ITEM! American Auto Industry Wants to Kill Pedestrians!

From the same people who fought seat belts, cars that fall apart and explode, air bags, and pretty much every other sort of consumer protection you can think of for their products, now comes word that, really, they don't give a shit if you die because of their products (which are not guns, but cars, whose primary purpose is locomotion, not killing):
Fairfax police Sgt. Pat Wimberly sees it at least once a month: A pedestrian steps into traffic and gets hit, and the outcome is always one-sided. "Whoever designed and implemented the human body never intended that to happen," Wimberly said.

Now the auto industry is debating whether it can change the equation, designing cars and trucks that are less deadly in collisions with pedestrians. At least one major supplier has developed an air bag that deploys on the outside of a car, to cushion the impact on a person's head. Honda Motor Co. has led the industry by redesigning its entire fleet of vehicles to make the hoods more forgiving to pedestrians.

Beginning this fall, the European Union will require manufacturers to meet pedestrian safety standards on all new models of vehicles, with stricter requirements on the way in 2010. Japan is not far behind.

But the rush to act is meeting resistance in the United States, where industry and government regulators alike say making automobiles more pedestrian-friendly is not a priority. Carmakers argue that such changes add cost and alter vehicle appearance in ways consumers might not like -- rounding off hoods and shortening front ends to lessen the danger to the human body. They also contend that driving is different overseas, where pedestrians are more likely to come into contact with automobiles in crowded cities.

"...add cost and alter vehicle appearance in ways consumers might not like." Much, much more important than stopping people from dying unnecessarily because of their products.

What freakin' jerks. Especially because:

Detroit's manufacturers will incorporate the new technologies and designs on vehicles they sell overseas, but not domestically.
Let's be clear - American carmakers like killing Americans. They like making money, and they like killing Americans, and they like making more money by killing more Americans. They always have and, it seems, always will.
And even more remarkable - more remarkable than the fact that they like killing Americans, you say? Yes, more remarkable - is American carmakers' (and their associated proponents of American-death) defense of killing Americans: humans are selfish and evil.

Consumers might not be willing to pay more for pedestrian safety, which, after all, is aimed at protecting someone outside the vehicle, [Adrian] Lund [chief operating officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a safety center funded by the insurance industry] said. "We're not sure how much attention even people in Europe are paying to those [pedestrian safety] ratings because what they're most concerned about is protecting their own families inside the vehicle."
Gaaahh! Basically - "Who cares if people die? We don't."

friggin' awesome. this sounds just like the meat industry, who have higher overseas standards for things like oh, say, random body parts in things, and tasty cow feces. so they slow the assembly lines down to a more humane and workable pace, but only on the days when they're shipping meat off to europe. when it's for e.coli in the box, it's back to ludicrous speed. (all info incorrectly recalled from"fast food nation", natch)

ps - i hate you, pop culture, for making "ludacris" the only way that looks like a correct spelling.
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