Independent Media Centre Ireland

SUV owners burn their own expensive vehicles

category international | environment | other press author Tuesday June 13, 2006 19:18author by Terence

Due to rapid rise in cost of fuel

Its been reported that SUV owners in California appear to be burning their SUVs in those cases where the vehicle is already relatively old and where they owe more on them than what they are worth. It is presumed that the price of 2nd hand SUVs has fallen as fuel costs have gone up.

SUV on fire
SUV on fire

It appears that a trend was noted in the number of arsons of SUV vehicles and the report says that the combination of high fuel costs and owner burden with large debt is the cause of the problem.

It just goes to show that SUV owners aren't satisifed with burning extra fuel and adding to the CO-2 problem, but they are adding a pollution burden on their local environments from the burnout cars.

Here's some quotes from the report:

"Because of the way the economy has gone, the gas prices skyrocketing the way they have, we started to see a peak" (in arsons), Rowe said. "People that had the gas-guzzlers that got eight miles per gallon, they started to get hit hard. They didn't want those cars anymore."

Faced with rising gas prices, people who are trapped in a high-payment lease have no easy way to escape without a stiff penalty.

"People will lease a car for 84 months with zero down and they have some outrageous payment," said Rowe. "They start to realize they are living beyond their means."

The responsible solution would be to advertise the car for sale, pay off the loan and switch to a more affordable ride (even leased cars can be bought and then sold to get out of high payments). The irresponsible solution some people choose is to burn the vehicle and let the insurance company pay what is owed.

A former firefighter from nearby Lynwood, California, said, "We used to get called out on vehicle fires and when we got there we would find a brand-new car was burning. Some of them were stolen but we knew that most of them were people trying to get out from under their car note. It seemed like it happened just about every night."

Jennifer Mieth, manager of fire data and public education at the Massachusetts State Fire Marshall's Office, said car fires are "cyclical." She added, "When times are good, fires are down. When they are bad they go up."

Full report can be found at URL below

Related Link:

Comments (9 of 9)

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author by Kiddopublication date Tue Jun 13, 2006 22:57

One would have to ask why on earth they were put on the road in the first place. At least the europeans use less petrol guzzling cars.

author by number 6 - legalize freedom campaignpublication date Tue Jun 27, 2006 18:32

I wonder if the E.R.U. in Ireland [emergency response unit ] will do the same.


Will they riddle them in back with automatic weapons to render them unuasable....and then ask the Local Council to dig up the Road to hide the evidence of the strayed rounds of ammunition?

author by A10publication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 00:20

I would burn my SUV if I had to live in that Fascist state that pretends to be liberal.The only liberal thing in that place are the laws pretaining to same sex rights.More likely what is setting the cars on fire are all the extra crap smog emission equipment that Kalifornia eco politicans insist are installed into cars sold there.
All that junk has dubious co2 emission reduction,reduces the engine power and has been proven to have caused at least two forest fires in the US.Why would you bother burning it?All you have to do is return it to the dealer and cancel the HP agreement.Setting it on fire and getting caught would get you a felony rap for arson and insurance fraud.
Sounds like an ELF story.

author by hedgehogpublication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 00:57

Enviromentalist 21 year old jeff leurs received a sentence of 22 years for setting fire to 3 SUV'S

the local axe murderer and other assorted real criminals were somewhat more leniently treated

So leave those precious SUV'S alone. If the law is anything to go by, It seems they matter more than people and the environment these days

Do Send jeff an email (via the support group) if you have a few minutes! He seems like a nice kid who got royally shafted

author by A10publication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 01:05

about protecting the enviroment by setting three SUVS alight
.Think of all the toxins they released when they were on fire.
Anyone that dumb deserves 22 years for enviromental damage or being so blatantly stupid.

author by hedgehogpublication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 04:05

He's just a poor kid being coldly fucked over by your Govt to send a activists who dare to attack property.
And we all know that the real unspoken threat in imprisonment is what the other prisoners will do to you. Imagine how this experience will damage this kid. Is that fair punishment for moderately damaging some well insured cars?

the trucks were fixed up and resold. so damage was only moderate

probably less emissions from burning an SUV than the total emissions from an SUV over a normal vehicle lifetime.

care to burn your shitty,brainless, US republican fascist military shill perk SUV, measure the toxic gas emissions empirically, then get back to me to prove me in error?

oops, sorry, too many adjectives crept in there

(might have something to do with reading your other posts A10.. )

author by A10publication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 14:12

He is a common little criminal scum that got what was coming to him.
And he was so fuckwitted not to be able to do the job properly,no one is going to buy a damaged vechicle in the US either,not worth the effort to rebuild it.How do you know they were well insured ?That is another crime,morons like that damage vechicles,that drives up the premimiums for everyone else.
He had ever other possibility to protest in the US,ever hear of freedom of speech.Whoops sorry Ireland doesnt have that inalieable right.!!!

Oh you are worried he is going to make some Bubba a nice bitch???Good enough for him,hope he is gang banged in the showers every other day.I feel no sympathy ,none whatsover with law breakers especially of the holier than thou earth or animal rights shower.

Nah,I'd rather use my massive gas guzzler over some ELF and ALF morons,prefably spinning my tyres on your greasy bodies ROTFLAMO.
Please do come and burn it,it is 20 years old,Ill collect a nice fat insurance cheque,and guess what??I'll buy a BIGGER more gas guzzling SUV to piss off the eco terrorists even more!!!
And for the rest of your rant,I cant even answer that.

author by beLIEver?publication date Sat Jul 08, 2006 20:12

who are the real eco terrorists though?

those causing such damage to it, or those fighting in defence of it?

The ALF and ELF are not terrorists,
terrorists kill- the ALF save lives.

"terrorist" is a term thrown around far too freely these days,I for one support people like Jeff, Peter Young( and others who stand in the way of abuse to Mother Earth.

no compromise in the defence of the planet,when the real terror stops, I'm sure they will to :)

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author by BabyKpublication date Sat Jul 08, 2006 21:07

On the subject of car use in general - I am lucky to live within 4 km of the city centre and each day I cycle to and from work there. Its amazing, watching all those people stuck in their cars at a standstill, usually only one person to a car.

Why oh why oh why don't more people commute using bikes, especially those living relatively short distances away from their destination?

No insurance, no fuel costs, increased fitness, very importantly shorter commuting times...lots of benefits.

The disadvantages to cycling are the lack of cycle lanes, the sometimes utter disregard by motorists of cyclists and the existence of cycling lanes and when its foul weather.

I read somewhere that Ireland is the only European country where SUV's are still being sold at the same rate as before the increase in fuel costs. I also read that we are the most car-dependent society in Europe and its perfectly obvious that our transport system is very poor, perhaps exacerbating the problem of high car use and gridlock.

Why doesn't our government, especially now that fuel prices are set to rise and rise, put in place measures to encourage people to use bikes more? How about tax breaks at the standard rate on buying a bike, repairing it etc. Not to mention increasing the amount of and improving existing bike lanes.

All commuters would be much happier...

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