Briefs: '06 Jeep, Scraps, NHTSA

Jeep Commander Slotted for ’06 Model

Jeep has a new longer seven-passenger luxury SUV with three rows
of seats under development. It likely willl be named the Commander. The
new vehicle will be powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 or optional 5.7-liter
Hemi, both found in current Jeeps. Look for a price in the $40,000 range
and a 2006 model-year introduction.

More Vehicles Getting Scrapped

More vehicles are getting totaled out by insurance companies
rather than repaired after being involved in accidents. This is because
of the high prices of high-tech components. Currently, 16 percent of
vehicles involved in crashes are being scrapped, up from 7 percent in
1995. Airbags, xenon headlamps and costly materials, such as aluminum
used on late-model vehicles, are more expensive to repair or replace
than on older vehicles.

GM SUVs May Have Brakelight Problem

National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is
conducting an investigation of brake-lamp failures on more than 1.2
million General Motors SUVs. Affected models include 2002-2004 Chevrolet
Trailblazer and GMC Envoy, Olds Bravada and Buick Rainier. Owners
should check their brakelights. General Motors received 687 complaints
of rear brakelight failures, and this may result in a recall.

SUVs Slammed on Safety

Rollover data released by NHTSA on 36 SUVs indicate that the
larger, taller and heavier the vehicle, the more likely that it will
roll over in a crash. Of 36 vehicles NHTSA tested, 13 tipped up on two
wheels, showing an inclination to overturn. Extended-cab pickups did
better and the Chrysler Pacifica faired best.

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