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By Jim Mateja, Chicago Tribune Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Aug. 3--QUESTION: The auto industry should go back to building stronger cars. Today's cars look as strong as a tank, but fold up like a tin can when struck at even low speeds. Tell the truth, wouldn't you be willing to give up a few miles per gallon for a stronger and safer car that's less costly to repair in an accident?
ANSWER: Truth is, J.A., that you live in the past when cars would bounce off trees and viaducts with only a scratch or two on the bumper, but the occupants would be taken away on stretchers. Cars are supposed to fold or accordion in a collision so they, not the occupants, absorb the energy of the impact. You want a car that doesn't need repair after a collision …