• U.S.

VEHICLE SAFETY: Inclined To Roll

1 minute read

Perky and lightweight, the Suzuki Samurai four-wheel-drive vehicle has become a trendy runabout in the U.S. Last week, though, Consumer Reports magazine said it will give the Samurai a rating of “not acceptable” in its July issue, the first such verdict it has rendered in a decade. The magazine’s publisher, Consumers Union, conducted emergency-handling tests in which the two latest Samurai models tended to tip over at speeds of about 40 m.p.h. when the driver made sharp turns.

The consumer group contends that the Samurai is tippy because of a fundamental design flaw: the center of gravity is too high. Thus Consumers Union is urging the Government to order Suzuki Motor to buy back all 160,000 of the Samurais (base price: about $8,500) sold in the U.S. The car’s importer, American Suzuki Motor Corp., strongly defends its product as safe.

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