Inquiry Finds No Evidence of Undue Influence on Safety Agency

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by Christopher Jensen

There is no evidence that safety investigations conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been influenced by former agency officials who now work for automakers or the former auto officials who work for the agency, said a report released on Thursday by the Office of the Inspector General for the Transportation Department, which oversees N.H.T.S.A.

The report is the result of an investigation that was requested by Congress last year during its hearings into sudden acceleration on Toyotas and whether the safety agency had acted properly and competently in its investigation.

During those hearings, some members of Congress were surprised to hear that some former agency employees were working for Toyota, helping the automaker deal with investigations by the agency.

The resulting study found that 63 auto industry and N.H.T.S.A. officials had switched sides since 1984.

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