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Protect Yourselves: 2017 Car Book for Consumers Available


— March 22, 2017

Each year, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS), a consumer advocacy group focused on automobile safety and quality, publishes a great resource for consumers. This year marks the 37th edition of The Car Book.


Each year, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS), a consumer advocacy group focused on automobile safety and quality, publishes a great resource for consumers. This year marks the 37th edition of The Car Book. CAS was founded in 1970 by Ralph Nader and the Consumers Union “to provide consumers a voice for auto safety and quality in Washington and to help lemon owners fight back across the country.”

One of LegalReader’s friends and guest contributors, Lou Lombardo, brought this excellent resource to my attention (thank you, Lou!).

Lou highlighted some of the special items in the 2017 edition of The Car Book:

  • “This edition has a wonderful tribute by author Jack Gillis to the lifesaving work of Clarence Ditlow.
  • Jack notes how he and Clarence worked together to continue publishing The Car Book after the Reagan Administration stopped its publication by NHTSA.
  • Included is a Tribute from Ralph Nader to Clarence on page 53, noting that his work and the Center’s has contributed to the saving of an estimated 330,000 lives over the past 40 years.”
Cover of the 2017 edition of The Car Book by Jack Gillis
Cover of the 2017 Car Book; image courtesy of www.autosafety.org.

This book is a great resource for consumers, especially those interested in buying a vehicle. The Car Book includes one-page summary ratings for each vehicle model. Additionally, consumers can find helpful guidance on tires, warranties, vehicle reliability, insurance, maintenance and safety options. It is an invaluable resource for those who want to make informed decisions when it comes to “one of the most expensive and dangerous consumer products,” as Lou correctly describes automobiles.

The 2017 edition of The Car Book also features the following information, per CAS’ website:

  • Crash test results
  • Rollover ratings
  • Maintenance costs
  • Insurance costs
  • Fuel economy
  • Vehicle reliability by make and model
  • Lemon ratings
  • Best new electronic safety features to order
  • Reviews of the newest electric vehicles

In the book’s preface, CAS’ Acting Director Michael Brooks tells readers about vehicle fatality rates. According to Mr. Brooks, the fatality rate in the U.S. when the 1966 Motor Vehicle and Traffic Safety Acts were signed into law was around 26 fatalities per 100,000 people. Due to improvements in safety, both via manufacturers and legislation, that rate is around ten fatalities per 100,000 people.

Mr. Brooks estimates that if the 1966 rate were to have continued, there would have been roughly 83,000 vehicle-related deaths in 2014. The estimate of lives lost in 2016 is currently around 38,000.

However, as Lou points out, this is still a “massive national tragedy” at:

  • Over 100 fatalities each day
  • Roughly 400 serious injuries every day
  • Costs of approximately $2B per day, according to NHTSA

That is why LegalReader is publishing information on this great resource. If the information in The Car Book enables even one reader to make choices that will increase their safety on our roads, it will be counted as a victory.

Interested consumers can purchase The Car Book for $29.00 in the U.S. ($39.00 internationally). Visit this link to get your copy today.

Editor’s note: Neither I, Lou, nor LegalReader receive anything from the promotion or purchase of The Car Book. We simply want to provide the information necessary for consumers to be able to make informed choices and to protect themselves on the road.

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