USA Today Publishes Piece on Auto Defects and Dealers' Profit Motive in Defective Cars

In conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity, USA Today published an in-depth look at auto product defects and car dealers’ support of legislation to keep them from having to pay for those defects.

In the past five years, versions of auto dealers’ copycat bill have been introduced in at least 11 states – California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. So far only Tennessee and Pennsylvania have adopted them, but Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey and New York still have measures under consideration.

This story was produced as part of a collaboration between USA Today, the Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity. More than 30 reporters across the country were involved in the two-year investigation, which identified copycat bills in every state. The team used a unique data-analysis engine built on hundreds of cloud computers to compare millions of words of legislation provided by LegiScan.

Founded in 1989 by veteran journalist Charles Lewis, the Center for Public Integrity is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit news organizations in the country. Its Pulitzer Prize-winning newsroom is composed of reporters, editors and data journalists who dig deep and deliver national and international investigative journalism of enduring significance.

This investigative piece looks at the efforts of car dealers to evade responsibility in selling defective vehicles, with copycat legislation in numerous states.

This investigative piece looks at the efforts of car dealers to evade responsibility in selling defective vehicles, with copycat legislation in numerous states.