Ralph Nader: Mary Barra Can Make Some Real Changes Inside GM

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from New York, Priceonomics and The New York Times.

Ralph Nader on the General Motors Disaster and How to End 'Cover-Your-Ass' Corporate CultureNew York

Ralph Nader, now 80, gives his take on GM's recall scandal and draws some comparisons to the Corvair scandal from the '60s that he was at the center of. He weighs in on Mary Barra's performance, as well as the government and vehicle safety today.

Everything is better. The cars are much safer. There's a framework — it was nothing in the old days. They wouldn't even recall the cars. Now, for example, there's so much disclosure that it can feed the litigation. The plaintiffs' lawyers are very important to keep the heat on and get internal documents and depositions out.

But the big thing was in the '60s. That's when they were brought within a legal framework of regulation.

Why UPS Trucks Don't Turn LeftPriceonomics

In case you didn't know. But the reasoning is fairly interesting.

UPS engineers found that left-hand turns were a major drag on efficiency. Turning against traffic resulted in long waits in left-hand turn lanes that wasted time and fuel, and it also led to a disproportionate number of accidents. By mapping out routes that involved "a series of right-hand loops," UPS improved profits and safety while touting their catchy, environmentally friendly policy.

A Ford Mustang That's Not a MustangThe New York Times

Yesterday, I reminded you about the 50th anniversary of the Pontiac GTO. Now we're going back to Mustang celebrations. Meet the German Mustang.

If a dump truck can be a Mustang, can a Mustang be a T5? That conundrum is accurate, and it's the result of a German manufacturer of trucks having copyrighted the Mustang name long before Ford's pony car was released in the 1960s.

Photo: Getty Images