In six degrees of separation, the only connection I’ve ever had with consumer advocate Ralph Nader, is that my family once owned a small vacation house in Winsted, Conn., his hometown.

Nader’s 1965 book, "Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-in Dangers of the American Automobile," revealed the style over safety strategy of American car manufacturers. The tome primarily focused on the rear-suspension design of the Chevrolet Corvair, which he claimed resulted in an alarming propensity to roll over.

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