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SUV Owners of America Statement in Response to ELF's Torching of Dealership in Southern CA

The Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a militant environmental group, destroyed several SUVs and a California car dealership with an early morning arson fire. This attack adds to the growing list of eco-terrorist acts and harassment committed against SUVs and their owners.
Press Release Source: Sport Utility Vehicle Owners of America

SUV Owners of America Statement in Response to Earth Liberation Front's (ELF) Torching of SUVs, Dealership in Southern California
Friday August 22, 4:16 pm ET

Statement Attributable to Jason Vines, SUVOA President

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 / -- The Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a militant environmental group, destroyed several SUVs and a California car dealership with an early morning arson fire. This attack adds to the growing list of eco-terrorist acts and harassment committed against SUVs and their owners.

All told, the vandalism will not make any company think twice about producing more SUVs and other light trucks, nor will it shake the tremendous consumer confidence in the vehicles. Instead, the blaze destroyed the property of a small business owner, and put the lives of innocent civil servants in harm's way.

This assault is precisely the reason SUVOA is demanding other anti-SUV extremists to cease and desist their activities. With their misguided efforts and often times fact-challenged statements, people like Arianna Huffington of the Detroit Project, Rev. Jim Ball of the Evangelical Environmental Network and Robert Kennedy Jr., of the Natural Resources Defense Council, are doing nothing more than encouraging the dangerous and criminal antics of out-of- control zealots, like the Earth Liberation Front. While we believe these groups do not condone such activity, those who have generated the greatest amount of media coverage are creating an atmosphere where it is open season on SUV owners and their vehicles. It must stop.

SUVOA was formed to give voice to the 24 million SUV owners whose rights are being trampled by special interest and activist groups, as well as to provide consumers with practical information about their SUVs. Founded in 1999, the group actively defends the rights of SUV owners and rebuts false charges regarding the safety and environmental record of SUVs. For more information, visit  http://www.suvoa.com

address: address: Sport Utility Vehicle Owners of America

Trampled? 22.Aug.2003 23:07

fuck you

the rights of SUV owners are being "trampled?"

SUV's make up almost half of vehicles sold. The only thing being trampled is the ecological integrity of this planet.

Check out their website 22.Aug.2003 23:19

hybrid owner

For a chuckle, check out their website and petition. I was going to suggest that we should send them tons of e-mail, as most organizations have a "contact us" link....however, the SUVOA doesn't seem to accept feedback. Hmmmm....

checked out the website 22.Aug.2003 23:33

and still laughing

It's so funny to watch them seize on one fact, isolate it from context, and shove it down people's throats as illustrating that SUV's are safe. So here are there "safety facts":

* Federal government and insurance industry safety data show SUVs are considerably more protective of their occupants than the average passenger car in the most common types of crashes - front, side and rear, which make up 97 percent of all crashes. (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - NHTSA - 2002 FARS database.)

This is the crux of the "SUV's are safe" myth. SUV's do have a lower fatality rate but only for those in the SUV. That lowered fatality rate comes at as a direct consequence of the fatality rate of the other car. The combined fatality rate is actually higher in crashes with SUV's, which means if you replaced all SUV's with non-SUV's there would be an immediate reduction in traffic fatalities. And the lower fatality rate is also only true when in vehicle crashes. SUV's offer increased fatality rates in collisions with other (stationary) objects.

* SUVs do have a higher center of gravity and therefore can roll over more easily. However, rollover crashes are relatively rare when compared to all other types of crashes. The fact is that no one gets to pick the kind of crash they could be in, so it's best to choose a vehicle that offers the best protection in the most common situations we face in our daily driving.

Yes, rollovers are rare, partially because most cars are extremely unlikely to roll over. SUV's are many more times more likely to roll over, so while you do not get to choose the kind of crash of crash your in, by choosing to drive an SUV you are significantly increasing the chances that you will be involved in a rollover. Or, from their own source: "Single-vehicle rollover crashes accounted for 47 percent of driver deaths in SUVs in 2001 compared with 36 percent of deaths in pickups and 20 percent of deaths in cars."

* The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) November 2002 report on fatality rates showed the following occupant fatalities per million registered passenger vehicles, 1 to 3 years old, in all crashes: All Cars 124 All SUVs 115 (8 percent fewer than cars). According to IIHS, driver deaths per million registered passenger vehicles, 1 to 3 years old, in all crashes, show SUVs as a whole fare much better than cars as a whole, while the large SUVs are the safest of all vehicles: Small Cars 109 Midsize Cars 77 Large Cars 63 All Cars 83 All SUVs 65
Large SUVs 61

All I can say is that for this one click on their source. For some reason they neglected to mention this: "Pickups and SUVs are proportionally more likely than cars to be in fatal single-vehicle crashes, especially rollovers." And again, the lower fatality rate in SUV's comes at the expense of the fatality rate of the other car. On the whole, SUV's have made roads more dangerous, even if their drivers and occupants are less likely to suffer fatalities (and more likely to suffer injuries given the high accident rate for SUV's).

Anyway, this is a great example of classic statistics deception. All the more reason people should understand statistics and research methodology. What was great in this case is that they did provided a link to their source material, which was incredibly convenient.

Lying Media Bastards 22.Aug.2003 23:39


Bullshit at the Grassroots
Counterspin Central does a little digging about the suspicious-sounding Sport Utility Vehicle Owners of America organization. The SUVOA has started an ad campaign to counter a slew of anti-SUV messages that have spread throughout the nation.
It should take you all of about 4 seconds to deduce that this is a corporate-sponsored front group that gives the illusion of popular support to a corporate-friendly position.
Took me a couple of minutes, but after googling the SUVOA's mailing address, I found the info I was looking for. The SUVOA office was shared by several other front-group-sounding orgs: the American Highway Users Alliance, the Heartland Institute, the Global Environmental Management Initiative, and completely coincidently, PR firm Stratacomm Inc..
And if we had any lingering doubts, we could look at the list of Stratacomm's client list:


American Automobile Manufacturers Association

Ford Motor Company

Rollover stats mislead 23.Aug.2003 01:16


The overal death/paralyis rate for SUV drivers is actually slightly higher than for cars. They have a 3-4 times higher rollover rate than cars which increases with the greater the payload in the SUV which is why you hear of so many SUVs loaded with people rolling on the freeways. The SUVs are also worse in single vehicle collisions like hitting a tree or bridge abutment because they are built on truck frames which have no shock absorbing crumple zone like car hoods do. Their roofs also crush much easier in rollovers.
SUVs are also much more likely to roll after a collision as well. Side impacts of SUVs from even a very small car is enough to roll a large SUV which has caused many fatalities. Rollover law is the newest fastest- growing specialty of law. Just google it and see what I mean-here's one

yup 23.Aug.2003 04:10

not important

The sad thing is that the original use for these vehicles- remote work in extreme environments usually for purposes of science or public safety, was a good one. Firefighters used them, biologists used them, hippie canoe freaks like me used them. The firefighters never drove them very far, the biologists parked them near research stations for weeks on end and us canoe freaks often forgot which river head we left them at. There was little problems.

Then some idiot suburbanite moms decided station wagons were not sexy enough for them, and had to start driving absurdly big 4WD vehicles on pavement (4WD is darn handy in the mud, but just a gas-wasting expensive frivolity in the city). Now the damn things are clogging the streets, smashing into responsible bike riders and choking our air, and the suburbanites keep asking the car companies for BIGGER ones. What once was a handy jeep wrangler with a 4-cyl engine is now a Chevy Subdavision that seats 23 people, has a TV, 2 air conditioners and is undrivable by the best of vehicle operators (and these soccer moms are NOT the best).

Look, if you have to haul clients of kids around, a minivan will work just fine. They are safer, get at least twice as good gas milage and have less of a tendency to be so hard to drive that you are a threat to everyone on the road. Better yet, move to the city, take public transit and give up on the family car.

Not For Suburbanite Soccer Moms Only! 23.Aug.2003 05:14

Ummah Goldman

No comment on the African-American fashion of red or white SUV's, with huge boom boxes, huh?
Come, let's see some multi-culturism here!

frightening privacy policy 23.Aug.2003 11:02


What frightens me is their privacy policy. It stinks of high-end corporate lawyers.

Actually, it's more of an anti-privacy policy, Sweepstakes??:

The Personal Information provided to us may be transferred,
disclosed, or shared with third parties to fulfill a request for our
products, programs, or services and to those who may be engaged by us
specifically to handle and deliver certain activities (e.g., sweepstakes)
and perform other technical and processing functions, such as sending
e-mail, fulfilling orders, or otherwise operating our sites. They have
access to Personal Information needed to perform their functions, but
may not use it for other purposes.


img 23.Aug.2003 13:54



Jason Vines 23.Aug.2003 15:40


Jason Vines, the SUVOA "president" used to be a Vice President of Public Relations at Ford Motor company (manufacturer of the HumVee?). He has gone onto greater nefariousness at a company specializing in "strategic communications counseling"-- which you can just imagine the value of.

He also worked for Andrew Card (see any odd connections)? "In 1993, Vines served as an "on loan" chief communications counselor to Andrew Card, then-president of the American Automobile Manufacturers' Association (AAMA) in Washington, D.C. AAMA was the trade association of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. During his tenure, he focused primarily on the image building of the auto industry, emissions policy, U.S.-Japan trade relations and NAFTA. "

I even wonder whether Earth Liberation really did this-- or if it was an FBI job?

Use SUV's Sparingly, Please 23.Aug.2003 18:08

Ruthless Dictator

Well, I own a full-size van with the same engine as the Hummer H1 (except for the turbocharger) so I can't complain about SUV's too much. However, the only time I ever drive it is to haul big stuff, getting around during bad weather/winter conditions, or when my little 4cyl Geo is being repaired. I ride my bicycle to work and for errands as much as possible.

Come on, SUV owners, stop driving them around for every damned little thing like going two miles to the video store or dropping off your kid at the soccer game. I believe the vast majority of SUV owners are multi-vehicle owners, so if you need to tow your boat or pick up furniture or other bulky items, then by all means use your SUV. Otherwise, leave the goddamned thing in the driveway! Conserve fuel (duh)!!!!!!!

Wasn't me! 25.Aug.2003 07:16

Free and Critter

We didn't do it. We don't know who did it. And if you think we do well, "the truth is out there".

IDIOTS 25.Aug.2003 07:56


What about POLICE interceptors or Crown Victorias or cadilacs? THey are just as bad as SUV in fuel consumption. The best way to get back at those that destroy the environment a is to make them pay for it. When I lived in the UK i was paying $6 a gallon. This was a governmental action to stop pollution. It has worked. Not only do people drive smaller cars there they don't drive a block to the post office. However, with this in place the government also gave grants to public transportation companies to get people around.

Remember: It is not only the SUVs. It is also Mustangs and Corvettes and any car with an engine that powers the american ego for acceleration.

Take the bus you losers! 28.Aug.2003 13:49

Ralph Kramden

This is the land of the FREE you fucking Bolsheviks!! I'll drive whatever vehicle I want to drive, whether it's a horse and buggy, or an Urban Assault Vehicle. Who are you to tell me I'm "destroying the ecology" or "supporting terrorism" , etc., etc., because of the vehicle I CHOOSE (and can AFFORD) to drive?

This nation is built on INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, not collective, and I belong to the smallest minority there is: THE INDIVIDUAL!! I'LL CHOOSE what's best for ME and MINE, not assholes like your ilk.

What is this, the Soviet Union?

Jackoffs and commies 05.Sep.2003 13:43


Yeah, this is the soviet union...haven't you people grown tired of that piss poor analogy?
I agree with the fact that everyone should be allowed to drive what they like, they should have to pay for it as well, dearly that is..
The cost of gasoline for too long has been based on the price to get it our of the ground and ship it to our pumps-never on the fact that it is a finite resource.
I'm all for independence and freedom, but not when my neighbors choice of an 8mpg Suburban to tote her fat ass to the store chokes my air and crowds my roadways..

Ride a motorcycle! I get 50mpg and can weave through traffic!(ps please don't be one of those jerk-offs that get pissed when bikes split lanes-take a trip to Europe and see how effective it is)