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AUTOMOBILESGM May Charge Extra for Some EquipmentGeneral...

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AUTOMOBILES

GM May Charge Extra for Some Equipment

General Motors Corp. is considering reducing the number of vehicles that offer safety features such as anti-lock braking systems as standard equipment, as part of its effort to cut costs.

Anti-lock braking systems, or ABS, are standard on most of GM’s vehicle lineup except the Chevrolet Cavalier, the Pontiac Sunfire and Saturn vehicles.

“It sounds like a bad deal for the consumer,” said Clarence Ditlow, who heads the Center for Auto Safety, an advocacy group.

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Ditlow said that not only should features such as ABS be included as standard equipment for safety reasons, but consumers also would end up paying more for the devices as optional equipment than they would if they were part of the sticker price.

Robert Lange, GM’s executive director for structure and safety integration, said that about $250 in “safety pricing” has been part of the cost of GM vehicles, mostly on ABS and adjustable seat-belt systems.

“We have to find a balance between how much content is affordable to consumers, and above that, how much they will pay,” he said.

GM shares fell 5 cents to $60.45 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Associated Press

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