Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

2008 Could See Lower SUVs, Trucks

September 9, 2003

Most automakers have agreed to make big sport-utility vehicles and pickups less threatening to cars, according to USA Today.Details of the changes, obtained by USA Today, include lowering many full-size sport utility vehicles and pickups and putting head-protecting side air bags in most cars andtrucks. The changes would be phased in by the 2008 model year under a voluntary plan, expected to be announced next month, according to the national newspaper.The plan addresses so-called compatibility issues that place people in cars at greater risk of death in front and side crashes than those in light trucks such as pickups andSUVs.In perhaps the most sweeping voluntary safety reform in years, 95 percent of automakers say their vehicles will pass the called-for front and side crash tests. Among vehicles likely to be affected are Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Tahoe and some Dodge Ram pickups, but automakers have not concluded which vehicles would need to be lowered or by how much, USA Today said.Automakers have been under pressure to address dangers SUVs and pickups pose to their occupants and those in other vehicles.The plan's compatibility provisions would take effect at least a year earlier than legislation pending in Congress would require, according to USA Today.
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