Brazil Gov't May Backtrack On Auto Safety Laws

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazil's government is considering delaying implementation of a law requiring that all passenger cars produced in the country come equipped with airbags and anti-lock braking systems by Jan. 1.

Safety advocates say any delay would jeopardize thousands of Brazilian lives.

Economy Minister Guido Mantega said Wednesday that the government is worried about the economic impact of the safety measure. He says it could increase the price of cars by $600. Autoworker unions say it would result in lost jobs as some vehicles would cease to be produced.

Mantega says a decision will be made early next week on whether to delay the measure.

The head of the consumer watchdog group Proteste sharply criticizes the idea. Maria Ines Dolci says Brazil is decades behind Europe and the U.S. on auto safety.

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