Earlier this week, the L.A. Times ran a fake front page — chock full of stories intended to sell NBC’s new L.A.-based Law & Order franchise — and guess what? Readers of the paper weren’t exactly pleased with the bit of crass badvertising. [More]
Part 2 in a LA Times investigation into U-Haul’s business practices and safety record isn’t any less bleak than part 1. The LA Times investigation has uncovered that U-Haul fails to properly maintain their aging fleet of vehicles while mechanics “hang paper” (forge safety inspections and repairs) to keep the trucks and the money rolling.
During a yearlong investigation, Times journalists surveyed more than 200 U-Haul trucks and trailers in California and other states and found that more than half were overdue for a company-mandated “safety certification,” a check of brakes, tires and other parts typically required every 30 days.
U-Haul knowingly rents unsafe tow trailers that have the potential to kill customers. A yearlong investigation by the L.A. Times found that U-Haul’s practices unnecessarily expose customers to the dangers of trailer sway.
Traveling downhill or shaken by a sharp turn or a gust of wind, a trailer can begin swinging so violently that only the most experienced — or fortunate — drivers can regain control and avoid catastrophe.
Trailers can sway when towed by vehicles lighter than the trailer. U-Haul regulations allows trailers to outweigh the tow-vehicle by up to 25%, openly flouting guidelines set by automakers. For instance, U-Haul allows a 2007 Crown Victoria to haul 4,400 pounds, even though Ford suggests that the 4,100 pound vehicle tow no more than 1,500 pounds. “Two U-Haul competitors, Penske and Budget only rent trailers to customers renting trucks heavier than the trailers. Safety is the reason.”
The Van Eses are using Seattle-based Redfin, one of several new brokerage services that hope to revolutionize home buying by rebating part of their commissions back to buyers. The challenge is aimed at traditional firms that charge full commissions, which often total tens of thousands of dollars in today’s high-priced Southland market.
s lap dog federal agencies help industries gain shielding from consumer and state lawsuits. Among the erosions: