Remembering the Great Clarence Ditlow — The Consumer’s Lawyer
We’d like to share some thoughts about a pioneer and icon of consumer rights, Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety, written by another fantastic consumer warrior, Rosemary Shahan of Consumers for Automobile Reliability and Safety :
“Tonight, Clarence’s colleagues, friends, and family are gathered together in Washington, DC to honor and remember Clarence and his incredibly effective advocacy for improving auto safety. We all owe Clarence an enormous debt of gratitude — as Americans, as motorists, and as consumer advocates.
Just one of the many tributes that have poured in, since Clarence’s passing:
From Ralph Nader:
“America’s motorists are less safe today with the passing of their Guardian Angel—engineer/lawyer Clarence Ditlow, the director of the Center for Auto Safety. The generating force behind the recalls of millions of defective motor vehicles, Mr. Ditlow pressured the federal auto safety agency and the auto companies with meticulous advocacy that was technically deep and morally powerful…
While culpable auto executives were on the golf links, he was at his office on weekends assembling evidence about the causes of crashes and their human casualties, and preparing formal petitions and lawsuits demanding action…
Over the years he was the “go-to” person for hundreds of reporters, columnists, editorial writers, researchers and legislative staff. Patiently, he would walk them through the details of motor vehicle failures and engineering deficiencies, the derelictions of management and the inaction of government regulators not doing their job. He took his work beyond auto safety to include fuel efficiencies, emitted pollutants, and sloppy vehicle construction and design…
Self-effacing and ethical, he did not ask anything for himself, receiving a very modest salary, living a simple and courageous life, as his wife, Marilyn Herman, recounted in his final days.”
Michael Brooks, who has been working side-by-side with Clarence for years, is currently serving as the Acting Director of the Center. As you can imagine, preserving Clarence’s legacy and moving forward in these challenging times is truly daunting. Please remember Clarence, Michael, and the Center and keep them in your thoughts, and please support their vitally important work.
With sincere condolences to all who had the privilege of knowing and / or working with Clarence.”