Automobile Safety Foundation

P.O. BOX 12183 LA JOLLA, CA 92039-2183 (858) 831-1871

January 24, 2000

To: News Media


Petition to: United Nations, NHTSA, auto companies

Facts to make necessary:

There is an international auto theft and safety crisis caused by the extremely hazardous spring-loaded steering lock, a pro theft device, equipped on most vehicles worldwide since 1969.

Steering locks harm and kill by locking the steering on moving vehicles. There are two types of lockup: 

a) Sudden lockup; the spring loaded mechanism malfunctions and the steering suddenly locks

b) Inadvertent lockup; the driver inadvertently turns the ignition key, due to emergency or otherwise.

Steering locks have made auto theft easy by eliminating the need for electrical system knowledge to seal a vehicle.  Auto theft has tripled since the inception of the steering lock in 1969. There are safe and effective anti-theft alternatives.

Therefore ASF petitions:

1) All auto makers that do not build safeguard to prevent inadvertent lockup, must be required to issue WARNING stickers (to be affixed near the ignition switch) to all owners of these unsafe vehicles.

2) General Motors the world's number one auto maker, has now replaced the steering lock with safe dash board ignition switch, that utilized modern anti-theft technology.  THIS GM DESIGN IS NOW THE INDUSTRY STANDARD, THAT MUST BE A REMEDIAL REQUIREMENT ON ALL NEW VEHICLES.

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