Isuzu Trooper: NHTSA Clears Isuzu Trooper
24 July 1997NHTSA Clears Isuzu Trooper:
WHITTIER, Calif. July 24 -- Isuzu Motors America, Inc. and American Isuzu Motors Inc. (ISUZU) today confirmed they have been advised by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of its decision to deny Consumer Union's (CU) defect petition and recall request. No further action will be taken in regards to NHTSA's defect investigation of 1995-96 Isuzu Trooper models, as petitioned by Consumers Union, December 23, 1996. "NHTSA made this decision because its own testing of the Trooper failed to show the same results alleged by CU... and more importantly... because it again judged the CU test to be unscientific," said AIMI Senior Vice President, General Manager, Terry Maloney. By denying the Petition for a Defect Investigation, NHTSA has soundly rejected Consumer Union's broad criticism of the Trooper. "The Isuzu Trooper has been vindicated. It is perhaps now the most thoroughly scrutinized and tested SUV sold in the United States. Trooper's real-world performance record has also been validated by virtue of NHTSA's recent engineering analysis and review. NHTSA's decision is a victory for Isuzu and Trooper owners and dealers everywhere," he continued. NHTSA's overall decision again calls into question the testing methodology used by Consumers Union and Consumer Reports to evaluate SUVs and other vehicle types. Its "short course" avoidance test has been soundly and repeatedly criticized by many respected automotive authorities as unscientific. "In making its announcement, NHTSA and its staff of engineering consultants have concluded that the Isuzu Trooper is a safe and thoroughly tested vehicle. It has been Isuzu's position from the outset that Consumer Union's short-course avoidance test is the real issue in this matter... not the Trooper's handling performance," Maloney added. KEY FACTS: Isuzu has submitted exhaustive engineering data and other product information to NHTSA. Drawn from these materials are the following observations... -- Isuzu had no reports of accidents before the Consumers Union press conference. Even today, eleven months later, there is not a single confirmed injury caused by a 1995-96 Trooper rolling over in the manner predicted by CU. -- The CU test method is not fair, because it is too easily influenced by drivers, allowing them to knowingly or unknowingly tip-up a vehicle. -- The Isuzu Trooper is a thoroughly tested and safe vehicle. These facts are borne out in Isuzu's response to the NHTSA. A three-part document which includes specific answers to NHTSA questions, an Engineering Analysis by Carr Engineering, Inc., an Engineering Analysis by S.E.A. Inc. and Dr. Gary Heydinger. The Isuzu response ran hundreds of pages. It was based on hundreds of hours of engineering analyses and testing. The testing was thoroughly documented using precision instruments and multiple video cameras. SOURCE Isuzu Motors America, Inc.