About The Center


About the Center for Auto Safety


Consumers Union and Ralph Nader founded the Center for Auto Safety in 1970 to provide consumers a voice for auto safety and quality in Washington and to help lemon owners fight back across the country. The Center has a small budget, but a big impact on the auto industry. With less than half what General Motors spends on a single Super Bowl commercial, the Center has taken on the auto giants and won for consumers.

Among our many accomplishments are:

  • Lemon laws in every state to make it as easy to take back a defective car as a defective toaster.
  • Recall of the infamous Ford Pinto for exploding gas tanks and the Firestone 500 tire for tread separation.
  • Exposure of GM Firebomb pickups with side saddle gas tanks that have burned to death over 1,000 people.
  • State laws to force disclosure of secret warranties on cars that can save consumers billions of dollars each year.
  • Safety and highway standards that have dropped the death rate on America’s road from 5.2 per 100 million vehicles mile traveled in 1969 to 1.1 in 2010.
  • Publication of the landmark Lemon Book, an action manual for lemon owners that has helped hundreds of thousands of consumers get lemonaide.
  • Publication of the Car Book to help consumers buy peaches and avoid lemons.
  • Numerous legal victories over government agencies that have saved vital consumer, safety and environmental laws under assault by industry.

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