My Car Quest

November 14, 2019

Editorial: Shame On Jeep For Promoting Reckless Driving

by Wallace Wyss –

OK call me a fuddy-duddy. I am referring to the new Jeep commercial for their Gladiator four door pickup truck.

They show it driving over sand dunes, down dirt roads, through streams in a hell-for-leather manner. No these are not scenes from a Baja 1000 race, with professional drivers with safety equipment. These images are meant to depict regular consumers having fun with their Jeep.

Jeep Gladiator

Jeep® Gladiator sixty-second commercial, “Seats,” launches across national television on Thursday, September 5, 2019.

Only trouble is, what sticks in my craw, is that they are running the Gladiator without the doors. All four of them.

Excuse me, but when was it legal to run a car without doors? Wasn’t there a law about side door guard beams? Automakers were punished if they didn’t have them?

And now Jeep is apparently saying “It’s OK to take the doors off.” So the drivers and their families can have that more one-with nature feeling. (And you will find nature when you go through a puddle and a wave of water washes in on you, that’s what happens when you don’t have doors. Duh)

According to Jeep’s press release “The 60-second spot speaks to the ‘restless,’ those who can hardly sit still, who need to move, roar and ride.”

“As the name evokes, our all-new Jeep Gladiator is meant for action, to conquer,” said Marissa Hunter, Head of Marketing, FCA North America. “Whether you choose to go open-air, doors-off, through rock, sand, snow or the urban jungle, Jeep Gladiator’s rugged utility and functionality is not meant for those in the spectator seats. Gladiator is 100% Jeep 4×4 and 100% truck. A game-changer that embodies the truest spirit of freedom – something only found in a Jeep vehicle.”

Jeep Gladiator

I would compare their attitude to a gun commercial for an AR-15, showing a family driving around firing semi-automatically at any available target—street lamps, Halloween pumpkins, you name it. Sure that gun can be used irresponsibly that way but at least there’s no commercials promoting it.

In fact the marketing of 4 WD vehicles in general in America is full of promises that, if you buy this vehicle, you will discover beaches or mountain roads or desert terrain inaccessible to the poor schlubs in two wheel drive vehicles. Well, I’ve driven to spots like Lake Arrowhead and couldn’t find any pathway to off-road that wasn’t blocked by formidable fences. Turns out residents in these vacation areas don’t like 4 WD vehicles roaring hell-for-leather through their area.

So I’m asking for the NHTSA to investigate these commercials, if Jeep should have their knuckles rapped with a steel edge ruler for showing Jeeps being used irresponsibly. There haven’t been that many deliveries of this new model (which, fully loaded, cost $50,000) but I predict when several thousand get out there we are going to start hearing about people falling out and getting run over, passengers whose lives would have been saved if only there had been a door.

A door! Wow, what a great invention….

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

 
 
 
 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is co-host of Autotalk, broadcast weekly on KUCR FM 88.3 Riverside CA.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Summary
Editorial: Shame On Jeep For Promoting Reckless Driving
Article Name
Editorial: Shame On Jeep For Promoting Reckless Driving
Description
In fact the marketing of 4 WD vehicles in general in America is full of promises that, if you buy this vehicle, you will discover beaches or mountain roads or desert terrain inaccessible to the poor schlubs in two wheel drive vehicles. But without doors?
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Comments

  1. Anthony Olissoff says

    Ahhhhhh, the great outdoors, discovered by urban gladiators clad in Timberlands boots and Barbour jackets, carrying cooler bins full of craft beer and pre-cut steaks, to be cooked on a fold up gas bbq.
    What is the one word to describe them???
    Please reply with your choice of descriptor.
    Mine is “Muppets”

  2. Where have you been jeep doors have been removable since the invention of the vehicle. You clearly are forgetting the purpose of the jeep. It is not a sports car it is a utility vehicle, granted it has grown over the year to make it safer and more capable but did you forget the roof come off as well. Definitely you are being a fuddy-duddy there is enough fun police in the world. Like you never exceed the speed limit in an antique sports car that is a death trap compare to a modern jeep. Please.

  3. Byron LaMotte says

    I agree totally. I cringe when I see these young Jeep operators riding around with no doors. Can’t imagine this doesn’t warrant a ticket from the cops?

  4. Byron LaMotte says

    I’m probably a fuddy-duddy too. Probably when I was young I might have thought this was cool. But totally unsafe, especially when such important door beams have been integrated into doors.

  5. Besides the risk to themselves they are chewing up fragile environments —deserts take a very long time to recover-
    we can’t call on Brazil to save their rainforests while we chew up our deserts with carbon producing vehicles in the
    search of selfies. Lennox McNeely

  6. I have to slow to nearly a crawl when I approach a parking lot in town — the Corvette has an air dam under the front grille, that makes the car more efficient. It is a rubber like material, but it annoys me to hear it scrape. A few months ago I saw some kind of mighty SUV, maybe a Jeep. Lifted. 4X, the works. It slowed to nearly a crawl to negotiate the same lot.

  7. imwithstoopid says

    Sorry. perhaps not, but, I have been offended since the introduction of those off-road Quads were introduced. It is not right that these “rugged” individuals are allowed to destroy what’s left of our forested preserves and their accompanying serenity with impunity.

    The introduction of the “off-road” variety has really gone past the need of those who actually “need” that capability, but who am I to complain? I’m a boring old guy without a need for this kind of fun anymore as I had mine 40 years ago, different kinds of vehicles but outlandish joy in my own estimation and way.
    Don’t get hurt, and don’t hurt anything or persons while having your fun, perhaps life is short but at least it was fun.

  8. Richard Bartholomew says

    Wally wants to be transported in a magic bubble and the older he gets the more things he is afraid of. Commercials about off-roading Jeeps that have removable doors just might keep new generations interested in vehicles that they can actually pilot. and the passengers can look at things other than their phones.

  9. Let stop taking away more freedoms because we know how you should live. America was built on Rugged individualism. If someone chooses to enjoy this wonderful world, we have in the way they choose, then who are we to judge. If we loose more people interested in the car world we will only have old men that store a car in a garage that will never see the light of day. Stop worrying and enjoy what life has to offer whether it is safe of not.

  10. SKIP HINOJOS says

    WHAT ABOUT ALL CAR ADS, EVEN CADILLAC PUSHING PERFORMANCE ON THE IN-TOWN STREETS AS WELL AS THE OPEN HIGHWAYS. I LOVE CARS. BUT WHY DO ANY CARS NEED MORE THAN 300HP FOR THE CITY STREETS AND HIGHWAYS? DON’T WE GET ENOUGH PEOPLE KILLED ON MOSTLY STUPID DRIVING THAT WE NEED TO PUT ANYWHERE TO 1,500 HP, IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, WHO NEVER WENT TO A DRIVING SCHOOL AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE, PERIOD. THEN YOU MIX THAT WITH SOME TESTOSTERONE, DRUGS, ALCOHOL, AND A WHOLE BUNCH OF STUPID. WHY ?

  11. Well Wallace,

    You have opened another can of worms.

    But it is an interesting subject although there was one comment that was not made public by me and that reader insisted on canceling his free email to My Car Quest so I helped him do so. He was quite irritated.

    There are differences of opinion and that is OK we shouldn’t all think alike on all subjects but we should respect other people and their right to a different opinion.

    One thought I had is about the potential liability caused by Jeep promoting their product to be used in a way that could cause the user harm. Yes, the USA is the home of the rugged individual who can do what he or she pleases.

    However, the USA is also the home of many lawyers and when a person is injured, or killed, there will be plenty of lawyers who will help the victim, or survivors, sue Jeep for negligence and collect a big fee. I did not see this commercial but I suspect there is plenty of disclaimer language that will help Jeep avoid this problem.

  12. Wayne Watkins says

    In Australia last year there was an almost new Jeep lemon on Ebay , that the frustrated owner had given up on the dealer ever repairing it mechanically to be reliable . The winner of this auction was to supply the vehicle to a public execution where a wrecking ball was to be supplied to reduce it to a heap of scrap metal . Jeeps advertising campaign here screams ” So you bought a Jeep “and the ‘happy ‘owner stating ” I bought a Jeep ” People’s reactions were “Are you on drugs ? ” My local dealer of GM , Hyundai Kia and others has recently ditched selling Jeeps , because of never ending warranty problems , and most of these have doors !

  13. wallace wyss says

    I suspect insurance companies as we speak are adding a clause that voids the policy if the owners drive without the doors.I think the zeal to run without doors is similar to those mountain climbers who eschew ropes, pitons (or whatever that gear is) and want to show they climb naturally. Very daring and exciting. Until they fall….

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