Ditlow was famous for advocating for safety features to be added to cars and for recalls to be implemented when patterns of trouble emerged. Since 1976, he had served as the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, a group that was founded by Ralph Nader and Consumers Union.
According to Michael Brooks, the Center's acting executive director, Ditlow had battled cancer for the past year but had continued to work throughout his treatment. Ditlow was admitted to the hospital a few weeks ago after his condition worsened.
"He leaves us with an incredible legacy and remains our inspiration going forward," Brooks said in a statement.