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Sport Utility Vehicles

November 1, 2005 | From Associated Press
The government is investigating a steering problem that could affect more than 450,000 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles and Dodge Dakota pickup trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had received several reports of looseness in the steering shaft or separation because of loose or missing coupling bolts. The preliminary investigation will involve at least 467,000 vehicles, including the 2004-2005 models of the Durango and the 2005 model of the Dakota.
October 28, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
General Motors Corp. said it would double its offerings of smaller, more fuel-efficient "crossover" sport utility vehicles within four years. GM says it is developing a group of SUVs that would be the smallest in the U.S. if they are sold here. The move is part of a plan to boost offerings of so-called crossover SUVs, which are based on car designs. The company will offer 14 crossovers by 2009, compared with seven now, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said.
October 4, 2005 | Roger Vincent, Times Staff Writer
Americans' passion for sport utility vehicles cooled in the face of $3-a-gallon gasoline last month, helping drag down September sales for General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. as their Asian competitors enjoyed double-digit sales increases, the companies reported Monday. Sales declines of 24% at GM and 19% at Ford compared with September 2004 were also impelled by popular discount programs that pulled many of this year's sales into mid-summer.
September 12, 2005 | John O'Dell, Times Staff Writer
When General Motors Corp. was laying plans a few years ago to redo its profitable line of big sport utility vehicles, gasoline seemed cheap, Americans were in love with the hulking SUVs, and it looked like all green lights and open highways. No more -- and the timing couldn't be worse for GM. The company sells more big SUVs than all other automakers combined, and through August of this year sales of the truck-based vehicles were down 9.7% in the U.S. after a 6.7% decline in 2004.
September 9, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
A Santa Ana jury cleared Ford Motor Co.'s Land Rover subsidiary of liability for injuries to a 48-year-old woman who became paralyzed from the neck down when her sport utility vehicle rolled over on a California highway. The jury rejected claims by Janice Windh, who said the roof of the Land Rover Discovery was too weak to withstand a rollover and crushed in on her during the accident. Windh was injured in December 2000 when her 1995 Discovery flipped over after being struck by another vehicle.
August 28, 2005 | Patrick J. Kiger, Patrick J. Kiger is co-author of "POPLORICA: A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore That Shaped Modern America" (HarperCollins).
At Lexus Santa Monica, Luke MacFarlane, one of the stars of FX Networks' "Over There," is searching for his dream wheels--something stylish in a funky, offbeat way, powerful enough to haul his bike to the mountains, efficient enough that it won't burn a hole through his gasoline credit card or the ozone layer. The slim, sandy-haired actor--upwardly mobile, outdoorsy, adventurous--looks as if some Madison Avenue image-maker had conjured him up for a sport utility vehicle commercial.
May 3, 2005 | From Associated Press
Federal regulators have opened an investigation of about 1.3 million General Motors Corp. pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles in 21 states amid questions about the vehicles' anti-lock brakes. The investigation involves GM trucks and SUVs from the 1999-2002 model years, including the GMC Sierra, GMC Tahoe, GMC Yukon Denali and the GMC Yukon XL; Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Suburban; and the Cadillac Escalade and Cadillac EXT.
April 30, 2005 | Ronald D. White, Times Staff Writer
Darci Bawdon was nearly sold on the powerful Dodge Durango SUV that she was renting as a tryout -- until she stopped at a gas station one day last month. As the fuel pump's digits reached $70, the fitness trainer nearly choked on her vitamin water. Sherman Oaks businessman Marc Kontoff was tired of watching his profit squeezed by $25 fill-ups every four days. Now, in his brand new Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid, he can stretch the interval to eight days.
March 24, 2005 | From Associated Press
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday that it would investigate Ford Motor Co. pickups and sport utility vehicles for a defect in a cruise control switch that led to a January recall. The agency said it would examine Ford F-150 pickups from the 1995-99 and 2001-02 model years, and Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators from the 1997-99 and 2001-02 model years. More than 3.7 million vehicles are affected.
February 2, 2005 | Jeanne Wright, Special to The Times
Drenched in layers of mud and grime, Troy McDaniel's 1986 modified off-road Jeep Cherokee resembles an ancient metal artifact from an archeological dig. Parked along a residential street in Los Alamitos, McDaniel's mud-caked chariot draws cheers from students at nearby Los Alamitos High School and grimaces from motorists who probably pride themselves on keeping their expensive sport utility vehicles spotless.
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