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January 7, 2011 12:00 AM

Auto complaints accelerate; Allstate rewards safe drivers



Auto complaints accelerated last year
Driver complaints to federal highway safety regulators soared in 2010, spurred by a slew of Toyota Motor Corp. recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received more than 40,000 complaints through Dec. 14, according to an analysis by automotive research firm Edmunds.com. That's four times the volume of recent years. Toyota was the subject of more than a quarter of the complaints. Nissan had the second-worst rate of complaints, followed by Volkswagen. Drivers experiencing problems with a vehicle can file a complaint at nhtsa.gov or 888-327-4236.

--The Associated Press



Allstate tracks, then rewards safe drivers
Allstate Corp. has launched a voluntary program that uses a device installed in a car to reward safe and low-mileage Illinois drivers with savings of up to 30 percent. The auto insurer plans to expand the program, called Drive Wise, to other states later this year. Drive Wise participants get a small, wireless gadget that plugs into a vehicle's onboard computer. The device tracks only factors used to calculate a driving score, including mileage, hard or extreme braking and maximum speed. Policyholders get a 10 percent discount for enrolling. Allstate says its rates won't go up based on the scores.

--The Associated Press