Washington Post: How our cars got safer. Quick answer: "History shows that litigation and the civil justice system have served as the most consistent and powerful forces in heightening safety standards, revealing previously concealed defects and regulatory weaknesses and deterring manufacturers from cutting corners on safety for the goal of greater profits."
What I tell clients is this: I cannot make it part of a lawsuit to compel wrongdoers to change their behavior or how they do business. All I can do is sue them for money damages to compensate the client. However, if pursuing a lawsuit gets the wrongdoer to change its behavior to everyone's benefit, well that's all right by me.