Risk Analysis of Rear Axle Safety in Saturn Models


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is authorized to require an automobile recall to protect the public against an "unreasonable risk of accident." NHTSA made an initial determination that there was a safety-related defect in the rear axles of some Saturn cars manufactured by General Motors.

GM challenged that finding on three grounds:

  • the evidence was inconsistent with the finding of a defect
  • no "unreasonable" risk existed
  • a recall would subject GM to disproportionately large costs given the anticipated benefits.


Analysis & Inference contributed to assessing the statistical evidence of risk.