Corporate responsibility can be succinctly summed up as "doing the right thing." Sometimes companies live up to that common-sense standard, but other times they fall tragically short. Recent events in the automotive world provide examples of both, as discussed in this episode of "Talking Cars With Consumer Reports."

Mitsubishi has admitted to incorrectly calculating the stated fuel economy for multiple models, reaching all the way back to 1991. While this scandal did not affect vehicles sold in the U.S., it points to an oft-seen trend of car manufacturers overstating fuel economy and other facts and figures. Recent years have seen similar admissions about incorrect numbers from Ford, Hyundai/Kia, and Mini. We discuss how this happens, and the difficulty of policing test results that are often provided by the companies themselves.

Next we discuss Snapchat, who has been implicated by media reports and a lawsuit as playing a role in several crashes involving teenage drivers. The social media company's speed filter superimposes the current speed over a picture, which can tempt teens into dangerous speeding to capture a brag-worthy selfie. Our discussion focuses on personal responsibility, as well as the issue of risk vs. reward. Given the foreseeable temptation to take pictures while speeding, combined with Snapchat's popularity among a teen audience who often makes bad decisions, it's hard to see the upside of providing this feature.

But not all corporate decisions are bad ones. We applaud Chrysler for recalling confusing electronic shifters, after reports of crashes and injuries from the cars rolling away when their drivers mistakenly thought the car was in Park. Chrysler has moved away from installing these shifters, but as we discuss at length, other companies have shifter designs that pose a risk of choosing the wrong gear.

Finally, "Talking Cars" gets around to talking about an actual car, the Mini Clubman. Bigger than the regular Mini Cooper, the Clubman is easier to live with than past Minis, but it still has plenty of quirks. A lot of conversation focuses on the car's hefty price and whether it really provides anything more than a Volkswagen Golf.  

Consumer Reports auto experts: Jake Fisher, Tom Mutchler, and Jon Linkov discuss corporate responsibility.
Consumer Reports auto experts: Jake Fisher, Tom Mutchler, and Jon Linkov.

As with the other "Talking Cars," this episode on popular cars is also available free through the iTunes Store. Subscribe to the video or audio. You'll also find the video on YouTube.

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