Wheels Come Off Hummers H2

Wheels Come Off Hummers H2 http://car-reviews.automobile.com/news/wheels-come-off-hummers-h2/2002 /
Quite Literally.
Some would say the wheels have come off at GM. With the infamous
multi-billion dollar loss posted last year, sequential multi-billion dollar losses after each quarter of 2006, and a potential Delphi strike looming large on the horizon, the euphemism certainly seems appropriate, and with recent news of Hummer H2s abandoning their front wheels as a result of failed steering knuckles, its now downright literal.
Marketed as the tough, rugged, and yet strangely friendly smaller alternative to the massive Hummer H1, the H2 debuted amid a media circus. Based on the Chevy Suburban/Avalanche platform, the "baby Hummer" was designed to be a compromise between its bigger brothers off-road capability and the suburban SUVs more economical and practical nature. But now, according to an investigation by the Sacramento Bee newspaper and the NHTSA, the behemoths seem to have an Achilles heel: their steering knuckles.
The cast suspension piece that mounts the wheel to the control arms, its an integral part of the suspension, and those H2s that have suffered steering knuckle failures have all done so with catastrophic results. U.S. federal highway safety investigators are looking into the case, which has seen 25 complainants have one of their front wheels literally fall off.
GM is denying the allegations that they may have produced a faulty part; instead citing the lower-ball joint fractures as a result, rather than a cause, of an accident. And while some of the complainants admit to hitting curbs and bumping poles with the H2s ultra-wide front tires while maneuvering at slow speeds through parking lots and drive-through restaurants before their wheels fell off, others deny any incidents, with one customers wheel falling off after less than 300 kilometers.
Also supporting the NHTSAs investigation is the fact that investigators have unearthed an additional 61 claims made by owners of Suburbans and Avalanches that have experienced similiar failures, as well as GMs own admission that they changed the parts design in 2003 to "improve [their] products." In their defence, GM claims the H2s exposed wide tires, necessary for the SUVs off-road performance, are to blame, placing a greater load on the knuckle due to the added leverage the wider tire can exert.
Thus far, no one has been killed by the catastrophic failures, but four have suffered minor injuries. Six more have been hurt by similiar failures in Suburbans and Avalanches. And although GM denies any wrongdoing, lawyers feel otherwise. Marketed and advertised as a tough, go-anywhere vehicle, the H2 should be able to traverse everything the paved road can throw at it as a result of its off-road pedigree.
As such, the mere threat of a lawsuit was enough to convince GM to take one unhappy victims three-wheeled H2 back for a full refund (minus the insurance claim coverage), as well as refund the full purchase price of a second H2 the owner also bought. But still they insist the vehicles not to blame, and GM Product Safety Spokesman Alan Adler maintains that while the H2 may bear the Hummer name, "we have never claimed it is invincible." , no one has been killed by the catastrophic failures, but four have suffered minor injuries. Six more have been hurt by similiar failures in Suburbans and Avalanches. And although GM denies any wrongdoing, lawyers feel otherwise. Marketed and advertised as a tough, go-anywhere vehicle, the H2 should be able to traverse everything the paved road can throw at it as a result of its off-road pedigree.
As such, the mere threat of a lawsuit was enough to convince GM to take one unhappy victims three-wheeled H2 back for a full refund (minus the insurance claim coverage), as well as refund the full purchase price of a second H2 the owner also bought. But still they insist the vehicles not to blame, and GM Product Safety Spokesman Alan Adler maintains that while the H2 may bear the Hummer name, "we have never claimed it is invincible."
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DUH GM made a profit in the second quarter of 2006.
mike hunt

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