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Tribute to Clarence M. Ditlow III

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Clarence Ditlow

Tribute to Clarence M. Ditlow III

Senator Ed Markey
Congressional Record: 114th Congress
29 September 2016


Mr. MARKEY. Madam President, today I wish to recognize and thank Mr. Clarence M. Ditlow III for his commitment to protecting the American people. Through a lifetime of work improving automotive and safety laws, Mr. Ditlow has helped save thousands of lives and prevented many more injuries than would otherwise have occurred. A tireless champion for consumers, his work has resulted in better government oversight of automakers, the installation of key safety features, and the exposure of safety defects in millions of cars, SUVs, and other trucks.

A 1965 chemical engineering graduate of Lehigh University, Mr. Ditlow pivoted to the legal profession following the completion of a JD from Georgetown University in 1970 and an LLM from Harvard Law School in 1971. Since then, he has been instrumental in improving auto safety, reliability, and efficiency as executive director of the Center for Auto Safety.

Mr. Ditlow's discovery of numerous automotive defects, combined with his persistent pressure on safety agencies and automakers alike, led to the removal of many unsafe vehicles from the road. His direct efforts led to the automotive recalls of 6.7 million Chevrolets with defective engine mounts, 15 million Firestone 500 tires, 1.5 million Ford Pintos and 2 million Jeeps with exploding gas tanks, 3 million Evenflo child seats with defective latches, 7 million Toyotas because of sudden acceleration defects, 2 million GM vehicles with defective ignition switches, and over 30 million Takata airbag inflators. He also led consumer efforts to get ``lemon laws'' passed in all 50 States.

I offer my sincere appreciation to Mr. Clarence M. Ditlow III and the Center for Automotive Safety for indefatigable dedication to auto safety and vigilance in uncovering automotive safety threats. Clarence demonstrates the impact a devoted industry watchdog can have on informing the public and saving lives. I am grateful for his years of collaboration with and assistance to Members of Congress, Federal and State safety agencies, and a myriad of other stakeholders, to improve automotive and public safety.

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