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Download High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV by Keith Bradsher PDF

By Keith Bradsher

SUVs have taken over America's roads. advert campaigns advertise them as more secure and "greener" than traditional vehicles and straightforward to deal with in undesirable climate. yet little or no in regards to the SUV's snapshot is exact. They poorly safeguard occupants and inflict awful harm in crashes, they guzzle fuel, and they're tough to control.

Keith Bradsher has been on the leading edge in reporting the calamitous safeguard and environmental list of SUVs, together with the infamous Ford-Firestone rollover controversy. In excessive and powerful, he lines the checkered background of SUVs, displaying how they got here to be labeled now not as passenger vehicles yet as gentle vehicles, that are topic to much less strict rules on defense, gasoline mileage, and pollution. He makes a strong case that those automobiles are even worse than we suspect--for their occupants, for different motorists, for pedestrians and for the planet itself.

In the culture of Unsafe at Any Speed and Fast foodstuff Nation, Bradsher's e-book is a damning exposé of an that places us all in danger, even if we realize it or now not.

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Regulators could also be lobbied to set less stringent standards later, once politicians and consumers were less worried about gasoline shortages. Automakers were alone in favoring regulatory standards, instead of legislated standards, for cars. But they had powerful allies on their side in favoring regulatory standards for light trucks, which were still mostly pickup trucks. Environmentalists had paid virtually no attention to these vehicles, reasoning that they served a legitimate business purpose.

Chrysler's request to have minivans certified as light trucks was not without controversy. The UAW objected to Chrysler that the minivan certification violated the spirit of the fuel-economy and emissions laws, and told the automaker that the minivan should be classified as a car. "I remember arguing that a vehicle that hauls goods is a truck, and a vehicle that hauls passengers is a car," said Eraser, who was the UAW's president at the time. But such positions were already becoming more difficult for the union, because of the harm that fuel-economy rules had caused to the large-car market.

American Motors was not alone in introducing a light truck for family use in late 1983. The other struggling Detroit automaker, Chrysler, tried the same gambit by introducing the first modern, front-wheel-drive minivan. Minivans were an even bigger success than Jeep Cherokees. Minivans swiftly replaced large station wagons, REVIVING A CORPSE 39 which Detroit could no longer produce anyway if it also wanted to build large luxury cars and still meet the gas-mileage standards. To certify a van as a light truck instead of a car, the Transportation Department only required that there be a flat floor extending from behind the front seat to the back of the vehicle, with seats that could be removed with simple tools.

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