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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76145 Find in a Library
Title: Auto Theft and Corporate Irresponsibility
Journal: Contemporary Crisis  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:63-81
Author(s): A A Karmen
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: The incidence and characteristics of auto theft are reviewed and traced from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, and auto manufacturer responsibility and culpability in the theft of cars are discussed.
Abstract: Automobile theft has been widespread since cars became widely available consumer products. Theft has been made more difficult over the years through the development of closed cabs, identification systems, increases in key type numbers, and more sophisticated locking and ignition systems. Auto manufacturing firms, however, still are most concerned with consumer preferences rather than security, and a number of precautions should be taken which have not been introduced. Design engineers concentrate primarily on comfort, convenience, and appearance in response to top management desires to increase profits. Rather than increasing security, manufacturers blame careless drivers for the auto theft incidence; however, many models of cars remain simple theft targets for both professional thieves and joyriding youths. In addition, because many auto theft victims never recover their cars, the high incidence of auto theft increases the purchase of new cars. This factor may influence manufacturers to actively resist increased security as a method for maintaining the profits realized on sales for these reasons. Increased automobile regulation might limit the flexibility of designers in developing new security mechanisms; however, additional Federal regulation would be helpful in some areas. A basic consumer movement is required to spur increased emphasis on security. Charts and notes are included.
Index Term(s): Automobile security; Capitalism; Consumer advocates; Motor Vehicle Theft; Physical crime prevention; Profiteering
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