Newsflash to Owners: Hummer Guzzles Gas
Tue May 6, 2003 06:15 PM ET
By Michael Ellis
DETROIT (Reuters) - Hummer owners, frustrated with the vehicle's excessive fuel consumption, ranked the SUV last in a benchmark poll of vehicle quality, according to a survey released by J.D. Power and Associates on Tuesday.
In the group's annual survey of consumers during the first 90 days of ownership, General Motors Corp.'s highly profitable Hummer brand had 225 complaints per 100 vehicles. By comparison, the top-ranked Lexus, by Toyota Motor Corp., had 76 complaints per 100 vehicles.
Gary Cowger, president of GM North America, said the H2's fuel consumption was the No. 1 complaint among owners, outpacing the No. 2 gripe -- that the SUV's headlights were aimed too high -- by a 2-1 margin. GM has fixed the headlight problem, Cowger said.
At 6,400 pounds (2,903 kg), the Hummer H2 is so heavy it falls outside U.S. regulations on fuel economy. Unlike other passenger cars and trucks, GM does not have to display the gas mileage on the window sales sticker of the H2 at dealerships. Hummer estimates the military-inspired SUV gets 11 to 13 miles per gallon.
J.D. Power conducted its survey of 52,000 U.S. owners and lessees earlier this year when the price of gas spiked higher.
"There's a very close correlation between the price of gasoline at the pump and the incidence of excessive fuel consumption problems," Brian Walters, director of product research with J.D. Power, told Reuters.
Hummer's thirst for gas certainly has not hurt sales. Hummer is the only GM division that has sold vehicles this year without costly sales incentives, such as the zero percent financing offer that has swept the industry.