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Re: MGB's

To: Robert J Donahue/DELCO <>
Subject: Re: MGB's
From: "W. R. Gibbons" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 11:13:59 -0400 (EDT)
On Tue, 16 Apr 1996, Robert J Donahue/DELCO wrote:

> I was under the impression that the bumper regulations had nothing to do with 
> safety,
> at least the safety of the people in the cars. The idea was to have no damage 
> in 
> collisions under 5mph. This legislation was undoubably pushed through by the
> insurance industry. It made cars heavier, costlier, and uglier, but it saved 
> insurance companys a bundle. It was a terrible blow to sports car design, in 
> opinion.

You are correct about the reason.  What I find interesting is the 
question of whether it really saved the insurance companies any money. I 
strongly suspect the big bumpers prevented small claims by eliminating 
damage in 3 mph bumps, but cost much more to repair after a 6 mph bump.

Someone just backed into my 94 Accord rear bumper and the plastic cover
split.  To replace just the painted cover (no other damage to the bumper)
cost $480. 

Whether the bumpers saved money or not, the immediate effect of the big
bumpers was to make cars less attractive all the time, instead of just
after an accident. 

   Ray Gibbons  Dept. of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
                Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
        (802) 656-8910

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