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Just heard on NPR this morning, U-Haul will be refusing to rent/lease equipment that will be attached to Ford Explorers. The reason given was to avoid potential lawsuits in light of all the other lawsuits going on with Ford and Explorer safety in general.

They didn't make a distinction between the "old" and the "new" Explorers, though. I'm guessing you're definitely out of luck if you wanted to rent a U-Haul trailer and had a pre-2001 model.


Duck
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I went out to pick up the paper and saw it on the front page:

http://www.detnews.com/2004/autosinsider/0401/08/a01-30422.htm

U-Haul International Inc. is forbidding its stores to rent trailers to customers who plan to tow with the Ford Explorer, saying it no longer can afford to defend product liability lawsuits linked to the best-selling SUV.
...
U-Haul — North America's largest trailer rental company with more than 17,000 outlets — implemented the policy Dec. 22, saying the ban was not related to safety.

“U-Haul has chosen not to rent behind this tow vehicle based on our history of excessive costs in defending lawsuits involving Ford Explorer towing combinations,” the company told The Detroit News.



Hey, IF, you're not planning on renting a U-Haul trailer any time soon, are ya?


Duck
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Oh brother - what a load of garbage. DW and I packed up several of the largest U-Haul trailers during our moving days, towed them all behind my MIL's aged Explorer, and never had a lick of trouble. In fact, I was really impressed that it did so well with all the extra weight. They must have some pretty compelling insurance numbers to justify this new policy tho' (or at least one would hope...)

SP
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Hey, IF, you're not planning on renting a U-Haul trailer any time soon, are ya?

No, I'm not but it's good to know if I had to. The article you linked says it includes all model years. It's kind of weird U-Haul implemented the ban on new Explorers since it is more stable and doesn't have the tire problems of the older design. U-Haul also didn't put the ban on Mercury Mountaineers even though they're mechanically the same vehicle. I'm not sure we're heard the whole story yet.

IF

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It's kind of weird U-Haul implemented the ban on new Explorers since it is more stable and doesn't have the tire problems of the older design. U-Haul also didn't put the ban on Mercury Mountaineers even though they're mechanically the same vehicle.

Or Lincoln Aviators as well. I was surprised, too, but then I realized that this "analysis" and "decision" was probably done simply by statisticians and actuaries, not car people. To them, a Mountaineer is a different vehicle than an Explorer. They may have also done the same regarding model year, lumping them all together, not taking into account the redesigned models.


Duck
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Or Lincoln Aviators as well. I was surprised, too, but then I realized that this "analysis" and "decision" was probably done simply by statisticians and actuaries, not car people. To them, a Mountaineer is a different vehicle than an Explorer. They may have also done the same regarding model year, lumping them all together, not taking into account the redesigned models.

My quick opinion is that the decision is due to lawyers, not statisticians and actuaries. I would not be surprised to find out that U-Haul made this decision to force Ford to settle remaining lawsuits that U-Haul has with Ford products.

IF
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U-haul is doing a favor to Explorer owners.

Q: How can you tell if someone is being screwed?

A: They are renting from U-Haul.
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U-haul is doing a favor to Explorer owners.

I don't know about their trailers but I can confirm that their box trucks are junk.

One time I was renting a small box truck to pick up a mattress. The first U-Haul truck sounded like the engine was dying 100 yards up the road from the rental place. I turned around and took it back. When I got the second truck, it started raining. Five miles up the road, I just got a bad feeling inside so I pulled over and looked in the back. There was a hole in the floor that was letting lots of water from the road to penetrate. Back to the rental store. The third truck looked junky but was able to do the job. The interstate highway driving was scary because the top speed of the truck was 65 mph.

The rental place advertised new trucks but all 3 trucks I drove looked about 20 years old and bought from a junk yard.

IF
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U-haul is doing a favor to Explorer owners.

Actually, I agree to a certain extent (I also read IF's post after this one about bad U-Haul trucks). But in many areas, they're almost like a monopoly so you almost HAVE to deal with U-Haul in one way or another.

I've had pretty good luck with their trailers and receiver hitch installations, but that's about it. I've had four of their junky trucks and have been fortunate not to have something go wrong.


Duck
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Fried said the rental ban applies to all model years, even though Explorer was redesigned in 2002 — the same year the SUV improved its NHTSA rollover rating from two stars to three, and was voted “tow vehicle of the year” by Trailer Boats magazine.

I hope Trailer Boats magazine will be able to handle all those lawsuits.
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Why not band Explorers with Firestone tires? Ford came under so much heat for these exploding tires, yet I don't see the finger being pointed to Firestone.
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U-haul is doing a favor to Explorer owners.

I don't know about their trailers but I can confirm that their box trucks are junk.

One time I was renting a small box truck to pick up a mattress. The first U-Haul truck sounded like the engine was dying 100 yards up the road from the rental place. I turned around and took it back. When I got the second truck, it started raining. Five miles up the road, I just got a bad feeling inside so I pulled over and looked in the back. There was a hole in the floor that was letting lots of water from the road to penetrate. Back to the rental store. The third truck looked junky but was able to do the job. The interstate highway driving was scary because the top speed of the truck was 65 mph.

The rental place advertised new trucks but all 3 trucks I drove looked about 20 years old and bought from a junk yard.

IF<i/>

they had some really good rackets going where we rented from:

charge customers for damage, but put a little sticker with a translucent "X" over it, rather than fixing it. Most of the damage was side scrapes of the paint, so they could charge five or more people to fix the same damage before doing anything about it. Truck we got had rust in some places from missing paint.

The gas gauge in the truck we had varied between 1/4 and overfull, depending if you were going uphill or downhill. Of course they said it was 3/4 full when I rented it and I looked down half a mile out of the place and thought I had a fuel leak. After a quick "U"-turn (pun definitely intended), I figured out what was going on. I ended up putting $8 worth of fuel in the truck, just to make sure they wouldn't charge me $2 a gallon + $20 for labor to fill it. I drove it a grand total of...

6 miles. $1.33 a mile for gas.

Speaking of top speed, the truck I rented had a top speed of about 35 mph; before I became scared of it shaking itself apart.

Of course, the reason why the trucks are so bad is people like me:

200# weight limit in Mom's Attic? We'll see about THAT! You could see the boxes tilt from inside the truck, the outside wasn't any better.
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