Safety Gap Grows Wider Between S.U.V.'s and Cars

August 17, 2004

New York Times

DETROIT, Aug. 16 – The gap in safety between sport utility vehicles and passenger cars last year was the widest yet recorded, according to new federal traffic data.

People driving or riding in a sport utility vehicle in 2003 were nearly 11 percent more likely to die in an accident than people in cars, the figures show. The government began keeping detailed statistics on the safety of vehicle categories in 1994.

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Lawsuits: This Year's Model

May 30, 2004


JUST before dark on Halloween night in 2002, Dereck Lopez turned her red Chevrolet Cavalier onto Hemphill Street, a long road that runs from downtown Fort Worth to the outskirts of the city. Ms. Lopez, 18, was heading to her brother’s house to take her nieces trick-or-treating.

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EPA MPG Test Doesn't Work for Hybrids

By Mark Rechtin
Automotive News / November 24, 2003

LOS ANGELES — In publicity for its Prius hybrid-electric vehicle, Toyota Motor Corp. claims the compact sedan is EPA-certified to get 51 mpg on the highway, 60 mpg in the city and 55 mpg in a “combined” driving environment.

Unfortunately for most consumers, their Priuses will never come close to that performance level.

Press a Toyota engineer, and he'll admit that most Prius owners get around 44 mpg from their cars in combined driving.

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Ford's warranty on Focus extended; engines can stall


Christopher Jensen
Plain Dealer Auto Editor


Ford has extended the warranty for the fuel delivery system of the 2000 and 2001 Ford Focus for 10 years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating thousands of reports that the Focus "stalls unpredictably." But Ford has told the federal government a recall is not needed because stalling is not a safety problem.

Stalling is a serious safety defect, said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen and a former NHTSA administrator.

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2004 F-150's Have Door Problems


By Christopher Jensen

Plain Dealer Auto Editor

Friday, November 14, 2003

Ford has notified its dealers of a problem on some of its 2004 F-150 pickups that could make it impossible to open the doors from the inside.

Clarence Ditlow, head of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, D.C., said Ford should consider this a safety problem and recall all the F-150s.

"In the event of an emergency . . . you need to be able to open the door to get out," Ditlow said.

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