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'Gas-Guzzling Is Still in Style'

September 19, 1988

Regarding your editorial "Gas-Guzzling Is Still in Style" (Sept. 7), by what measure is a two-seat commuter car at 30 m.p.g. more efficient (less wasteful) than a van carrying four people at 18 m.p.g.? The current fuel-economy standards contribute to more "commuter cars," thereby further clogging the freeways and, not so incidentally, reducing everyone's gas mileage.

There's also a significant safety factor. Station wagons or vans have the most trouble meeting the 27.5 m.p.g. standards. One means of doing this is lighter construction. Is this what we want, for makers of family cars to be shaving pounds at the cost of protection? The standards should be changed to reflect the intended use. Perhaps they could be linked to useful seating capacity, or carrying capacity.

WILLIAM FARRAR

Huntington Park

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