General Motors on Blast For Producing Unsafe Cars in Mexico
Recently, General Motors announced that they would continue to manufacture automobiles without airbags until 2019 in Mexico. In the wake of this shocking announcement, Consejo de Latinos Unidos (CDLU), a Hispanic consumer advocacy group and public charity in the United States, officially denounced General Motors, accusing the auto company of engaging in “blatant economic racism” in Mexico.
“General Motors believes Mexican lives do not matter,” K.B. Forbes, the Executive Director of the CDLU, said in a news release. “Mexicans should not have to wait three more years for General Motors to stop selling a Chariot of Death — an unsafe, zero-star rated automobile that does not even meet United States or European minimum safety standards.”
Currently, the best-selling car in Mexico is General Motors’ Chevrolet Aveo. This model does not have airbags and earned a zero-star safety rating last November from the Latin America New Car Assessment Program.
“Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, continues to let General Motors engage in blatanteconomic racism,” continued Forbes. “She should immediately ground the production of any automobile without airbags now, today, this very moment.”
Forbes added that CDLU found that General Motors recently dropped the price of their most unsafe car by 5% in the Mexican market.
“What is most troubling is that there is no commitment to change production as soon as possible, since the Aveo year after year has broken sales records,” said Stephanie Brodziak, Vehicle Safety Coordinator at El Poder del Consumidor. “GM continues to take advantage of the lack of information available to Mexican and Latin American consumers. A National Survey of Vehicle Safety conducted by EPC showed that 96 percent of Aveo owners think they have a safe or very safe car.”
The United States should have 260 million cars on the road by 2018, a 5% increase, and automobile production is rising similarly in Mexico. However, the safety ratings of these vehicles pose serious risks to those who drive them.
Brodziak continued, “In Mexico we have an atmosphere of complicity between the automotive industry and the government, which has allowed the industry to abuse and take advantage of some of the most vulnerable sectors of the population. These are low-income families who worked hard to raise enough money to buy an affordable car — a car that will put their lives and family in great jeopardy.”
According to industry insiders, front driver and passenger airbags only cost $100 to install.