident and fatality data analyses are incomplete; and (3) manufacturer's vehicles are not the only ones with faulty transmissions.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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