GM encourages new SUV owners not to drive.
April 5, 2001 9:58 PM   Subscribe

GM encourages new SUV owners not to drive. "No injuries yet." But how bad does the defect have to be for them to tell their customers not to drive the damn things?
posted by aflakete (47 comments total)

 
...because the vehicles could go out of control. and wake up next to their neighbours daughter with a nasty hangover.

next on fox, SUV's gone mad.
posted by the_ill_gino at 10:35 PM on April 5, 2001


"The automaker plans to recall the 6,000 Chevrolet TrailBlazers, GMC Envoys and Oldsmobile Bravadas sold, because a suspension part could fail."

Probably it's the driver's suspension of disbelief that's failing. How long can you drive one of these SUV things before suddenly realizing that you're a congenital fool and your life is worthless.

The manufacturers fear they'll be blamed for every time a despairing driver rams an entire SUV load of genetically dangerous family into a bridge abutment.
posted by pracowity at 11:03 PM on April 5, 2001


pracowity should tell the rest of us what he drives so we can make wildly opinionated comments about him and all people that drive cars similar to his.
posted by a3matrix at 4:30 AM on April 6, 2001


I would still really like to see the merits of having an SUV, I mean outside of having it for off road driving, because there are like 2 people in the whole world that do that.

I, frankly, would not be caught dead driving something that ugly, the thing looks like it hit every branch on the way down off off an ugly tree. Eeek.
posted by tiaka at 6:36 AM on April 6, 2001


We just started the fourth month of 2001, and GM's recalling 2002 autos? No wonder they're breaking... they're some eight months premature!
posted by ewagoner at 7:04 AM on April 6, 2001


For reference's sake, the SUV-or-not-to-SUV issue came up quite nicely over here.

And here's a Chicago Tribune article on model years.

But how bad does the defect have to be for them to tell their customers not to drive the damn things?

Obviously very severe. My concern would be... how could so many of them get out before someone realized the problem? If it's something like a part that could go defective but not seriously impact the vehicle's ability, I can almost see that happening (no one is perfect.) However, wouldn't something such as this be apparent?

The GM SUVs are in beta!
posted by hijinx at 7:15 AM on April 6, 2001


But how bad does the defect have to be for them to tell their customers not to drive the damn things?

I guess somebody applied the formula:

"Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one."
"Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?"
"You wouldn't believe."
"Which car company do you work for?"
"A major one."
posted by harmful at 7:23 AM on April 6, 2001


I am Jack's sense that this was going to cost them more in lawsuits than in repairs.
posted by dhartung at 7:23 AM on April 6, 2001


> pracowity should tell the rest of us what he drives

Nothing. I have a license, I have plenty of money, but, by choice, I drive nothing.

> so we can make wildly opinionated comments about him
> and all people that drive cars similar to his.

Don't bother; I'll do it for you. People like me are better than SUV drivers in a number of ways.

We do minimal harm to the environment and we do not waste oil, a material that makes countries go to war and risk destroying nature preserves. We cause no traffic accidents, are involved in no road-rage incidents or drive-by shootings, and never drive drunk or otherwise impaired. We use up no parking space. We pay no car insurance and pay almost nothing for transportation costs in general.

If there's a heaven, SUV drivers aren't getting in.

Better to be "wildly opinionated" than dully unopinionated.

----------------------------------------------

Here are some links for people who would like to read more about SUVs and the people who drive them.
posted by pracowity at 7:39 AM on April 6, 2001


Whatever happened to the days when casual road cars were all the rage? The only time I've ever seen an SUV do what it was intended for was during a snowstorm, and that's not too often.
posted by Cavatica at 7:39 AM on April 6, 2001


I've known a number of people in my time who regularly needed to transport large quantities of people and/or equipment out back of beyond, along a questionable dirt road at best. These are the people who've always driven SUV's and the like, and have good reason to do so; they may not need an SUV all the time, but using it makes more sense than owning multiple vehicles. It's only in the past few years that SUV's seem to have been actively marketed to bad drivers, people who don't want to be inconvenienced by all those accidents they seem to get into on a regular basis (never their fault, of course). Mind you, I've expressed other ideas about rising SUV sales.
posted by harmful at 7:54 AM on April 6, 2001


That explode.com lady has some problems. I have problems with the article - "Other than the road hogging 18-wheeler, the obnoxiously named SUV..."

What? Fine! get rid of all the trucks, and then starve to death, not being able to get any food or goods or much of anything really. Nice idea.
posted by tiaka at 8:25 AM on April 6, 2001


So pracowity you must not live 30 miles from your place of employment, or 10 miles from the grocery store. Maybe you live in a major metro with mass transit? Kind of easy not to drive a car in places like that. My sister lives in NYC and has never had a license. I guess she is guaranteed to get into your heaven.

I love your generalization that you are better than ALL SUV drivers, as if ALL SUV drivers were cast from one mold and have the same mindset.

Tell me what street corner your soapbox is on so I can stop by and listen to your ranting about how much better than everyone else you are since you choose not to drive and you don't waste oil and you don't do drive by shootings..... blah blah blah
posted by a3matrix at 8:32 AM on April 6, 2001


re: pracowity.

I have often wondered where SUV drivers get this bloated sense of entitlement: that somehow they deserve to occupy more space, to have more protection from their own stupidity, to consume more natural resources than anyone else...
posted by eileen at 8:57 AM on April 6, 2001


I hear the circle of hell reserved for self-righteous assholes is adjacent to the one reserved for SUV drivers.
posted by kindall at 8:59 AM on April 6, 2001


Opposing the use of SUVs as fashion accessories and status symbols is not self-righteousness but enlightened self-interest.
posted by sudama at 9:10 AM on April 6, 2001


Oh no, I'll spend eternity near SUV drivers? That sucks. Ya know, the general level of bile and vitriol in this thread is pretty high considering what's being discussed is big cars.
posted by Doug at 9:12 AM on April 6, 2001


Doug is absolutely correct.

I do drive a SUV, but I live in an area where winters can be long and harsh and I still have to get to work. I agree it is a beast, uses more gasoline than I want it to, but it is necessary in times of serious inclement weather. In the summer I tend to take long breaks from driving it and ride my motorcycle to work.

Bottom line is that all car types have their "problem drivers." Merely driving an SUV does not prequalify a person to be an asshole. Blanket statements that stereotype all SUV drivers as a whole instead of on an individual basis are ignorant and unwarranted.
posted by a3matrix at 9:29 AM on April 6, 2001


I've never be quite able to understand the loathing heaped upon SUV owners. Are some of them buying them as "fashion accessories"? Of course they are. It's a part of the image that they have of themselves - that they want others to buy into - so, they buy one. But how is that different in any substantive way, why is that any more hideous than the smart-ass Neon and VW Bug drivers, whose self-image is of "environmentally aware and socially concious" - and who just want everyone to buy into that point of view?

SUV drivers in my experience seldom bother making fun of their little midget cars, why do midget car drivers feel compelled to heap their scorn on SUV drivers? (And don't say, "It's because in an accident SUVs cream little midget cars" - of course they do, that's why some of us drive them, because we want to be safe on high speed freeways full of lane-jockey fanatics in little midget cars...)

Flippancy aside, I'm with a3matrix: where I live, an SUV is the only way I can guarantee getting to my office during the long winters. I'm also still gun shy from an accident that literally trashed a Jeep Wrangler out from under me - I was going 35, the Toyota that hit me was going 45. I swore then and there that if I had to drive, I was driving something that other people couldn't destroy. I've seen what happens to most of the "cab forward" little cars when they hit something...
posted by m.polo at 9:35 AM on April 6, 2001


Ya know, the general level of bile and vitriol in this thread is pretty high considering what's being discussed is big cars.

Ding that!

I've seen what happens to most of the "cab forward" little cars when they hit something...

I'm not a big fan of SUVs simply because they really do hog the road. It's near impossible to see around them and every other driver of an SUV seems to be on a cell phone as well and driving as though they've been pithed. Kind of scary, that.

However, your theory that you're safe in your SUV is kind of flawed. There are plenty of smaller cars that are very safe. I believe that Subaru has a good history of safety and their Outback is cheaper than many SUVs and handles great in snow. Volvo and Mercedes also make safe cars and get better gas mileage.
posted by amanda at 9:53 AM on April 6, 2001


They may just be "big cars", Doug, but they are obnoxious big cars. Granted, some people *do* use SUVs for offroad use, and I don't begrudge them their jollies. Heck, a friend of mine has an Xterra specifically because he does alot of time on unfinished roads.

However, most of these people drive functional versions. They are not the yuppies with the two-wheel drive, lilly white Ford Expeditions, complete with gold trim, leather, and heated seats. It's these SUV drivers with whom I have a complaint.

There is practically *nothing* these cell-phone yapping, brat-lugging suburban soccer moms and "elite" executives do in their SUVs that couldn't be done better and more safely, with greater fuel economy, and less hazard to the people around them, in a minivan or full-size family sedan.

Fact: Full-time all-wheel drive, as can be found on most upper-end minivans, and on *every* car Subaru makes (except maybe the Forrester?) will give you a much safer ride in rough road conditions than the crude 4wd system that most SUVs sport (if they have anything other than 2wd) will.

Fact: SUVs have a much higher center of gravity than the average minivan, making them alot more unstable in turns, and succeptable to rollover accidents. SUVs are the most unstable "cars" on the road.

Fact: With the high wheel profile common to most of them, SUVs are highly succeptable to "barrier crawling" -- actually climbing a highway rail, barrier, or divider if a front wheel hits it. This can flip the car, propel it down a precipice, into oncoming traffic, or any variety of nasty accident.

Fact: The typical SUV has a much stiffer body than comparable passenger cars. This will transfer much more energy to the passenger compartment when you hit something, causing greater physical injury than you would receive in a car designed to "crush".

I could go on. Add to this the fact that average gas mileage for the SUV is much lower than for a comparable minivan. Tires are more expensive. TCO is alot higher. Yet people still ride the things around, thinking it makes them "safer" than anything else would. This is compounded by the attitude that, as long as they're wrapped in these 5000-pound steel monstrosities, they can do anything they want.

I have actually counted the people who cut me off, change lanes without flashing, swerve madly as they talk on cellphones, or otherwise endanger others on the highway, and more often than not, it's either someone in a (frequently, "luxury") SUV, or in a low-riding import with deeply tinted windows and loud bass.

It's pure insanity. It's unnecessary. It's a waste. And it's a show of stupidity. If you go offroad, frequently drive in snow, or otherwise have need for an SUV, god bless you. Otherwise, do yourself a favor, stop deluding yourself that you're "safer" in one, stop making up for your penis size, and buy a sensable car.

Those of us who already have beg it of you.
posted by jammer at 9:53 AM on April 6, 2001


how is that different in any substantive way
I think jammer just broke it down but to summarize: SUVs tend to be a danger to other vehicles (and importantly, the people in them) and are a greater drain on our natural resources.
posted by sudama at 9:57 AM on April 6, 2001


m.polo: I've seen what happens to most of the "cab forward" little cars when they hit something...

Yes, they're called "crumple zones", and they're there for a purpose: the more of the car that gets demolished in front of the passenger compartment, the less force gets transfered to you, the passenger. Every bit of metal that folds, every bit of plastic that goes flying off, is less energy trying to pull your internal organs out of your body.

Your SUV, with its ridgid truck frame, will not crumple nearly as much, so, in a high-energy colission, alot more force is going to be transfered to you, and you will suffer for it.
posted by jammer at 9:59 AM on April 6, 2001


So what's everyone's opinions on those LITTLE SUVs? Like the Ford Escape, or the Honda... something something... Or even the Toyota 4Runner which is barely wider (although much taller) than a Civic and can come with a 6 cylinder engine? Emissions standards aside - just wondering if the SUV annoyance factor is across the board or what. :-)
posted by thunder at 10:22 AM on April 6, 2001


SUVs are extremely useful vehicles. The SUV is just a truck that is designed to haul people and what they take with them rather than the traditional purpose of throwing a bunch of crap in the bed and hauling it around. An SUV can pull a boat or something like that and act as a personal vehicle at the same time, eliminating the need for both a car and a truck for someone that does not need the bed function of a truck.

Driving a truck puts you higher above the road and you have a much better view of the things around you, which is one of my favorite things about trucks. And if you drive responsibly, which everyone should do no matter what they drive, I believe you can be a safer driver in a truck than in a smaller car for the simple reason that you are more aware of your surroundings. I've driven quite a few different vehicles and I know that you can see a lot better in a truck.

An SUV can also be more useful in winter weather conditions than a smaller car and I imagine that makes it look very attractive to persons living in the northern US. An SUV allows a large family to ride together in one vehicle and still have room for luggage, groceries, whatever. An SUV is a very useful vehicle for anyone who has a hobby or profession that requires that person to haul around a lot of gear. I have driven a couple of minivans and I can certainly understand why people go for an SUV over one of them.

And yes, an SUV can be fun for off-road excursions, particularly the smaller SUV vehicles. I just wish I had the money to buy a gently-used Tahoe or another similar-sized vehicle right now.
posted by bargle at 10:25 AM on April 6, 2001


Oh, and since people are whining about vehicles, let me add my whine to the mix. I absolutely hate the newer headlights that some cars have that are a bright white color. They blind me everytime I meet one of them at night and I think they should be banned. Yes.
posted by bargle at 10:27 AM on April 6, 2001


Try riding a motorcycle around for a week or so. You will soon come to realize damn near everyone in a 'cage' (read: car) is a f'n moron who should be shot. I have to hit the road with the mentality of 'they are all out to get me'. My other car is a GM SUV. :) But then again, i make a point of not crushing people with it.
posted by jbelshaw at 11:00 AM on April 6, 2001


Yes, they're called "crumple zones"

"Crumple"? Tell that to the guy in the Neon with the transmission shoved through his stomach on the parkway out in front of my office a couple of weeks ago... Sorry, the steel-box frame of my SUV isn't going to crumple, bend or any other lame thing, and I have a perfectly sufficient restraint and airbag system that I'm very sure will keep me safe - unless you're coming straight at me doing something over 70... (I don't personally drive over 60, in order to keep the variables under my control manageable.) The full-time all wheel drive in my SUV is, from an engineering standpoint, far superior to any 4WD Subaru or Volvo, and it's cabin is a lot safer. It has a higher center of gravity... so? Slow down before you take corners is all that means.

jammer's got all kinds of psuedo-facts to throw around, but the simple fact remains: it's my vehicle, not jammer's, and I'm not sacrificing my safety so jammer and his environmentally-aware, socially-concious liberal friends can feel better about being too cheap to buy a vehicle to keep them safe. Of course, by prefacing his FUD-inducing, fact-deficient argument with the statement:

these cell-phone yapping, brat-lugging suburban soccer moms and "elite" executives do in their SUVs

and going on and on about how much SUVs cost to purchase and maintain, he's demonstrated what really gets him worked up is the obvious statement these SUVs make that the owners of them have more money than he does.
posted by m.polo at 11:12 AM on April 6, 2001


I believe, if you look at the stats, you actually are significantly safer in a large vehicle like an SUV than in a small vehicle. According to stats I saw posted recently in the misc.writing newsgroup, you are anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to die in a smallish car than in an SUV. ("Minicars:" 245 deaths per million registered vehicles; large SUVs: 93; stats are reportedly from 1998.)

The poster, by the way, is a medical examiner and I believe his statistics to be accurate, though I haven't checked. In another post in the same thread, he pointedly asked: "how many people
are you willing to see killed for your ideologic opposition
to larger cars?"

It's certainly another viewpoint; I'd be interested in hearing how MetaFilterians respond...
posted by kindall at 11:20 AM on April 6, 2001


The SUV owner gets the benefits: better view of the road, better odds of surviving certain types of collision, more cargo room, mildly better traction in certain unusual road conditions, some peace of mind.

The rest of us pay the price: worse view of the road, reduced odds of surviving certain types of collision, higher gas prices, more air pollution, increased stress while driving.

SUV drivers are selfish because society at large has to bear part of the cost of their vehicle choice. And that's why they get dumped on.

bargle: in quixotic language pedant mode, I must point out that "SUV vehicle" is redundant.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:22 AM on April 6, 2001


Tell that to the guy in the Neon with the transmission shoved through his stomache...

OK. And you go rant about your "SUV safety" to the disproportionate number of SUV drivers killed in fatal accidents, the disproportionate number of those which were single-car, and the disproportionate number of those where were rollovers. I can cite if you want, and pull out even more if you're still not convinced. Where are your numbers?

I don't personally drive over 60, in order to keep the variables under my control manageable.

Good for you, you're better than most people, in that regard. [Never say I didn't give credit where it was due]

The full-time all wheel drive in my SUV is, from an engineering standpoint, far superior to any 4WD Subaru or Volvo.

Subaru doesn't make 4WD cars, they also use full-time AWD, just like your "advanced" SUV. I'm not familiar with as much of Volvo's line, but I believe they're similar. And, your AWD SUV is in the minority. Many use 4WD, instead, or are basic 2WD vehicles.

Jammer's got all kinds of psuedo-facts to throw around...

Psuedo-facts? Every single one of them is valid, and can be verified by anyone willing to do a bit of web searching. Why do we have from you? An offhand account of one (supposedly) fatal wreck involving a Neon, a display of confusion between 4WD and AWD, and alot of speculation about how well you'd fare in an accident. Alot of hard data there, m.polo.

it's my vehicle, not jammer's, and I'm not sacraficing my safety so jammer and his environmentally-aware, socially-concious liberal friends can feel better about being too cheap to buy a vehicle to keep them safe

Spoken like a true SUV owner. :)

Yes, it is your vehicle, yes, you have every right to drive what you wish, and I wouldn't dare to deprive you of that. But I also have the right to tell you that I think that your choice is stupid, and to tell you why. You can't have the one without the other, and to try to argue otherwise is childish.

And, for the record, I wouldn't call myself an "environmentally-aware liberal". My argument isn't based on environmental impact, as, really, I consider that to be a secondary point. If you have a reason to drive an SUV, do it, and more power to you. If your only reason is that you think, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that it makes you safe, and that it shows how rugged and individualistic you are, then go right ahead, but I'll continue to tell you how silly it all is.

[As regarding the "liberal" comment, my politics tend to be libertarian, not liberal. Get your negative use of neutral adjectives straight next time.]

by going on and on about how much SUVs cost to purchase and maintain, he's demonstrated that what really gets him worked up is the obvious statement these SUVs make that the owners of them have more money than he does.

Quite frankly, bullshit. What really gets me worked up is the attitude of entitlement that most SUV drivers have, the ignorant arguments that they are somehow "safer", and the arrogant, elitist, "I'm richer than you, so I have a right to crush you if you're in my way" attitude many of them tend to take when their beliefs are challenged -- an attitude of which this kind of comment is a perfect example.

The fact is, I'm a very talented (or so I've been told, I think I'm only average) IT worker, making a not insignificant amount of money. If I felt like it, I could go buy a Ford Excursion so I can crush *you* when you get infront of me, but I won't, because I don't think I'm any safer in one, and I don't like spending insane amounts of money on gas, when there are much better things to spend it on -- such as professional caliber camera equipment.

Do you really have anything to argue with other than circumstancial evidence and presumptuous ad-hominem attacks?
posted by jammer at 11:50 AM on April 6, 2001


One further comment, regarding being too cheap to buy a vehicle that can keep me safe: I am shortly going to purchase a nicely decked out Nissan Sentra, which will fall under most baseline SUVs out there. One of the selling points on this particular model was that I had seen one get hit head-on by an idiot driving an SUV while yacking on his phone, and the driver walked away. I think I'll be plenty safe, actually. And I'll have a good $10,000 to spend on other things that the Explorer owner won't.
posted by jammer at 11:58 AM on April 6, 2001


There, then - I made stupid assumptions about you from your posting and you have done the same about me (I couldn't possibly care less what people think of me because I drive an SUV; I thought I had made it clear that because of a prior accident experience, I'd chosen it for purely for safety reasons). I have looked into the statistics on this and in rechecking the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety site, they haven't changed their position:

The kinetic energy a vehicle must absorb in a crash test increases with vehicle weight, so barrier tests are more demanding of heavier vehicles. But people in heavier vehicles in real-world, 2-vehicle crashes typically fare better than people in lighter vehicles (in many single-vehicle crashes, weight offers no safety advantage). This is why test results shouldn't be compared among vehicles with large weight differences.

(to verify that I'm not just making this up as jammer seems to think I've been doing, select the safety rating for any class of car; this text is on every one of those pages, in the column on the left hand side).

Oh, and jammer: I don't like being lumped in with soccer mom and elitist execs driving trophy SUVs any more than you do being lumped in with eco-whackjobs and others who would be OK with depriving me of my right to drive an SUV just because I feel like it. I apologize for any misconceptions or miscommunications; obviously I feel strongly about this topic.
posted by m.polo at 12:27 PM on April 6, 2001


The poster, by the way, is a medical examiner and I believe his statistics to be accurate, though I haven't checked.

All the facts you'll ever need to check his story. (He's right - see the first table).

However: Is large SUV vs. Mini-car really a fair comparison, given their disparate sizes? Wouldn't a better comparison be vehicles of about the same size? Otherwise you've got a third variable problem (Interpreting the type of car as causal, when it's really the size of the vehicle). In discussions like this, it's important to check the statistics very very carefully. The numbers may be right, but it's not that hard to lie with statistics. This may be a case of the well-chosen sample. The numbers for larger cars (which include minivans) and the numbers for small SUVs are more comparable. Yes, the data cited above show that small vehicles have higher death rates than large vehicles - but this is a bit of an obvious finding. Isn't it more interesting (and useful) to say that when we've controlled for size, SUVs are less safe (as measured by # of deaths, see the first table)? Then the argument that purchasing a small or mid-size SUV is actually a poor safety decision can be made on solid statistical ground.
posted by iceberg273 at 12:44 PM on April 6, 2001


OK, fair enough point there, m.polo. I still feel that the combination of the facts that 1) SUVs do tend to fare worse in sigle-car wrecks, and 2) you are more likely to be in a single-car wreck in an SUV than in a passengar car (due to greater weight, poor handling, inherent instability, etc) tends to offset the benefit there may be in a two-car collision.

I apologize for categorizing you with soccor moms and elitist execs. I, too, feel strongly about this subject, and tend to respond in kind when unfairly attacked. :) I do still think that your decision is not the correct one, but it is your decision to make; as long as you understand my opinions, and have decided you don't care, please, carry on. And I'll carry on disagreeing with you -- but avoid lumping you in with the yuppies this time. *grin*

I'm still not going to buy one, though...
posted by jammer at 12:46 PM on April 6, 2001


In that case, jammer, I'll be extra careful not to run over any Sentras I see, at least until I am sure you are not in it (or, unless my phone rings or I spill my latte or the baby drops her squeaky toy and I have to lean backwards over the seat to retrieve it while simultaneously doing my hair and making a right hand turn from the left hand lane...) ;-)
posted by m.polo at 1:32 PM on April 6, 2001


I drive a car that is very close to the ground and certainly not comparable in size to a truck or SUV. Yet I do not feel greater stress driving among trucks. I feel stress driving on the same road as irresponsible drivers.

bargle: in quixotic language pedant mode, I must point out that "SUV vehicle" is redundant.

Har har. I typed sport utility vehicles and then started to change it and apparently I did not finish before I posted.
posted by bargle at 2:22 PM on April 6, 2001


I loathe to get into this (but I will) because it's pointless to rationally argue when people use irrational arguments.

There is practically *nothing* these cell-phone yapping, brat-lugging suburban soccer moms and "elite" executives do in their SUVs that couldn't be done better and more safely, with greater fuel economy, and less hazard to the people around them, in a minivan or full-size family sedan.

Why do people put the phrases "SUVs", "cell phones" and "soccer moms" and "executives" together so often? Isn't it this type of person you mean to belittle and not each of the things which superficially characterize her as that type of person? Are you actually aiming your (general "your" not you specifically) vitriol at rude and self-centered people instead of things which actually have great use?

SUVs are great for snowstorms, off-road use, carrying large volumes of stuff. I go up to Tahoe and Mammoth all of the time and that fits the profile to a 'T'. Yet I drive a Honda Accord. Why? Because SUVs suck for parking, commuting and general traveling (gas mileage). Whoever says SUV owners pay less than everyone else due to their choice of car has never paid for fuel for the daily commute....

As far as the height issue, would everyone who has complained about that wish to set a maximum height for vehicles? If so what do we do about trucks and busses? Furthermore, if someone has a car that is smaller than the maximum height, then won't we still have the same problem? Perhaps we should legislate a required height for all cars. No min or max. That way everyone will be the same height and there won't be a problem.

Luckily, there already is such legislation. See the Laws of Physics...

Regardless, isn't it really each person's choice? Why people seek to control other's choices in a free society is beyond me.
posted by fooljay at 2:37 PM on April 6, 2001


By the way, I'm not personally attacking you jammer (or anyone else). I'm attacking the idea of attacking people. Er, or something like that...
posted by fooljay at 2:40 PM on April 6, 2001


I understand, fooljay. I tend to get a bit over-heated at times because I get rather frustrated. I don't mind SUVs (at least not real ones. I feel my stomach turn every time I see a Lincoln Navigator or a Cadillac Escalade), or cell phones. (Or even soccer moms or executives, for the most part).

It's the tendency of those things to be in one place at one time, and so often for that place to be right where *my* right of way is, that really annoys me. And the whole Navigator/Escalade "luxury SUV" thing, which I find to be as hilarious as it is nauseating.

I saw a Navigator turned into a stretch limo the other day. I about died laughing. I think the SUV phenomenon has officially turned into a parody of itself, now.
posted by jammer at 3:16 PM on April 6, 2001


I agree wholeheartedly with you on the luxury SUV thing, but Instead of getting angry at these people, I just laugh... It makes the world a better place to do so. They will at some point suffer whatever fate is karmically alloted to them.

Again, I hate the idea of getting pissed off at people because of association with things that other people use quite rudely. In another thread, procwity and I got into it over the use of cell phones (surprise!). Again, I use these things very conscientiously (just as I do with my smoking), so I don't deserve the stereotyping and malice that is metered out to people who actually do deserve it.

It's not the use of a cell phone that's a problem, it's the rude use of a cell phone. It's not the use of an SUV that's a problem, it's the rude (or superfluous?) use of one. It's not smoking that's a problem, but the rudeness of my smoke rising into someone's face.

If we all redirected our anger at people's rudeness, instead of the objects which they use, the world would be a better, more tolerant place.

P.S. I once drove an Escalade because it was all that the rental company had available (we got it for the price of a midsize!) and I cannot tell you how nice the individually heated leather seats were...
posted by fooljay at 3:38 PM on April 6, 2001


Geez. I actually posted this because of the quality control issue. Quite a nerve hit here. For the record, I said "damn things" because of the danger, not the model. The whole truck/SUV explosion of the last decade has bewildered me.
posted by aflakete at 3:38 PM on April 6, 2001


I would like to repeat something Mars said, because I think it's worth repeating, and it sums up my own thoughts more succinctly than I could myself.

"The SUV owner gets the benefits: better view of the road, better odds of surviving certain types of collision, more cargo room, mildly better traction in certain unusual road conditions, some peace of mind.

"The rest of us pay the price: worse view of the road, reduced odds of surviving certain types of collision, higher gas prices, more air pollution, increased stress while driving."
posted by CrayDrygu at 5:00 PM on April 6, 2001


It's interesting that when my gf moved from GA to CT, I noticed a lot more European cars on the road: little VWs especially. And in winter, they cope fucking well.

In short, you don't see a Volvo/SAAB SUV, nor a BMW/VW/Mercedes SUV, and those winters can be as severe as the ones in the Dakotas. And if you want to stick the school footy team in the back of your car, use the boot.
posted by holgate at 7:23 PM on April 6, 2001


Damn... we *can* all just get along? :-)

It's "Self-esteem Uplift Vehicle", BTW; please get it right.
posted by baylink at 7:33 PM on April 6, 2001


re: European SUVs

Mercedes, VW, BMW, and Volvo all either have an SUV or soon will have. I looked at a magazine the other day and saw pictures of SUVs from each of the above.
posted by bargle at 7:19 PM on April 7, 2001


> you must not live 30 miles from your place of
> employment, or 10 miles from the grocery store.
> Maybe you live in a major metro with mass transit?
> Kind of easy not to drive a car in places like that.

Not major. Just a normal little city with a normal tram line and normal bus service and commuter trains and intercity trains and bicycle trails. A normal little city with a grocery store within walking distance of most people's homes. A little city with buses and trams that get people to work much faster than you can in your traffic jams.

It's like that in places where people don't use cars to get from the couch to the kitchen and back during commercials.

This addiction to cars that Americans maintain makes no sense. They move to the moon and then complain that they need rocketships to get to work. Of course there's no bus service where you live if where you live used to be the damned wilderness until you moved there and wrecked it. If the buses did go past your house, you'd move away from them and destroy another bit of the nice countryside.
posted by pracowity at 11:52 PM on April 8, 2001


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