Tag Archives: Clarence Ditlow

Center for Auto Safety seeks Exec. Dir. to replace the late Clarence Ditlow’s work in auto safety advocacy.

The Center for Auto Safety is seeking an individual to replace the late Clarence Ditlow’s important work in auto safety advocacy.

Safety leaders gathered in January to honor the more than 40 years of work by Clarence M. Ditlow III in saving millions of Americans from death and injuries from vehicle violence. Joan Claybrook announced a goal of raising $5 million to continue Clarence’s work at the Center for Auto Safety (CAS).1

In a brief video Clarence, introduced by Ralph Nader, summarized his successful strategy to advance safety and consumer protection by establishing legal rights and remedies for the people and the legal profession. . . 

The Center for Auto Safety is seeking an Executive Director

The job description reveals some of what Clarence did and what it took to accomplish.

Clarence is irreplaceable, but his work leaves a legacy of what to do to defend the American people against future vehicle violence. His pioneering work points to how to achieve further advances in safety and justice.

Doing Our Part

The American people need us to help grow a network of lawyers, crash victims (past, present, and future) and survivors, and consumer advocates to help fund and advance Clarence’s work. The stories of crash victims and their families need to be heard and heeded. To be heeded our voices need to be organized for effectiveness.

Think of a network of people who join together to continue Clarence’s work to stop the currently endless tragedies. We can help organize to build a more just and safer America.4

Send checks payable to the Ditlow Fund for Auto Safety using the Pledge form. Suggested donations: $35 to $5,000.

Center for Auto Safety’s Ditlow Fund Networking to Save Lives, by Lou Lombardo, Legal Reader, February 13, 2017

Cover of Car Safety Wars by Michael Lemov

The battles are not finished; the work for safer roads must continue.

Tribute to Clarence M. Ditlow III, Vehicle Safety Leader

A Life of Work – Saving Lives: On January 28, 2017, safety leaders gathered to honor the more than 40 years of work by Clarence M. Ditlow III that contributed enormously to saving millions of Americans from death and injuries from vehicle violence. And continues to save lives.1

Read about it here:  http://www.legalreader.com/tribute-to-clarence-m-ditlow-iii/

Clarence Ditlow worked hard throughout his life to change the things he could for the benefit of us all.

Serenity Prayer


First Clarence M. Ditlow III Safety Champion Award presented to Laura Gipe Christian

When I was in Washington, DC, last week, I was inspired when I attended an evening Tribute to Clarence Ditlow at the Carnegie Institute. I  never met him but did exchange some emails with him; he was very helpful in sharing information with me related to truck underride guards.

Many people spoke that night about the amazing commitment he had to tirelessly address auto safety defects. Today, an award was given in his honor to Laura Gipe Christian, whom I met when we served on a panel at the Ralph Nader Breaking Through Power Conference last fall:

A woman who lobbied for safety reforms after her daughter died in the crash of a Chevrolet Cobalt with the ignition-switch defect is being honored with the first Clarence M. Ditlow III Safety Champion Award.

“Laura Christian exemplifies the stalwart commitment to consumer protection and vehicle safety that characterized Clarence’s life,” said Joan Claybrook, the co-chair of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, which announced the award this morning.

Ditlow, who died in November, was the executive director of The Center for Auto Safety for four decades. He served on the Advocates’ board of directors for 27 years.

He was generally regarded as the nation’s foremost advocate and expert on automotive safety, consumer rights and the workings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 Ms. Christian was selected for “her dedication and determination to advance reforms that address the dangerous risks posed by vehicle safety defects and unrepaired recalls,” according to Advocates.


Thank you, Laura, for your work to make us all safer.

Thank you 3

Tribute to Clarence Ditlow. . . long-time car safety advocate to whom we owe our gratitude

Fair Warning has provided us with yet another tribute to Clarence Ditlow. . . long-time car safety advocate to whom we owe our gratitude.

The Loss of a Consumer Champion, November 15, 2016

I had very little contact with Clarence. But I did have some correspondence with him this year as I was preparing for the Underride Roundtable and also for the Consensus Document which came out of that.  He shared that he was unable to take on that battle due to some major health issues which he was dealing with at that time.

I received this email from Clarence in June:

We are cleaning  up old NHTSA  rulemaking dockets for which we have paper files. At some point in time after 1995, regs.gov became the official repository for federal agency rulemaking dockets including NHTSA’s.   We are taking a sample of regs.gov dockets each year from 1996 going forward until we are sure we have the point in time at which regs.gov became 100% reliable & we can throw away our paper files from that point.

We stumbled across this docket in our sample & sent it to you & Ben as a courtesy to people with a greater interest in and ability to pursue truck underride than the Center.

I have the belief that if I come across something that may be of interest to others, I send it to them.


I replied:

Thank you for carrying out your belief.


Thank you, Clarence. For everything.

Thank you

“Clarence Ditlow’s long, hard & great work for safety for more more than 4 decades made us all safer.”

I never met Clarence Ditlow but have heard so much about all that he did for auto safety. I am sad to have to pass along the news of his recent death. . .

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

I am beyond sad to pass along this announcement of a tragic loss for humanity.  Clarence’s long, hard and great work for safety for more more than 4 decades made us all safer.
“November 11, 2016

Clarence M. Ditlow, III, the Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety since 1976, died on November 10 at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington. He was 72 years old.

Spanning four decades, his work forced the auto industry to make vast improvements in the safety, reliability and fuel efficiency of the vehicles on which Americans depend daily.

His accomplishments included safety recalls of tens of millions of vehicles that saved untold thousands of lives, and lemon laws in all 50 states.  Since the center was founded in 1970, the death rate on America’s roads has dropped dramatically, from 5.2 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 1969 to 1.1 per 100 million vehicle miles in 2010. Ralph Nader and Consumers Union established the Center to provide consumers a voice for auto safety and quality in Washington and to help owners of “lemon” vehicles fight back across the country.

Under Mr. Ditlow, the Center played a major role in these recalls, among others: 6.7 million Chevrolets for defective engine mounts, 15 million Firestone 500 tires, 1.5 million Ford Pintos for exploding gas tanks, and 3 million Evenflo child seats for defective latches.

In the past seven years alone, the Center was the primary force behind the recalls of 7 million Toyotas for sudden acceleration, 2 million Jeeps for fuel tank fires, 11 million GM vehicles for defective ignition switches, and more than 60 million faulty Takata airbag inflators.”

Time magazine’s cover of October 17, 2016 has a centuries old quote of wisdom and insight: “Whoever saves one life, saves all of humanity”.

Clarence’s work has saved and continues to save countless lives.

See tribute to this safety leader at https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-tributeditlowmarkey.php [with video at https://youtu.be/TiYi2zjEp5c?t=5h4m45s ].

Lou Lombardo

Never forgotten

Should executives be jailed for corporate crimes?

Should executives be jailed for corporate crimes? The Center for Auto Safety’s Clarence Ditlow thinks so.

“Ditlow says that the Volkswagen diesel case, for example, is one of the most egregious corporate crime cases in history.

“This is one of the most egregious corporate crimes I have ever seen,” Ditlow said on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour last week.

“Jailed for Corporate Crime”


– See more at: http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/news/200/clarence-ditlow-wants-vw-takata-and-gm-execs-jailed-for-corporate-crime/#sthash.E9vGpM8J.dpuf

Car Safety Wars book cover

Cover of book by Michael Lemov


Other relevant posts:

  1. http://annaleahmary.com/2015/07/lets-move-from-a-failure-of-compassion-tactics-of-conceal-%C2%AD%E2%80%90delay-%C2%AD%E2%80%90deny-while-fiery-crashes-occur-to-a-vision-of-zero-fatalities/
  2. http://annaleahmary.com/2015/10/when-will-we-figure-out-that-somebodys-getting-away-with-murder/
  3. http://annaleahmary.com/2015/09/gm-settlement-what-will-it-take-to-stop-the-needless-deaths-and-injuries-and-produce-safety-and-justice-lou-lombardo/
  4. http://annaleahmary.com/2015/07/does-manufacturer-of-limo-not-equipped-with-seat-belts-for-all-riders-bear-any-responsibility-for-deaths/