December 10, 2008

Dear Senator:

We are writing to urge you to vote for legislation to provide emergency bridge loans to the domestic automakers. We are deeply concerned about the impact a collapse of the auto industry will have on jobs and the economy.

The loss of any major auto manufacturer would leave consumers with fewer choices and the industry with less competition and innovation, particularly at a transitional time when the industry is pursuing alternative energy technology. Moreover, the impact of losing a domestic automaker on the U.S. economy and jobs could be severe.

According to Consumer Reports testing and surveys, there has been some progress among the domestic automakers lately, with improved reliability and performance in certain models. Sustained progress is long overdue. There is an opportunity now to take vigorous steps to ensure the long-term success of this key engine of the U.S. economy.

The legislation that Congress will now consider will provide desperately needed emergency bridge loans to the domestic auto companies. But these loans are also conditioned on strict accountability measures. They require the companies to pursue restructuring plans that will help ensure the industry’s future viability, including producing more advanced, fuel efficient vehicles.

The economy is already experiencing a severe recession. We urge Congress to act now to avert a collapse of the domestic auto industry, and to avoid making the recession worse. We appreciate your attention to this critical matter, and urge you to vote for the legislation to provide emergency bridge loans to the domestic auto companies.

Sincerely,

Ellen Bloom
Director
Federal Policy and Washington Office

Sally Greenberg
Executive Director
National Consumers League
Consumers Union

Ira Rheingold
Executive Director
National Association of Consumer Advocates (naca.net)