THE CONSUMERIST MANIFESTO BLOG

Having The Last Laugh for Bad Products, Poor Services and Broken Promises

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August 31, 2010

Tags: Window Stickers, National Highway Traffic Administration

Need For A Third Sticker

A third sticker would fully inform prospective new car buyers about how their purchases revive economies around the world--maybe even ours. The Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened the door for upgrading information about fuel consumption and environmental impact. The auto industry denounced both—perhaps emboldened by its success in getting the Obama Administration to exclude auto financing from the financial services reform package.

My third sticker: ORIGIN OF COMPONENTS & ASSEMBLY LOCATIONS, or OOCAL for short. The sticker would list all the countries from which all the components came and the assembly points along the way. (Listing all the components would take up too much space, but there are only about 125 countries in the world—and most do not make auto parts.) The ratings would be simple: Components: An A if they are 75% American, a B if between 50% and 74%, a C if 26% to 49% and a D if 25% or less. Assembly: Show percentage of the car assembled in the USA.

For more on the other two stickers, see “New Stickers Will Go Beyond M.P.G. in Rating Cars” by Jim Motavalli in the Business Day section of The New York Times for August 31, 2010. Pages B1-2.