Crain's New York makes an interesting comparison, noting that General Motors is in serious trouble because of a faulty ignition switch that may have killed 13 people.
This past weekend Streetfilms followed a rally where residents complained about the lack of progress in getting 20 MPH zones approved.
No one should die because of a faulty ignition. But consider that 286 people died last year in car collisions in New York City alone. Thirteen deaths among 325 million Americans over a decade, versus 286 deaths among 8 million in one year. Doesn't the latter deserve more attention?
According to Transportation Alternatives, a pedestrian and bicyclist advocacy group, the main causes of those New York City deaths were speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians. Those are issues that can be addressed by lowering the speed limit, enforcing pedestrian rights and responsibilities, re-engineering streets, and investigating car crashes and assigning blame.
20 is Plenty has made huge progress in the UK; we could use a bit more of it in North America.