Consumer group pans Chrysler deal

United Press International
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NEW YORK, June 10 (UPI) -- The sale of Chrysler LLC to Italian automaker Fiat will allow the company to circumvent critical safety procedures, a consumer advocacy group said Wednesday.
"Unless action is taken now, the sale of Chrysler's "good" assets to Fiat … means more people will be injured or killed by defective vehicles," Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice & Democracy said in a statement.
The deal signed Wednesday "strips away a critical public safety protection that has been used to reduce the number of Americans hurt or killed from defective Chrysler and General Motors vehicles," namely "the public's right to hold these companies accountable," she said.
Complaints against the two automakers amount to "nearly half of all defect claims against auto manufacturers
in the country," the statement said.
Doroshow called on Congress to stop what she called "a time bomb" in increased risk for consumers.
Chrysler, which entered bankruptcy court five weeks ago, sold 20 percent of the company to Fiat, although its stake could rise to 35 percent if Fiat reaches various financial goals. In the deal, the United Auto Workers own 55 percent of the company, while the U.S. government owns 8 percent and the Canadian government 2 percent.

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