CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 2007 |
U-Haul International Inc., the nation's leading provider of rental trailers and trucks, is inspecting its vehicles more frequently since The Times raised questions about the company's maintenance practices earlier this year, according to employees, managers and dealers. Interviews, internal bulletins and a recent field survey of U-Haul equipment indicated that management is pushing employees and dealers to be more vigilant about inspections.
June 26, 2007 |
U-HAUL INTERNATIONAL INC. has had its share of courtroom dramas, but none quite like one involving its corporate sister, Oxford Life Insurance Co. When Oxford balked at paying a modest claim from a badly injured policyholder, it was hammered with a $39-million verdict. The judge denounced Oxford's conduct as the worst he'd ever seen. The policyholder, West Virginia farmer Charles Kocher, had long wanted a Ford pickup.
June 26, 2007 |
PINNED inside an overturned Ford Explorer on Interstate 5 in Bakersfield, Gabriel Koloszar looked up to see her friend Paulo Aguilar hanging unconscious from his seat belt, his blood dripping down on her. Rescuers pulled Koloszar out through the windshield. When she tried to stand, another passenger cried out: "Oh my God, Gabby. Your feet!" Only then, she recalled, did she look down to see her mangled flesh.
June 25, 2007 |
U-HAUL CUSTOMERS who have seethed over botched reservations were vindicated last year when a California judge ruled that the company had engaged in "unlawful and fraudulent business practices." Ruling in a class action, Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Samuel S. Stevens struck at U-Haul's practice of booking reservations for trucks and trailers without knowing if it will have the equipment when and where customers need it.
June 24, 2007
U-HAUL IS MOSTLY self-regulating when it comes to towing safety -- thanks largely to an aggressive campaign it led against proposed federal rules in the late 1960s and early '70s. The safety standards would have governed trailer hitches and couplings and would have set minimum requirements for informing customers of towing risks. They were inspired in part by the so-called Route 66 study by traffic expert J.
June 24, 2007 |
THE HEAD of one of America's most famous companies was barreling down a suburban thoroughfare at 80 mph, with no hands on the wheel and a U-Haul trailer in tow. "There's no magic to this," Edward J. "Joe" Shoen, chairman of U-Haul International Inc., told stunned passengers in his Lincoln Town Car. "A trailer wants to trail." Undaunted by the 118-degree heat, Shoen had set out to show two Times reporters that towing U-Haul equipment is perfectly safe -- unless the customer screws up.