Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "SUVs" ...

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Investigation

    Currently, there are “three million Jeep Grand Cherokees on the road today”. Furthermore, they have been involved in “hundreds of fatal fire accidents in the past 11 years”. The investigation revealed a flaw in the vehicle; the fuel tank is located in the rear of the vehicle. This flaw is the main cause of these fatal deaths. After these accidents had occurred, the automaker has relocated the gas tank in a more secure location and since then zero accidents have occurred.
  • Department thrifty despite salary growth

    "The impetus for the project was Florida's budget crisis. Governments are cutting services like libraries and street sweeping to help balance the state's budget. But between 2001 and 2006, governments were overloaded with money, and we wanted to see what they spent it on. Sheriff's Offices seemed like a logical case study. Some offices were judicious in their spending; others, such as the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, bought souped-up SUVs for high ranking officers."
  • The Ethanol Myth

    Although the Bush administration has been stressing the push for ethanol to replace gasoline, economically it isn't ideal. After numerous tests, Consumer Reports found that a person will get 27 percent lower fuel economy by using E85 as an alternative to gasoline. Drivers will pay more on a per-mile basis, and the fuel-flex vehicles are typically large vehicles, like SUVs, so drivers will have to pay more at the pump regardless of their fuel type.
  • Recalled Trucks Burn as Ford Fiddles

    In recent years, Ford Trucks have been the target of a massive recall. Yet some of the models - including some not on the recall list - continue to catch fire and burn. Consumer Affairs first started examining fires in Ford trucks and SUVs in 2003, "citing instance after instance of trucks spontaneously bursting into flame, often while parked and unattended." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered a recall of an estimated 3.8 million Ford trucks from the 1994-2002 models, but the recall moved slowly as Ford cited delays in getting replacement parts. And as trucks continued to catch fire, so did consumer complaints, which were "stonewalled" by Ford. In addition, some people's 2003 models were prone to fire, but when their trucks burst into flame and were ruined, they were informed that there is no recall protocol for 2003 models.
  • Free ride: While schools suffer, hundreds get free city cars and fill-ups

    In this ongoing series that exposes mismanagement, incompetence and corruption inside Yonkers City Hall, the newspaper examined the city's car-lease program for employees, questionable ethics among officials, and a handshake deal for garbage service that allowed businesses to pay their bills in cash. The investigation found the city spent more than $820,000 on 54 car leases -- far more than similarly sized cities -- including leases for SUVs and other expensive cars. Council members were awarded lucrative contracts while in office, and they had failed to file financial disclosure forms for five years as required by law. The garbage deal defied a city code and cost taxpayers $175,000 annually.
  • Danger overhead: Crushed roofs

    This investigation found that Detroit's Big Three automakers have fought costly upgrades to a 33-year-old roof strength standard despite the estimated 7,000 people killed each year in rollovers in which the roof was crushed. Automotive engineers are aware that strong roofs save lives, and the company's own European operations build and test stronger roofs, yet the Big Three continue to fight attempts to require stronger minimum standards in the United States.
  • Scandal Scars County

    This story began by asking why county officials were taking personal trips in county-owned SUVs. That investigation opened a can of worms and found a lot of abuse within the county government. Eventually, the story resulted in several high-ranking leaders resigning from county government.
  • SUVs and Guardrails

    The investigative reporters at WTAE-TV discover that there is a greater risk of accidents with usage of guardrails on major interstates and roads, especially for light trucks and sport utility vehicles. The reporter discovered that, during an eight year span, there were 82 fatal accidents with SUVs and guardrails in Pennsylvania. There has been little effort to fix this problem because of a state Supreme Court ruling which determined that the state could not be sued for unsafe guardrails.
  • Sticky Subject. Industry finds devil in the details of plan for border SUV labels. New warnings highlighting risk of rollovers inspire exercise in deconstruction. The fate of the dangling man.

    This article talks about SUV rollovers, and the increasing number of rollovers that are happening. The federal government is considering requiring SUV manufacturers to place labels on the vehicles which warn of the "high risk of rollover."
  • Trucks, Darlings of Drivers, Are Favored by the Law, Too

    The Times reports on the enormous success of Chrysler's new SUV, Dodge Durango, and other light trucks. Auto dealers are happy to sell more; the consumers are happy to buy more. But what is the price of the deal? "If the Durango and most other sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and mini-vans were classified as cars, they would violate federal standards for pollution and gasoline consumption aimed at protecting the environment and conserving energy." The story finds that light trucks enjoy lower standards thanks to the combined lobbying muscle of dealers and manufacturers.