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‘Inside’ report triggers new GM pickup flap

General Motors Corp. once again is fighting a TV news show that questioned the safety of its pickup trucks with side-mounted gasoline tanks.

On Wednesday, King World’s syndicated strip “Inside Edition” broadcast a story about the controversy over 4.7 million 1973-87 GM pickups.

The show included comments from jurors in product liability suits against GM, who charge the automaker misled them by rigging crash tests of GM and Ford pickups — tests that were used in court.

GM had made similar allegations about the rigging of a crash against “NBC Dateline.” That led the news program to admit in an unusual on-the-air apology that it had rigged crashes of GM pickups exploding in side-impact collisions.

One issue was whether gas leaked out of a hole in the pickup truck’s tank, as NBC had claimed. There’s “no hole, none, zero,” Harry J. Pearce, GM’s chief counsel, said.

But “Inside Edition” defended NBC, showing a picture of what it said was a tiny stream of gas leaking from the tank of a test truck used by NBC.

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