Entries in SUV (3)


Thieves Across Country Stealing SUV Seats

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thieves across the country are in many cases not targeting expensive SUVs parked in driveways and parking lots.  Instead, they are stealing the third row of seats from the vehicles for up to a $1,000 profit.

Ivan Barahona, an SUV owner, parked his vehicle in his Dallas driveway, and made sure nothing valuable was inside and locked it up.  But a trio still broke into the back, and within seconds, removed part of the seats.  Within 40 seconds, the entire back row in the vehicle was gone.

“It feels really bad because people work really hard for what they have,” Barahona said.

Police say so-called “third seat theft” is on the rise, particularly in Texas and California.

Replacement seats are in demand by SUV owners whose row of seats has been damaged or worn out.  Detectives say the crooks can get about $1,000 for the seats on sites like Craigslist or in a salvage yard -- a sizable payoff for 40 seconds of work.

Police often recover the stolen seats but have no way of reuniting them with their rightful owner, which is why Los Angeles police are encouraging owners to engrave their SUV’s vehicle identification number onto the bottom of those seats.

“It’s something that’s very simple.  With a little bit of time and effort people can protect themselves,” Det. Mike Ventura with the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Even something as inexpensive as a bike lock will slow crooks down.  Locking up seats is a good investment, because replacing a stolen third seat at the dealership can cost up to $4,000.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Toyota Recalling 82,200 Hybrid SUVs Sold in US

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(TORRANCE, Calif.) -- Toyota announced Wednesday it is voluntarily recalling 45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h vehicles, citing faulty transistors in the control boards.

The recall applies to model years 2006 and 2007 vehicles sold in the U.S.

The Japanese automaker says some of the transistors in the recalled models were inadequately soldered and could be damaged by heat.  Should this happen, affected vehicles would most likely enter a fail-safe driving mode, leading to a reduction in power.  The vehicles can still be driven, but only for short distances.

Owners of the affected models will be notified by mail in mid-July.  They will then be notified again when the necessary replacement parts become available.  Toyota is currently working on acquiring an adequate number of parts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


SUVs Statistically Safer than Ever, According to IIHS

Comstock/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that SUVs are now statistically safer than they were in the past and released their list of the safest -- and most dangerous -- SUVs on the market Thursday.

The Institute's research demonstrates that driver death rates have dropped due largely to the widespread availability of electronic stability control systems (ESC), which reduce vehicle rollover rates.

"The rollover risk in SUVs used to outweigh their size/weight advantage, but that's no longer the case, thanks to ESC," Anne McCartt, the Institute's senior vice president for research, said in a statement released Thursday.

The overall driver death rate for 2005-08 models during 2006-09 was 48 per million registered vehicle years.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a nonprofit organization that strives to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage due to crashes, according to their website. They take human factors, vehicle factors and environmental factors into account as they study ways to make our nation's roads safer.

Check the lists of 15 safest and 15 most dangerous vehicles below to see where your car falls:

15 safest models on the road, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

  • Audi A6 4-door 4WD
  • Mercedes E-Class 4-door 4WD
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Ford Edge
  • Nissan Armada
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • Land Rover LR3
  • Honda CR-V
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Acura MDX
  • Mercedes E-Class 4-door
  • Lexus RX 400h
  • Lexus GX 470
  • Mercedes M-Class
  • Saab 9-3 4-door

15 models with highest rates of driver death, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

  • Nissan 350Z 2-door
  • Nissan Titan crew cab
  • Chevrolet Aveo
  • Chevrolet Cobalt
  • Nissan Titan extended cab
  • Kia Spectra
  • Chevrolet Malibu Classic
  • Hyundai Tiburon
  • Nissan Versa
  • Chevrolet Colorado extended cab
  • Nissan Titan crew cab
  • Kia Rio
  • Kia Spectra
  • Mazda Miata MX-5
  • Subaru Legacy

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio