Mexico’s car industry selling unsafe cars locally

Mexico’s car industry is manufacturing two types of cars: safe one for export to the US and Europe and unsafe ones for sale locally.

AP reports that, according to engineers who have worked in auto factories in Mexico, cars bound for Europe and the US are manufactured with stability controls that compensate for slippery roads and other road dangers; as well as six to 10 air bags.

On the other hand, basic models of cars for sale in Mexico or other Latin American countries carry a code that means they do not require antilock braking systems, electronic stability control, or more than two air bags, if any.

This practice is followed by auto makers such as General Motors and Nissan. It is being blamed for an increase in car accidents and car-related fatalities in Mexico, where safety laws are weak and require few safety protections.

In addition, the cars bound for export cost about the same as those for Latin American drivers.

Mexico’s second most popular car, the Nissan Versa is a case in point. The vehicle is manufactured in central Aguascalientes. It is sold with two air bags, but without electronic stability control systems. (These are included to activate brakes when cars lose control).

For those in Mexico, the price of the newer generation of the sedan is $16,000. The U.S. version of the same car is about $14,000. However, unlike the other version, it has six air bags in the front, on the sides and mounted in the roof and an electronic stability control system.