Consumer Car News: 5/13/02

May 13, 2002

CHEVY COLORADO GOES PUBLIC, SORT OF
Remember the spy shot of the Chevy Colorado we showed you last week? Now GM is issuing its own remarkably similar illustration of the ’04 Colorado, which begins life in the fourth quarter of 2003 in the GM factory in Shreveport, La. Chevrolet confirms the Colorado name in a press release: "With the development of an all-new truck, it is crucial to select a new name that resonates well with customers and has a strong presence,” Russ Clark, the Colorado’s marketing director said in a statement. Stay tuned for more info on the Colorado, or click here for the latest from TCC’s insiders:
Spy Shots: 2003 Chevy Colorado by Brenda Priddy (4/29/2002)

 

SAAB SUV OFF THE PLANNER
A Saab spokesman says the brand’s plans for a seven-passenger sport-ute have been scuttled. Kevin Smith told the wire service that the plans to build a Saab version of the upcoming Cadillac SRX proved difficult and more expensive than planned. Smith added that Saab plans to boost sales volume in the U.S. to 70,000 vehicles per year by 2004, by introducing a new range of vehicles, including a new 9-3 entry-level vehicle later this year and a crossover wagon variant in 2003. The new 9-3 will be the first GM product built on the company’s Delta platform, which will also spawn replacements for the Pontiac Grand Am and other compact to mid-size front-drive vehicles.
2002 Saab 9-3 Viggen Conv. by Paul Wiley Cockerham (1/28/2002)

 

CAR WRECKS COST U.S. $230 BILLION
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that car crashes cost the nation $230 billion each year, or $820 per person. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said that, based on figures from the year 2000, that alcohol-related crashes are responsible for nearly $51 billion, while the agency attributes $40 billion of the losses to speeding.
NHTSA: Two-Wheel Mayhem? by Eric Peters (4/29/2002)

 

APPEAL IN FORD/FIRESTONE CLASS ACTION
A recent decision to stop a class action lawsuit against Ford and Firestone will be appealed, Reuters reports. The lawyers representing the class-action petition have asked the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to look at the case again. The suit pooled owners of Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires; it alleges that the companies owe owners for lost value of their vehicles in the wake of the 2000 recall of some 6.5 million Firestone Wilderness AT tires. Separate personal-injury lawsuits are not involved in this action.
Firestone: Getting the Word Out by William L. Sharfman, Ph.D (3/25/2002)

 

OOPS! RECALL #5 FOR GM UTES
General Motors will recall 60,000 mid-size sport-utes to correct a problem with the vehicles’ fuel filters, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday. The Chevy TrailBlazer/Olds Bravada/GMC Envoy triplets have been recalled four times prior. The current recall affects vehicles built between September and November 2001; NHTSA says the fuel filter could loosen and cause a leak. Prior recalls include a major one at launch to correct a suspension component problem.

 

AW: ASTON MAKING SPEEDSTER
AutoWeek says Aston Martin will craft two special DB7-derived models next year, strictly for the U.S. market. The weekly magazine says a rebodied DB7 styled by the Italian house of Zagato will be built along with a special Speedster model that will feature a cut-down windshield and racing bucket seats. About 100 copies will be made of each version, AW says, and the Speedster could show its face at the Los Angeles auto show next January.

 

AW II: AMG CHOPPING CL TOP
AutoWeek also reports that Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance group will chop the top from the massive CL55 coupe. A convertible version of the big two-door would be built at Karmann alongside the CLK cabriolet and would go on sale this October for about $132,000, the magazine says.

 

CONSUMER REPORTS RECALLS GIFT
The reliability and safety mavens at Consumer Reports are recalling 15,000 gifts given to subscribers for fire-safety and tire-pressure hazards. The gift — a glovebox organizer — contains a flashlight that could overheat and melt, and a tire pressure gauge that doesn’t read properly, according to Reuters.'' Consumers Union learned a valuable lesson - we need to test any product that we offer as a premium in our own labs with the same rigor with which we rate the products you see in Consumer Reports,'' Consumers Union President Jim Guest says in a letter to readers due in the July issue.

 

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