GM has stopped putting federal rollover warning labels on midsize sport-utility vehicles that it has just launched, according to USA Today. The newspaper reports that the step has been taken to make GM's SUVs 'seem safer and sell faster'. GM argues that its 2002 model SUVs are long enough to escape the warning requirement. On the letter of the law that is true, but GM's policy departs from the line that other makers are adopting.

The rollover warning label regulation, enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), says that labels aren't required on SUVs with wheelbases over 110 inches or SUVs based on car platforms, or chassis. The 2002 GM SUVs - Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Oldsmobile Bravada - have 113-inch wheelbases, 6 inches longer than their predecessors. Several other makers are acting cautiously and continuing to put labels on SUVs even where they don't have to. For example, Ford will continue putting the stickers on the redesigned 2002 Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer. They have 113.7-inch wheelbases.

The USA Today report adds that: 'GM salespeople are being encouraged to point out that their SUVs don't need stickers - implying that they are safer than SUVs that display the stickers.' If true, that could irk GM's competitors a tad.


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