The U.S. Needs an FDA for Auto Safety

If you thought free markets would protect you from cars that can accelerate out of control and slam you into a ditch, think again. Look no further than the latest news on Toyota's (TM) recalls. In recent weeks, the Japanese carmaker has recalled 8.1 million vehicles, and today it added 437,000 Prius and other hybrid models whose brakes don't work all that well (when traveling on a wet or potholed road, they can go about 50 feet without working).

Given the number of people who trust the lives of their families to vehicles every day, you'd think that cars would be subject to some kind of consumer protection agency to keep faulty vehicles off the roads until they had been thoroughly tested.