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For thousands of different reasons, millions of people have purchased SUVs in the past several years. The high seating position gives a commanding view of the road and a sense of invincibility. The high ground clearance and off-road tires let you know they can handle just about anything thrown their way. The rugged industrial looks and powerful motors add to the driver's self-confidence and sense of power. Particularly in the case of the HUMMER.
Many folks who have purchased H1s, H2s and H3s have done so because of the sense of security they get knowing that should an accident occur, they and their loved ones will be protected inside. So you can imagine the confusion Iris Ziroli felt when the front end of her H2 ground into the pavement after nudging a pole in her local fast food drive-thru. No hard impact or off-road activity, just a low-speed minor collision and the HUMMER is down for the count.

Apparently Iris is among 20 Hummer H2 owners whose cases are sitting on the desks of the NHTSA as they investigate whether a faulty steering knuckle on 2003 model year H2s is to blame. The part in question was apparently changed in 2004 but it's possible that the 47,900 other 2003s on the road might have a similar propensity for nosedives. The NHTSA has also collected data on 61 similar cases involving Suburbans and Avalanches that used the same knuckles. GM, for its part, is saying that cause and effect are being mixed up in these cases. It was the initial impacts that caused the knuckle failures, not the knuckle failures causing the accidents. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported in these cases and the investigation continues.

[Souce: Sacramento Bee (sub required) via Detroit News]

Tip: Thanks to Chris C.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      thats a horrible photoshop job, if something is going to be chopped together it should be stated as that so A) people arn't confused about the conditions of what happened and B) it makes you less credible as to what else you may be fabricating.
      • 8 Years Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      She probably dropped some of her french fries and leaned down to pick them up off the floor (you know that 30 second rule) and didn't see the pole. Betchya she finished off those fries though! We could ask the passengers, but since it was a women driving in a large SUV she was most likely alone. :-)

      • 8 Years Ago
      This article isn't a slap against SUVs. It's a story about how seemingly invincible vehicles can crumble in minor collisions. If a wheel falls off in a low-speed impact, something is definitely amiss. When the NHTSA has 61 similar cases, some involving NO IMPACT at all (like the Sacramento Bee tester car), there is definitely something wrong.
      • 8 Years Ago
      ... a few hundred million years ago the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Amazingly, more dinosaurs can be seen today, the H1, H2, and the forgettable H3.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Ah, Frank, is it truly that difficult to imagine some people buy them simply because they LIKE the damned things? After all, Autoblog doesn't seem to have any trouble wasting space on irrelevancies that catch the authors' fancies -- how many damned stories did we endure about that ridiculous VW three-wheeler thing?

      Explain to me how tearing off a wheel by running it into something translates into a blanket dismissal of the accident protection you conclude is part of the decision-making process involved with buying a Hummer From the way you've written this, I'm shocked to discover that the occupants weren't thrown from the passenger area, perhaps into a nearby busy street where other SUVs could maliciously attack them while they're down, while their powerless owners looked on in horror.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wasn't that a screenshot from How Not to Drift - Vol. III?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is the picture of the yellow H2 referring to the vehicle of Mrs Iris Ziroli or just a picture of a crashed, similar, H2.
      Mark Glover of the Sacramento Bee has the same picture and the story with it claims this is Marks 2002 test H2.
      What is false or thru. Maybe next articles have to refer correctly to pictures placed with that article.

      Maarten Verschure
      the Netherlands
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree that it should be explicitly stated if a photoshop is used. Since even the Associated Press is getting busted for this now it's more important than ever to be upfront with this. Editors, please update the article. Thanks!
      • 8 Years Ago
      An offroad vehicle needs a live axle so that if the vehicle weight rocks onto one axle, the suspension doesn't compress, lower the front diff and reduce your ground clearance. With a live axle, the height of the front diff doesn't change relative to a line between the front wheels. In a regular vehicle the diffs are the things which hang lowest and thus determine your ground clearance.

      In a "real" Hummer (HMMV or H1), the wheels have a special rim drive where the axles don't connect to the center of the wheels, but instead connect to a gear above the center of the wheels. By raising the axles, the center diff rises too and the ground clearance is no longer determined by the diffs, but by the lower control arms.

      So basically, the H1 puts a lot of money and effort into solving the same problem in a different way. The new Range Rover also has independent suspension but has some computer-actuated wheel extension trick to keep the ground clearance suitable.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What're you guys talking about? That's as real as any UFO photo I've seen.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have to feel sorry for anyone that bought an H2 or H3, oh...., that's not pity, I'm laughing at them......
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