When it comes to highway safety, cover-ups and delaying tactics aren’t a good idea. Full disclosure is usually a much better option. Consider the history: Ford stonewalled on its exploding Pintos, and that ended up costing the company far more than if it had just quickly admitted there was a problem. General Motors dragged its feet on defective ignition switches, and Toyota fought off any suggestion that its cars unintentionally accelerated. In both cases, a quick mea culpa would have worked better.
Now we have the strange case of Trinity Industries and its ET-Plus guardrails. Some 200,000 of them are installed around the country. The rails (which were subjected to undisclosed alterations in 2005) are suspected as a contributing factor in many horrific accidents, and have been banned in more than 30 states. The latest state to sue Trinity is Virginia.