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US Attorneys-General Warn Vehicle Makers Over SUV Advertising

April 24, 2003

The attorneys general of 40 US states and territories sent a letter Apr. 23 to 16 major vehicle makers warning that some advertisements featuring sport utility vehicles deceive consumers into believing that SUVs handle like cars, Reuters reported.The letter said that vehicle industry ads could be considered "unfair and deceptive trade practices," which would be subject to future civil lawsuits, Reuters said.The news agency reported that the letter said the vehicle industry has "blurred" the distinction between cars and SUVs in advertisements "which now trumpet the 'car-like' attributes of SUVs," and cited federal safety statistics which show that SUVs are three times more likely to roll over than cars.According to the news agency, the letter said the vehicle industry deceptively touts the cargo capacity of SUVs without mentioning safe weight limitations of the vehicles. Overloading is a significant factor in the SUV rollover accidents, the letter reportedly said.
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