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SUVs Should Have Been Put to the Test First

March 29, 1998

"When SUV, Compact Meet, It's No Contest" [March 3] emphasized a lately much discussed concern of the motoring public. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the sudden interest of and tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration come several years too late. These tests should have been conducted on prototypes before millions of these vehicles were released to the public at huge profits for the auto companies.

With the results of such tests, proper design modifications could have been requested, albeit at some cost increase to the consumer or loss of profit margin to the manufacturer.

I do not fault the public for buying these very attractive SUVs, but had the design been made more safe for collision with smaller cars, reflecting the increased cost and the risks reflected in insurance premiums, we might have fewer of these monsters.

HEINZ H. BARTHEL

Torrance

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