News Briefs: Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Canada

Avalanche SUV Sheds Plastic
Chevrolet’s Avalanche will have less exterior plastic in the 2003 model year when a version of the versatile SUV is offered minus the cladding. Other Avalanches will get darker-gray trim. All will have passenger-sensing airbags and new options, including XM satellite radio, adjustable pedals, a DVD entertainment system and new colors.

Ford Dropping Excursion?
Ford may end production of its king-sized Excursion sport-utility vehicle with the current generation of vehicle. The Excursion, Ford’s largest SUV, has been criticized by environmentalists. The end for the vehicle could come as soon as 2004, so trailerists who intend to buy one should take action soon.

Toyota Recalls Highlander
Toyota has announced that it is recalling more than 150,000 Highlander SUVs. The 2001 and 2002 models have a fuel-vapor nozzle that may leak after a crash. The recall requires a minor change to the clamps holding the nozzle.

Canadian Vehicles Cheaper
Gray-market sales of Canadian vehicles to U.S buyers have grown because Canadian prices are often considerably lower than those in the United States, as much as $12,000 on some light trucks. General Motors recently warned its dealers that it would take away product allocations from Canadian dealers involved in across-the-border sales.

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