In our last Rare Rides entry, we saw a Saleen sporting a lot of engine and little room, carrying a maximum of two physically fit human beings inside the cramped cockpit. That’s assuming neither of them brought any baggage, emotional or otherwise.
Today, we’re going in the other direction. I present to you what is undoubtedly the most intense passenger vehicle Toyota has ever produced: MEGA CRUISER. And it’s in full capital letters for a reason.
Last year, I crossed the United States from Coast to Coast — New York to LA — in a Ram 1500 Tradesman. You can follow last year’s coverage here. This year we embark on another crossing, this time from North to South, albeit starting a little further North than you might expect.
I’ll hop in a Ram 2500 Tradesman 4×4 in Seattle eventually, but for now, as the area I’ll travel through before Seattle has only an intermittent road network, it will be a mix of planes, rental cars and ferries. (Read More…)
Last week, we learned General Motors was recalling the majority of their Hummer H3 and H3T models due to a fire risk from a melting blower motor resistor and harness. We also learned GM didn’t issue the recall until they were threatened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A few days ago, Jalopnik’s Michael Ballaban pointed out the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon were also at risk due to similar components. These trucks may not be the last of the affected models as the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky also shared many HVAC components with the Hummer H3.
Searching through the NHTSA complaints database and user forums yielded many examples of melted and burnt blower motor resistors and harnesses for the GM roadster twins.
Jalopnik has an interesting story today about how General Motors negotiated its way into recalling 200,000 Hummers only after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration threatened to launch a formal investigation.
Last week, Hummer recalled nearly 200,000 SUVs due to an increased fire risk because of a faulty HVAC harness that could melt and catch fire.
GM knew about the problem in 2008, Jalopnik writes, and did nothing until issuing a recall this July.
General Motors is recalling nearly 200,000 Hummer H3 and H3T models due to an increased fire risk, Autoblog is reporting.
According to the automaker, the car’s HVAC system can overheat and melt surrounding plastic, which could increase the chance for a fire in the car. GM says the fire has burned 42 cars and injured three people so far, but no crashes or fatalities have been reported. The recall effects 2006-2010 H3 models and 2009-2010 H3T cars.
We go down memory lane this morning and look at some of the great cars British Leyland didn’t build.
Yes, the death of the Hummer brand is old news and was long overdue. But in the vein of Tom Cruise, when your public image goes bust, go back to what you do best: GI Joe. I kit you not. (Read More…)
Tokyo Auto Salon HUMMER
The Tokyo Auto Salon is not just a preserve of doe-eyed kawaii girls, and a host of hachi-roku. It also proves that you can’t kill the HUMMER. (Read More…)
Are you talkin’ to me???
There was the Cadillac of minivans. A different kind of company selling a different kind of car. A Swede with no compromises, and a Frenchman that went from strength to strength.
Daihatsus that were perhaps, a bit too modest, by skinny dipping their unknown name in a slogan-less lake. And then we had that crazy distant Yugoslavian cousin who bragged about a ‘road back to sanity’ while his neighbors blew up his plant.
I just spent two weeks on vacation in Vietnam, and my pre-trip expectations of seeing fleets of left-behind-by-the-French Peugeots, left-behind-by-the-Americans Falcons, and left-behind-by-the-Soviets GAZs turned out to be ridiculously inaccurate. I saw a few old cars (more on that later), but most of the cars in Vietnam are boring late-model rides like Kia Rios and Toyota Innovas. However, I did see quite a few conspicuous-consumption statusmobiles in Saigon and Hanoi; the grumbling old-time revolutionary veterans no doubt refer to the current Hanoi leadership as CINOs. Here’s an example I spotted near St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. (Read More…)
The other day, I walk (don’t ask why and what for) through Tokyo’s red-light district, known to connoisseurs as Kabukicho, and I spot some HUMMERs curbside. HUMMERs are not new to the neighborhood. In Japan, HUMMERs used to be popular with certain groups, known as the Yakuza, who also frequent Kabukicho.
However, they had H2s, not the HUMMERs I saw. (Read More…)
Florida Congressman Allen West is blaming President Barack Obama for paying $70 every time he wants to fill up his Hummer H3. Not surprisingly, media outlets, as well as commenters on West’s Facebook page, are up in arms.
The NYT reports that, having fallen out of favor in the Afghanistan campaign for its vulnerability to roadside bombs, the HMMWV is making a comeback. The Humvee was being replaced by mine-resistant armored personnel carriers called MRAPs,
But recent blast tests show that Humvees built with the new chimney could provide as much protection as some of the heavier, and more costly, mine-resistant vehicles that have replaced them in many uses.
And if the final tests go well, the invention could save billions in new vehicle costs and restore much of the maneuverability that the Army and the Marines have lacked in the rugged terrain in Afghanistan, military officials say. Engineers say the chimney, which rises through the passenger cabin, releases some of the explosive gases — traveling at twice the speed of a fighter jet — that have mangled and flipped many of the vehicles.
Pentagon officials have said little about the 11 blast tests so far, in which the prototype vehicles are engulfed by a cloud of smoke, dust and fire, but the passenger cabin remains intact.
It turns out that adding armor hurts the maneuverability that makes the HMMWV so prized, and is less effective than the new chimneys which deflect blast forces around and away from the passenger compartment. The military will conduct five more blast tests and could request bids for the new generation of HMMWVs sometime this fall.
How many former Saturn buyers do you figure have come back to GM for their next car? What about consumers who last purchased a Pontiac? How about HUMMER? Since we’re not bound to a strict inverted pyramid around here, why don’t you think of an answer (in terms of percentage of customers retained) for each brand and then hit the jump to see how close you were.