Unsafe At Any Speed - Have You Read It? Lehto's Law Ep. 5.05 Steve Lehto
Published on Oct 3, 2018
Many people have opinions about Ralph Nader's bestseller, "Unsafe at Any Speed." But most of the people I hear from have never read it. And even fewer know that it's not just a hit-piece on the Corvair.
Fuel price controversy feedback (Warning: contains nuts) | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Sep 29, 2018
Lot of anger out there in Middle Shitsville over petrol prices. ‘How dare I claim fuel is cheap, yesterday?’ Easy - it’s a fact, and facts don’t give a shit what you think about them. You don’t have to like them at all; they’re still facts.
Fuel is cheap. It’s almost free when you look at it in value terms. Prices have been remarkably stable for years. Australian fuel prices are among the cheapest in the developed world and we also pay a very small amount of tax on fuel, compared to most countries we like to compare ourselves to.
Suck it up, you whining Shitsvillian arseholes.
The price of petrol is fundamentally transparent. There are no scams in play. The worst thing about our market in Shitsville is a trend to reduced competition over time, which is unhealthy for any market.
About half of the cost of petrol at the pump is the cost of petrol leaving the mega refineries in Singapore.
Mogas 95 they call it. It’s a publicly traded commodity - the price is contemporaneously online.
Currently it’s about $123 (Australian) per barrel. That’s 77 cents per litre.
Broadly two-thirds of that price is the raw material - the Tapis Crude oil - and the remaining third is refinery costs. Because you have to separate it out of the crude, and that’s a complex, tightly controlled process.
People who expect crude oil to halve in price or something, and for that then to be reflected proportionally in petrol price are off their meds. Crude oil only makes up about one third of the price of petrol.
This is like expecting cars to get substantially cheaper if iron ore gets cheaper, or a new pair of jeans to get cheaper if the arse falls out of cotton. It’s nuts.
Petrol is a manufactured product. The cost is raw material plus manufacturing and distribution costs, plus tax.
Roughly 40 cents is fuel excise and at current prices there’s about 14 cents in GST - call it 54 cents in tax all up. And that’s really low on the world stage. So get over it.
You’ve got 77 cents for the product ex-refinery, and 54 cents in tax. That’s $1.31. So, for about 21 cents per litre you’ve got to ship it here and retail it. The average wholesale price last week was $1.42.2
This means they’re shipping it here and getting it to the filling station for about 11 cents per litre on average. And there’s about 10 cents margin on average at the retail level.
Neither of those margins is profit - there’s huge depreciation, marketing, filling station operating costs, etc, coming out of them.
The real miracle here is not that petrol is so expensive. It’s that its so damn cheap.
It’s a free market. Retailers can adjust petrol prices as they see fit. Petrol is a commercial product for retail sale. Prices cannot be fixed under Australian law.
There’s huge variation in the price of everything.
The last thing we want or need is the government setting fuel prices.
The main determinant of petrol price is supply and demand.
It’s a public holiday this Monday here in Shitsville. We’re all cock a hoop over Liz Regina not dying again for another year.
People are escaping the cities for three days of whatever. Demand for fuel increases - the price goes up. That’s not a gouge - it’s economics.
You don’t have to like it.
However: Isn’t it miraculous that airlines, hotels and restaurants don’t gouge the shit out of us at these times? It’s not like flights increase dramatically in cost at peak times…
If fuel goes up 20 cents a litre in response to demand and you buy two tanks over the weekend, it’s going to cost you on additional $20. You’re going to drink more piss than that, on a grand final long weekend.
Audi sacks Imprisoned CEO Rupert Stadler | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Oct 5, 2018
Poor old Rupie Stadler from Audi: It’s no fun getting boned behind bars.
In an interesting twist on the concept of loyalty, Audi has officially boned former CEO Rupert Stadler. He’s been flicked from the big four-ringed gig and de-coupled from the boards of both monkey-spanking organisations.
You might remember, the board trusted him to run the company, but German prosecutors didn’t trust him not to tamper with evidence relating to the Dieselgate scandal - so he was remanded in custody back in June or July, pending further official investigation.
It remains to be seem who is the more accurate judge of character - the board, or prosecutors. That could take some time to resolve. As I understand it, he is detained but no charges are preferred against him.
He’s the sixth exec to be imprisoned following the scandal - which at its core is probably the most immoral thing a carmaker has ever done. Those arseholes took the calculated, conspiratorial decision at the highest level to kill people prematurely in exchange for additional profit.
If you’ve ever wondered what dieselgate was about, that’s kind of it.
Mr Stadler’s arrest a few months back briefly delayed the launch of the Audi e-Tron, which is French slang for ‘shit’ inconveniently. Hysterically. Obviously they thought that one right through. And France is just next door, #FFS…
“Mr. Stadler is [leaving] because, due to his ongoing pre-trial detention, he is unable to fulfill his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defense.”
Those cold-hearted Cherman bastards. Stadler had been in the top job since 2007, and before that he was the Volkswagen big cheese’s official bottom-wiper.
(They don’t do anything for themselves, at that level.)
It’s fair to say that Stadler was involved with e-Tron from the get-go.
Audi of course currently operates under a temporary or ‘space saver’ CEO, Bran Schot. Love those Teutonic names. It makes me want to march, and take over the world.
Big Rupey is a man more accustomed to riding the gravy train to excess city than most. I mean he paid $20,000 for a senior executive beer-fuelled pat on the back party when Volkswagen denied his expenses claim for same in 2016.
I don’t know why they objected. The event had all the usual German senior executive management training hallmarks: Bavarian brass band, beer drinking competition. No high-class prostitutes bursting out of a cake, though. Disappointingly.
Anyway, it’s fair to say life is somewhat crappier now for the former Audi bigwig. Currently Mr Stadler exists in a state of legal limbo, adrift from the company he loved, languishing in German jail, up to his neck in e-tron...
Rupert Stadler & Dieselgate (plus your feedback)| Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Oct 7, 2018
Rupert Stadler getting fired is not the same thing as you or me getting fired. And I suspect he’s having a somewhat easier time in prison than most - even if it doesn’t seem that way to him.
The guy is worth 100 million Euros - so they say. He can afford the best lawyers. He’d just signed a five-year contract for about 15 million Euros, and being on the Volkswagen board earned him an additional five-and-a-bit million Euros.
He’s swimming in it.
German newspaper Handelsblatt says Volkswagen is going to sling him 1.5 million Euros in exchange for staying away from competitors until 2020 and he’ll get another million in pack-pay and bonuses.
Sympathy factor: Zero. But many of you took me on about this:
It strikes me that people still don’t understand what Dieselgate was. How fundamentally, sociopathically evil it was.
A bit hyperbolic in the moral outrage there old chap! - Ray Maritz
Really? Hyperbole? Brace for impact, Ray.
“How did Audi kill people?” - Salmon RushDie
That’s the key question, isn’t it? The Volkswagen arsehole spin machine really has done a good job attenuating the literally breathtaking evil that the spirit of Adolf Hitler managed to pull off here.
These are common misconceptions. People still think emissions laws exist primarily as a regulatory inconvenience.
The fact is: Exhaust emissions kill more people than car crashes. Exhaust is toxic. Here in Shitsville, the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics - part of the Federal Government - estimates exhaust pollution accounts for about 1500 premature deaths annually.
The cost is about $1.8 billion - and we’re all paying it.
This is why every developed country has increasingly tough exhaust emissions standards. Legislated ones.
Volkswagen breached those intentionally, and dieselgate killed people prematurely. This is a scientific fact. The ugly truth about profit over health.
Volkswagen arseholes sold 11 million cars with the cheat devices installed, in total. About a quarter of those - 2.6 million - were sold in Germany.
Seven eminent atmospheric and environmental scientists working for MIT, Hasselt University in Belgium, and the Atmospheric Chemistry Modelling Group at Harvard say:
“We estimate the median mortality impacts from VW excess emissions in Germany to be 1200 premature deaths in Europe, corresponding to 13,000 life-years lost and 1.9 billion Euros in costs associated.”
That’s just the deaths in Europe stemming from about a quarter of the Dieselgate cars. Let’s extrapolate it up linearly and call it 5000-ish people dead prematurely from Dieselgate, globally.
It is completely immoral and unimaginably wicked for a carmaker to decide to do this. This was not some accident. It was a calculated criminal decision.
The paper is called ‘Public Health Impacts of Excess NOx Emissions From Volkswagen Diesel Passenger Vehicles in Germany’. (Bit of a mouthful.) It was published in the prestigious scientific journal Environmental Research Letters, March 3, 2017, if you want to look it up.
Just for perspective: Ford gets rightly damned for the Pinto shitheap and the sociopathic decisions it took around that car in the 1970s. In total, 27 people died prematurely as a result of the Pinto’s design deficiency and knock-on cover-ups (if memory serves).
Dieselgate is about 200 times worse in relation to the death toll, and about two million times worse because it was premeditated.
I can’t think of anything any carmaker has done, ever, which is more of an abyss on the moral arc of humanity.
Lemon list: The top 20 worst cars to buy in 2019 | AutoExpert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Oct 14, 2018
Number 20: Infiniti.
If you’re wondering how bad owning an Infiniti is, if you were stupid enough to purchase an Infiniti QX70 S Auto 3.0 diesel SUV in 2014 - early $90,000s on the road, you’ll trade it in today for about $27,000.
Call it two-thirds of the capital investment up in smoke in four years.
Number 19: Citroen. Gorgeous design. Average reliability at best. Crap support, historically, although a new distributor might put a dent in that over time. But virtually zero sales - they don’t even manage to sell 50 Citroens a month.
Number 18: MINI. I know. I watched The Italian Job, too - both versions. I get it. But the novelty is going to wear off.
Some poor bastard paid about $65,000 for the shitbox convertible MINI roadster John Cooper Works auto in 2014 and trades it in today for early $20s.
Number 17: Volvo. Don’t waste my time. Volvo is nowhere, commercially. It’s a joke. Styling is great; they drive OK, too. But reliability and support in Australia is shit.
But resale is where Volvo really is number one in number twos. Imagine being the poor sap who bought the MY15 flagship XC60 T6 R-Design.
More than $80k on the road back then down to about $30k for a trade-in today.
Number 16: Jaguar. In ‘Straya, reliability and support are crap - that’s the price of admission. Sales have plummeted since 2016, and resale is a disaster. But aside from that, great idea.
Number 15: Land Rover. It’s everything I said about Jaguar, with added off-road capability. You do not need a Land Rover in your life.
Number 14 - another joke brand: Peugeot. Sales, nowhere. Reliability, nowhere. Support, nowhere. Resale, nowhere. Beautiful styling, though. The fantasy that gets people across the line is: European quality. A step up.
Let’s do two for one now: 12 and 13 - Nissan and Renault. When these companies merged, it was a bad deal for Nissan and a good deal for Renault. But, inevitably, Renault ‘tech’ metastasized into Nissan’s lineup. That was bad. Then the GFC hit, and Nissan suffered irreversible brain damage. And then there’s Nissan’s appalling Jatco CVT transmissions, which are the least reliable in the universe.
Number 11: Mercedes-Benz.Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz is the worst premium carmaker for customer support. They are the Antichrist at this. This company seems to think Australian Consumer Law is optional, or negotiable. Something those dicks are above.
They are complete arseholes when you have a problem, and they will fight you every inch of the way - to the point of exhaustion.
My strong advice is: Buy a BMW or a Lexus.
Let’s do a mass extinction now: 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10: Everything from Fiat Chrysler. That means Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge. This company has the worst combination of poor reliability and shit support. They are truly terrible.
Jeep - the biggest of Fiat Chrysler’s crap brands - managed to inflict more than 30,000 of its shitheaps on unsuspecting ‘Strayans in 2014. But word quickly got around.
They sold only about 8000 in 2017. That has to be commercially unsustainable.
Another mass extinction now: Numbers 3, 4 and 5: Volkswagen, and related shitbox brands Audi and Skoda. This is the company decided it was OK to kill thousands of people prematurely by cheating emissions regulations in a massive, global criminal conspiracy.
It is completely immoral and unimaginably wicked for a carmaker to do this. This was not an accident. It was a calculated criminal conspiracy.
Number two: Ford. Ford is in the worst shape of all time. Globally they are looking to cut $11 billion (US dollars) from the salary budget and more than $20 billion in total from operating costs.
Markets like ours don’t make Ford any money. There are going to be major cuts.
Ford’s engineering is reprehensibly bad, and the company also seems to take delight in not only breaching its consumer law obligations, but (reprehensibly enough) bending you over and profiteering from you, when you are up against it with one of their shit cars.
The number one brand that you should not buy, is Holden. Holden is on the fast track to failure. Poor quality, shit products, terrible support. It’s the unholy trinity of dice rolling with every purchase.
But what really does it for me, with Holden, is trust. You cannot trust Holden. In 2012, Holden accepted a $275 million taxpayer-funded government rescue package. A parachute, stuffed with your money.
They promised to invest $1bn in Australian manufacturing, to keep Australian manufacturing alive for at least a decade.
The next year, they announced the closure of the factory. They kept the money. They didn’t make the investment.
In January 2017 Holden quietly sent $150 million back to Detroit - as part of a bullshit balance sheet restructuring. Kinda says it all right there, don’t you think, about Holden’s purported commitment to Australia? Doing business with Holden is like joining Hannibal Lecter for dinner.
The Idiotic Anti-Tesla Argument - Lehto's Law Ep. 5.12 Steve Lehto
Published on Oct 19, 2018
In an attempt to keep Tesla from selling cars in their state, some anti-Tesla folks have offered what is the DUMBEST argument ever made in the field of automobile warranty law. Here is the article I reference in the video: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cant-b...
Infiniti Cars 'don't buy' customer support warning | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Oct 16, 2018
Infiniti - Nissan’s retarded Lexus - was on yesterday’s lemon list. And almost immediately I got this, from a disgruntled Infiniti Q50 owner named Michael Sinnott.
I bought at Q50 Premium hybrid in September 2017 from the official Infiniti dealership in Brisbane. They have now closed. I was about to get it serviced and was told that the pick-up and drop-off service, which was part of my purchase package, was not going to be honoured. When I complained to Infiniti Australia, they told me this was a part of the dealer’s promise and was not backed by Infiniti.
I have told them that nothing was said to me about what was an Infiniti guarantee and what was a dealer guarantee and I considered this omission to be misleading and deceptive. Can you enlighten me as to who is responsible?
We’ll get to responsibility in just a sec. But fundamentally this is why I recommend specifically not buying one of these shitbox brands with no footprint and no momentum.
The support network is like a supermodel in the lead-up to fashion week - one step from wasting away.
If you’re not from around here, Brisbane is the capital of Redneckistan, also known more formally as ‘Queensland’. The city has a population of almost two million people. You can see it from space.
Up until about May this year there was just one Infiniti dealer in Brisvegas - operated by the AP Eagers car dealer aggregation business.
Karla Leach - the PR operative tasked from time to time with delivering sad news on behalf of the conjoined automotive twins - Nissan sadly with brain injury and Infiniti, battling bulimia - is reported to have confirmed the closure, and said:
“Consumer behavior coupled with the dynamic auto business in Australia results in an ever changing retail marketplace. In the near future we will announce further changes to our retail footprint in Australia, to ensure the optimal service to our existing and potential Infiniti customers."
Jesus - kids: I’ve got some sad news. Grandma was up on the roof adjusting the TV antenna again, and you know on many occasions I suggested this was a poor idea to her, owing to the dynamic and ever-changing conditions up there.
And this time, unfortunately, she’s not coming back. But there is some good news:
"We are open for business, committed to our customers and to the long term future of Infiniti in Australia."
So I guess that’s OK. Except if you purchased the vehicle because of the servicing convenience offered at the outset, only to get brushed by head office, when the house of cards collapses in Brisvegas.
You know, in total, three CBD Infiniti dealerships have decided it’s not worth the ongoing effort. One on prime real estate in the Knee of Syd, and one in Brighton in Melbourne have also closed.
The brand is a commercial disaster. They can’t even sell 1000 cars a year. To 25 million people.
I fail to see how Mr Sinnott’s experience is an example of the customer commitment alleged so smoothly, so positively, by Ms Leach.
As to Mr Sinnott’s question of who is responsible, I’m no lawyer. But I would suggest there’s an ethical dimension to this question.
You’ve got a customer who paid a premium - $80,000 - in exchange for explicitly guaranteed premium treatment, who is currently being treated like shit. And not even premium shit. Ordinary shit. The smelly kind. Not the royal kind.
This is not a formula for success - and it’s probably one of the reasons why sales have been circling the drain. You actually have to deliver, if you promise something.
This Wonderbra Infiniti marketing strategy - bra comes off, customer says: ‘Where did those tits actually go?’ It just won’t work. It can’t work. You have to deliver.
So the question is not: What are we legally compelled to do, and what may we therefore weasel out of like ethically ambivalent scumbags?
I’d suggest the real question is: How can we do what’s right, and how can we deliver on our illiterate Infiniti ownership guarantee to support the misguided trusting fools who dropped their cash on us?
Because that’s how you Buzz Lightyear the shit out of it and build a loyal customer base. Everything else is a fast track to failure.
If dumb driving were an Olympic sport, or a game show (language warning) |Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Oct 20, 2018
I’m not actually sure that it is specifically illegal to do that - worryingly enough. (It is illegal to ride in a vehicle on a trailer, and it is illegal to hang out of a moving vehicle - both sensible provisions - but I’m not sure the issue of doing a burnout on a trailer while being towed at freeway speeds is specifically enshrined in legislation.)
And as much as I really wanted to see the Commodore launch off the trailer and into the van, and see the camera car clean itself up in the wreckage, thus purifying the gene pool…
...in reality, cleaning up a mess like that on the Hume Freeway would cost millions in lost productivity and have a profound impact on the first responders, and the cops who had to knock on doors subsequently and tell unsuspecting families their loved one had a bit of fun that went wrong, and they won’t be coming home, ever again.
There’s a difference between the Fast and Furious, and reality, I’d suggest.
Motherfuckers like this drive around us all every day. This is definitely of concern. Dickhead factor. #’Straya.
I can’t see any other way of pulling this particular dogshit dumb stunt than as a coordinated, pre-meditated effort involving at least five dumb motherfuckers.
One has to be driving the van.
There are two in the burnout car and two in the camera car. And if these losers are half smart they sent a lead car out several minutes ahead to scan the freeway for cops.
The phone records would be interesting, wouldn’t they?
Those two in the camera car certainly appear to be in on it because they’re filming before the burnout actually takes place, and they zoom in for a closeup afterwards.
Probably not just innocent bystanders, I’d suggest. I could be wrong.
These dipshits had allegedly just been at a race meeting earlier that day at Wakefield Park, a small private circuit outside Goulburn. Just the kind of responsible image, I’m sure, that the Confederation of Shitsville Motorsport and the Circuit’s operators want to see publicly portrayed. Nice one.
What should we do? Firstly, I think you should presume, by default that the driver of every vehicle around you at any time, is just like these dicktips. Always have a plan B and plenty of buffer space around you. Just in case.
As to crime and punishment, I think there should be a general driving offence for incidents such as these. We could call it ‘aggravated drive like a motherfucker’. ADLM. Samuel L could be the face of the campaign - punch that message home in his unique way.
How Georgia is cracking down on Montana LLCs VINwiki
Published on Oct 26, 2018
Recently the Georgia Department of Revenue decided to start cracking down on exotic car owners registering their cars in Montana to avoid taxes. Officer Josh Waites explains what prompted their investigation and what they have done so far. You can see Channel 2 WSBTV's coverage here - https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/weal...
Tune in at 6 PM on wsbtv.com to livestream the news broadcast.
Ed was very skeptical about ceramic coatings and recently tried it. Check out his video explaining the result → https://youtu.be/SuUfTVf_mMU
You can get Armor Shield IX by AvalonKing with $25 off using VINWIKI code at checkout → https://avl.kg/vinwiki
What is overboost and how does it work? (Contains nuts) | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Oct 28, 2018
Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai and a heap of other carmakers are pumping themselves up, literally, with the hi-tech miracle of so-called overboost.
The Hyundai i30 N - awesome hot hatch - manages 353 Newton-metres from 1450-4700.
Or, on overboost, 378 Newton-metres from 1750-4200
That’s about seven per cent more.
Should you buy one of these overboosted vehicles, do not waste time looking for a button or diving into the menu system - there’s nothing for you to activate. Overboost is just there, enabled, all the time.
It’s really just part of the engine management software implementation for a turbocharged engine.
What happens is: the engine control computer waits for the right set of conditions:
For example, in the i30 N you’d need to be inside the rev window - 1750-4200 - big throttle input, temperature in the green, it might only work in some gears (I don’t know).
There’s a bunch of inputs - pre-conditions that have to be met.
So, the ECU gets a whole bunch of ‘go’ inputs for overboost, it opens the vanes up in the turbo and allows a bit more exhaust flow, driving the turbo a bit harder. More boost, hence the marketing wank name.
And it starts a timer - that’s important.
The turbo delivers slightly more boost - you get more mass flow of inlet air into the engine. The ECU increases the fuel injector flow to compensate. More fuel gets burned per unit time.
You get more torque at the crank. Torque times revs equals power. Therefore, more power at those revs.
When Hyundai talks about the torque boost at those revs they’re really talking about a seven per cent increase in power at those revs. Same thing - but it’s harder to quantify the power.
More heat gets produced, too. And heat kills things like turbos and pistons, inconveniently, expensively, so the timer limits the duration of what would otherwise be too risky an operation if it were open-ended in the time domain.
Overboost for ever equals a loud noise and deafening silence, plus a repair bill you can’t jump over, basically.
You get maybe 10 or 15 seconds of this increased output, and then, literally, normal programming is resumed. It’s all automatic.
So, yeah, the increase is real, but modest, and very brief.
So: overboost is there. It’s mostly just hype - sounds good on the right kind of car - and if you really need it to get around that truck, you’ve already made a bunch of quite poor decisions about overtaking, in my view…
Six Used Car Buying Myths - Lehto's Law 5.18 Steve Lehto
Published on Nov 1, 2018
People often call my office and think a used car dealer has cheated them - by breaking one of these imaginary rules. These are all myths:
1. Dealers must inspect cars before sale.
2. Cars must be roadworthy to be sold.
3. Dealers cannot charge too much for a car.
4. Cars can't be sold with open recalls.
5. Dealers can't sell cars with known problems.
6. Verbal promises made by the salesperson are enforceable.
"As Is" Has a Specific Meaning! Lehto's Law - Ep. 5.20 Steve Lehto
Published on Nov 7, 2018
I hear from people who have heard the phrase "As Is" but do not understand that it has a specific meaning. I explain what it means and some related topics regarding meanings of words.
Q&A: Buying a used 7-seat SUV & more | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 7, 2018
Forgive my outrageous temerity in writing to you, but you are my last hope; perhaps the only person who might be able to answer a question that has long bothered me. Why do they use “4x4”? 4 x 4 (four by four) = 16. Sixteen what?
PS - You have that delicious gift of being outrageously insulting in a way that, far from causing insult, results in laughter and a feeling of friendship. Very old-school. - Byron J
Thank you - the good-natured insult - telling a close friend ‘fuck you very much’ truly is an art form, which is incrementally being lost.
4x4 is a subset of a bigger picture that details the number of wheels on a vehicle (the first number) and the number of driven wheels (second number).
I don’t know why they use the multiplication symbol between them.
Thus you can have 4x2 utes (four wheels, two of them driven) and 4x4s.
And in the off-road trucking domain almost any combination of big number (usually even numbers) goes: 6x6 or 6x4. Whatever. The military and firefighers tend to use a lot of those bizarre big number combinations; not so much in the civilian world.
My wife loves her 1998 Corolla (only 125,000km and runs nicely) but I would like to get her into something safer. She thinks a modern Corolla is too big for her to drive regularly. A rental Yaris we recently drove overseas seemed a good size but I swear it seemed a bit larger than the Yaris in Australia. - Kym S
More modern, safer car: Good idea. Totally.
The new Corolla is not too big for her to drive. She is imagining that, just like you are imagining the overseas Yaris being bigger. Neither assessment is a true reflection of reality.
The current Corolla is only 10.5cm longer than the 1998 one. It’s 10cm wider and 5cm higher.
Human beings are astonishingly bad at making determinations about the size of things like cars, without once referring to the actual facts. They just look at a car and go: “She’s too big, mate.”
I get this all the time. Bullshit dimensional determinations in the absence of any data.
People make $50,000 decisions this way. It’s a glaring neurological deficiency.
My wife is now in permanent aged care due to dementia and a fall in hospital resulting in a broken hip. I am exploring the possibility of purchasing a vehicle capable of carrying a wheelchair, which will then enable me to take her out on short trips. Any suggestions? Thanks. - Bob H
Up front, Bob, please accept my sincere condolences in relation to your wife’s condition. It must be a confronting situation.
As I understand it, they’re complete specialists in this disability modification area.
I’d simply ask then what vehicles modify best for this application, in view of your wife’s present and likely future condition, and any special requirements this might impose on the modifications.
Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento: After happily re-partnering after an awful divorce, I now have four children I need to be able to carry around. I find myself in need of a 7-seater.
I have watched a lot of your reviews and I like the look of both the Santa Fe or Sorento diesel. My budget doesn't stretch far enough to buy new, but I'd like to buy something less than 5 years old, under $30k - Rebecca G
Happily, Rebecca, it sounds like you’ve managed the most challenging part of the upgrading process (which would be trading in the former partner).
They really to tend to hate it when you upgrade to a better model, with more features. Especially if there’s been a long-term test drive of which they were previously unaware.
So just changing a should be child’s play. Also, I apologise for my appalling crassness, which usually only occurs on days ending in ‘Y’.
For $30k you are certainly looking at used, and you can research used values all day long by make, model and year at Redbook.com.au - make sure you use the ‘research’ tab, which is free, and not the ‘valuation certificates’ which they charge you for.
For $30k you should find something under 5yrs old in Sorento or Santa Fe (both excellent 7-seaters). This is good because they will have some factory warranty remaining.
You might also consider a used Kia Carnival - which is more versatile for moving people and their stuff.
Always check the service history (up-to-date servicing means no excuse to deny a warranty claim). Always get the $37 certificate from carhistory.com.au - which tells you if the car is a repaired write-off, or encumbered by someone else’s finance, etc.
Always have your own independent mechanic assess any used car before you buy it. Get them to look for mechanical condition and evidence of dodgy crash repair, etc.
How Nissan dropped the ball on ute safety | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 12, 2018
The Nissan Navara NP300 Hardbody (basically a brand new D22 Navara with R&D from the Jurassic) has scored a preposterous 0.00 out of whatever, for a total of (you guessed it) zero stars on safety in Africa.
It’s one of the worst death traps imaginable, globally.
Perhaps we should back up. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to outdated shitboxes like the Navara D22, brain-dead carmakers continue to sell them in countries Donald Trump would call shitholes.
This has surfaced because Global NCAP recently launched round two of the #SaferCarsForAfrica crash tests, and the shitbox Nissan Hardbody earned the dual distinctions of being both the most expensive and least safe of all the vehicles tested.
A double-whammy of corporate arseholery, right there. And well done NCAP. Even though ANCAP here in Shitsville has seriously gone off its meds, Global NCAP is still doing some good work.
...such as demonstrating the NP300 Hardbody to be number one for number twos on safety in Africa. It’s a definitively disgraceful statement that, to Nissan (Knee-Saan) African lives are apparently less valuable, more disposable … whatever. Implicitly less worthy of protection.
“African built, African tough. The Nissan NP300 Hardbody is the unmistakable king of African pickups…”
Those dishonest Nissan arseholes go on:
“In virtually any situation and on just about any type of terrain you can depend on it to get the job done every time - no matter what you ask of it.”
Well I guess that could be accurate, except if quote “any situation” includes a moderately severe crash, and if (quote) “no matter what you ask of it” includes “asking it to keep you alive and free from serious injury”.
That statement from Nissan, on their website, is over the line - it is flat-out untrue. It’s deceptive, misleading and at odds with the facts.
“Surrounding you with confidence. Nissan Safety Shield.”
That’s interesting: The profound, protective properties of confidence. Also features: What you can’t see won’t hurt you. (Registered trademark.)
“The Nissan Safety Shield philosophy is a comprehensive approach to safety that guides the engineering and development of every vehicle we make.”
That statement is indefensible. Export grade Nissan bullshit. Yesss! In fact, you are a third-class citizen on safety, in that death-trap.
We all know Nissan got brain damage in the GFC and never really recovered. It’s been sitting forlornly in its own poop ever since, metaphorically.
Which is quite undignified. Because they used to be worthy of respect. Now: Not so much.
This behaviour - and the spectacular boardroom hubris just presuming that it’s OK to do this, or that you can get away with it - makes a mockery of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi so-called commitment to safety globally.
David Ward, the secretary-general of NCAP, said the zero-star result for that NP300 Hardbody shitheap was (quote) “shockingly bad”.
Pretty strong language for a reserved dude like that.
“Nissan also claims the car benefits from a so-called ‘safety shield’ but this is grossly misleading. Our test shows that the occupant compartment completely fails to absorb the energy of the crash resulting in a high risk of fatality or serious injury.”
Completely fails, and grossly misleading.
Weigh Mr Ward’s statement up against this, from Nissan:
“Dual front airbags plus 3-point seatbelts provide an extra measure of safety. After all, it makes good business sense to ensure that everything – and everyone – arrives safely.”
What a Kilimanjaro of crap. Disgraceful corporate conduct from Nissan - and a window for you to look in and see how they really do business, under the hood.
If you are in the market for a new car may I suggest a Mazda. I am getting ready to trade-in my 2016 CX-5 with about 105k miles. Only things replaced are the oil and filters and wipers. Everything else including brakes and battery are original. Gets great gas mileage too. Mazda is more reliable and cheaper to own than Honda which I considered supreme until now.
Mazda smartphone Apple & Android upgrade rip off | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 12, 2018
Apple and Google in-car phone systems work really well, in the way that every carmaker attempt to emulate them does not.
Most manufacturers caved in early on this, but Mazda, like Toyota, did not.
That’s until now, of course. Mazda’s horse whisperers have decided suddenly that Apple and Android are on the menu for new Mazdas after steadfastly being all Ray Charles on the need for that.
If you’re in the mood for a bullshit degustation, you can research Mazda explaining what an ace job it’s doing, rolling out the hi-tech miracles of Apple and Android on new models.
Happily, as part of that, older Mazdas with MZD Connect - without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto - are upgradeable. That’s from 2014 on.
Mazda will retrofit the software - plus fit a new USB hub and wiring. But they intend to charge you an astonishing $500 for this privilege.
That’s in our Shitsvillian pesos, one of which is currently about 72 US cents or 64 Euro cents.
Two apps plus a small handful of not very advanced hardware - and a not all that highly trained technician to install it. $500. Please.
I’m pretty sure some data wonk in China could invent a USB dongle you just plug in and unofficially expand the functionality that way, and sell it profitably for $19.95.
This overpriced official Mazda ‘solution’ overcomes a deficiency in the product which was engineered in by Mazda’s spectacularly negligent and/or out of touch senior product development dickheads.
There is no universe in which $500 is a reasonable price for this.
The boss of Mazda here in Shitsville, Vinesh Bhindi, said:
“...we are especially happy that it is something we can offer to our existing community of customers.”
I bet he is: 370,000 potential customers times $500 apiece equals a brand new $185 million market. Yesssssss! Created by Mazda’s own engineered-in product deficiency.
They’re going to charge you a spectacular $202.28 for the USB hub and an audacious $101.12 for the wiring harness. The balance being labour and software, plus Mazda’s profit margin, and of course, the dealer’s.
Just grab your ankles while we, ahhh, perform your ‘upgrade’. You won’t feel a thing. Lubrication is optional. $97.48. Plus application.
You know, in Canada, which is like ‘Straya only colder, and with a much hotter Prime Minister, they have quasi-parity with the Shitsville dollar.
Canukistani Mazda is going to roll out its smartphone retrofit program (until February) for $250 (Canadian).
That’s about half of what you’ll pay, here in Shitsville. For exactly the same happy ending Google and Apple massage. Obviously, Siri will be doing the heavy lifting in the closing minutes.
And that means - personal opinion - Vinesh Bhindi - whom I presume signed off on this absurd decision to profiteer above all else - is being a total commercial cock on this.
Here’s this customer relationship opportunity, knocking on Big Bhindi’s door, right? It’s, like, we’ll upgrade your car, for (I dunno) $99, just to show you how well we support you and the product we sold you.
Like, we did get that wrong, resisting Apple and Android’s vast gravitational pull, focussed as we were on being ‘as one’ with that horse.
This is just our way of saying ‘thanks’ for putting up with our profound out of touchedness.
Meanwhile, in this universe, to you Mazda Australia Muppets, I’d say you spend shitloads on advertising. I am routinely bombarded with Mazda YouTube bullshit pre-roll advertising.
It’s all aimed at acquiring new customers. Yet carmakers like Mazda do, essentially, three-fifths of stuff-all to retain the customers they already have.
If you presented me with this $500 (quote-unquote) “upgrade opportunity” I would instantly resolve to buy a different brand of new car next time. Because I would conclude that you are arseholes.
Mainly because I’m not the monkey and even if I were, you certainly would not be my friggin’ organ grinder.
That’s why this is such a fail of the arsehole test for Mazda. It’s proof that you do not matter to them. The instant you drive off the showroom floor, they’ll forget about you, and spend millions trying to acquire the next new customer.
And that is what’s wrong with the way most carmakers do business today.
FAQ Frenzy! Nissan turbo failure & getting out of finance early | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 16, 2018
Q&A Saturday. Yesssss!
"We bought our Nissan Navara D40 in 2013. We purchased an extended warranty (total of 5 years warranty). In the first three years we had numerous things go wrong with the vehicle: torque converter, heater core, EGR sensor, etc. These were fixed without any complaint. We only made one extended warranty claim (lower control arms).
"To date we’ve spent over $6k in servicing and over $1800 on the extended warranty. Now we’re told the turbo needs replacing. Quoted price is over $4k. The vehicle is just out of warranty and has under 100,000km on the clock.
"The dealer has denied an out of warranty claim, even though we have had the vehicle serviced by Nissan at the one dealership, as per the schedule. Our next step was to raise a goodwill claim with Nissan Australia. We felt we had a case, but this too was denied."
Extended warranties are a complete scam. Do not buy one or agree to one. The ASIC is absolutely scathing about extended warranties.
In fact, extended warranties give you no greater protection than the legislated ‘Acceptable Quality’ consumer guarantee, which you get for free because it’s a law.
In a nutshell, if a component is not reasonably durable: ie if it fails earlier than a reasonable consumer would expect it to last, then the manufacturer is legally obliged to replace it free, regardless of the vehicle’s warranty status.
In my view your matter has nothing whatsoever to do with goodwill and everything to do with Nissan’s legal obligations to support the product. And they are firmly in the corporate shithead camp on honouring their consumer law obligations, if you ask me.
If the car’s been serviced properly and on time, and not abused, then it is categorically unreasonable for a turbo to fail in five years and under 100,000km.
Instead of asking those cocks for help, however, write them a formal demand using the ACCC’s ‘complaint letter tool’ (Google will find that for you). If that doesn’t work, get your solicitor on it, and ask them to write a proper demand.
"I see Audi A8s heavily depreciated and they seem like an attractive purchase, same as high level CLS Benz. Is this too good to be true? Am I missing something here? Also, can you do a small FAQ on whether you need to balance your wheels every time you rotate them? I don't think you do, but try telling a tyre retailer that!" - Antony S
7-Series, A8, CLS, etc., they all depreciate fairly heavily. This does make them seem attractive, used. Unfortunately the cost of spare parts, service and repairs - keeping them on the road - does not depreciate in line with the cars themselves.
$15-20k for a replacement transmission; that kind of thing… Too common.
So, in a nutshell, it’s all good until something goes wrong. But even normal items that wear out regularly, like tyres and brakes, are very expensive.
If you can’t afford a new one, you probably can’t afford to keep an old one on the road if something goes wrong.
On wheel balancing: No - you don’t need to balance the wheels and tyres if all you do is change their position on the car. If the car starts shaking - especially at a particular speed, and it goes away at other speeds - then that’s nature’s way of telling you you need a wheel balance.
"I recently refinanced a car with a novated lease through my employer - I’ve been trying to sell the car since I bought it (it's one of your lemons) and the financier knew this. Having bought the finance on the car for $18k - the payout figure from them now includes the balloon figure - a profit of $8k plus interest payments in less than 6 months. Does that make sense? I was thinking of contacting the finance ombudsman…" - Imogen D
This is why it’s so important to align your objectives with the finance you buy. A lot of finance contracts provide substantial penalties for early payout - mainly because the financier doesn’t get ahead until later on in the term.
So if you pull the rug out from under them, early, they reciprocate.
Basically when you put that pen on the page and sign your name, you agree to all the fine print - which many people do not read. And then, when your situation changes, such as by selling the car and needing to get out of the contract early, the financier inserts its ice-cold speculum into your … ahhh … bank account.
And you think that’s a violation, but it’s not because you said that was OK - in the fine print, which you probably did not read.
Check all the details with your accountant - but on the balance of probabilities I think you’re stuck with it. If they are bending you over, over and above the terms of the contract you agreed to, refer it to the ombudsman.
The truth about oil & fuel additives in modern cars | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 17, 2018
Additives. Fuel additives, oil additives: All bullshit.
Every week I get questions from dudes with too much spare time thinking about putting this miracle additive or that into their fuel or oil. Let’s deal with that now:
Executive summary: The only thing these additives actually add to is the total contribution to bullshit, imposed upon the universe by humanity.
Certainly carmakers don’t recommend additives. That’s gotta be a red flag.
If you go to any auto parts store on earth you will see a wall full of these bullshit internal beauty treatments for your car. Wrapped up in clever packaging and (at best) described by pseudo-science, they offer the miracle liver cleansing detox for for just $30.
The facts: much less glamorous. Fuels and oils are already designed to precise engineering standards. Their chemical properties and minimum performance requirements are stipulated.
Carmakers design engines to operate reliably on fuels and lubricants that comply with those standards. That’s how this works.
Nulon will happily sell you a thing called Pro Strength Long Term Anti-wear Engine Protection. It’s on Shitsville shelves today. Sounds pretty good. Who doesn’t want all that protection? Quote:
“Uses PTFE technology to coat engine components and create a long-term anti-wear barrier.”
Awesome. Except oil already creates a long-term anti-wear barrier, in the form of a tough, thin film. Because that’s what oil does…
PTFE is Poly-tetra-fluouro-ethylene. (Don’t call it Teflon, though - because that’s a DuPont trademark for PTFE.)
DuPont actually says:
“Teflon is not useful as an ingredient in oil additives or oils used for internal combustion engines.” - DuPont
Which is quite unfortunate for those bullshitters at Nulon - and elsewhere - because DuPont is the Coca-Cola of PTFE.
NASA has tested PTFE, interestingly, at its Lewis Research Center. Cutting to the chase there:
“In the types of bearing surface contact we have looked at, we have seen no benefit. In some cases we have seen detrimental effect. The solids in the oil tend to accumulate at inlets and act as a dam, which simply blocks the oil from entering. Instead of helping, it is actually depriving parts of lubricant.” - NASA
Sta-bil will sell you some fuel stabilizer. Sign me up for that - because I don’t want unstable fuel. Nobody does. Read that book about the Kursk, and fuel stability takes on a whole new meaning...
Sta-bil says this shit is, allegedly:
“...a chemically engineered blend of additives that will act together to prevent fuel from degrading and oxidising.”
Except fuel doesn’t actually oxidise in your tank. If it did, your car would blow up, just like the Kursk, inconveniently.
Fuel oxidises in the engine. That’s what the combustion process is: Oxidisation. Your fuel is emphatically not oxidising in the tank.
If it did, you’d know.
Rislone’s High Kilometre Compression Repair with Ring Seal is apparently cleverly formulated for 4, 6 and 8 cylinder engines.
“Renews worn engine, rebuilds compression and repairs engine blow-by.”
No real clue in the blurb about how it gets around the second law of thermodynamics. So I guess that’s a trade secret. Nothing else (that I can think of) is able to bend the second law quite like that. Clever stuff.
I presume they know the word ‘renew’ means ‘returns to new’.
If this stuff catches on, it’ll put engine rebuilders - you know, the proper ones, who actually recondition components with specialised machines - it’ll put them out of business.
Rislone actually takes the bullshit cake for cleverly written wholesale quackery - personal opinion. The company’s Super Concentrated Octane Booster apparently contains:
“the highest concentrate of MMT Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl allowed for street use”
I love that those Rislone quacks just walk up to the methyl-cyclo-unpronounceable MMT line without actually stepping over it. Pushing those boundaries.
And it’s only $85 bucks per litre. What a bargain.
A $15-buck bottle is enough for one tank. This is a serious yank of one’s chain, in my view. Maybe it’s an ignorance test. If you buy it, you fail.
Because - I dunno - you could alternatively just use high octane gasoline. Or - for the serious performance nut - just get your car tuned to run on e85. Which is, like 105 RON. Which is probably high enough without the $85/litre bullshit wonder juice.
My strong advice is: save your cash, get your car serviced on time; use the recommended fuel and lubricants.
But leave the additives on the shelves. Where they belong, as a kind of shrine for the technically ignorant and scientifically illiterate to worship at.
Carlos Ghosn Arrest: Nissan boss caught cooking the books | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 20, 2018
Renault Nissan Mitsubishi: The Caligula of modern carmaking.
The Frog government owns 15 per cent of Renault. Renault owns 43.5 per cent of Nissan. And Nissan owns 34 per cent of Bits-o-shitty.
And the glue that binds this tenuous three-way together is Alliance boss, 64 year old automotive impresario Carlos Ghosen.
The Luke Skywalker of automotive alliances. The shitbox whisperer.
Unfortunately, it seems Mr Ghosn has departed to the Dark Side of the Force, having been caught with his fingers in the till, allegedly.
The grim news broke this week, off the back of a protracted internal investigation by Nissan bigwigs, following a whistleblower dumping Mr Ghosn in it a few months back.
Big G has been arrested in Tokyo, turning himself in to Jap prosecutors following what Nissan described as (quote) “significant acts of misconduct”.
It appears that Big G and another board member, Greg Kelly, have allegedly been under-reporting Big G’s income to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
This is generally frowned upon. It’s a breach of listed company etiquette, and a crime, inconveniently, if true.
They’ve come in about five billion Yen low on remuneration - that’s about $44 million US dollars or about 61 million Shitsvillian micro-pesos. It’s a serious fudge of the books, if true.
So basically, what they’re alleging is that Big G actually took home about 10 billion Yen in payment, but only reported about half of that, over several years.
The maximum penalty for this kind of financial misrepresentation in the land of the rising sun is 10 years in the big house with the Nipponese equivalent of Bubba.
Nissan also said it uncovered (quote) “numerous other serious acts of misconduct” including alleged personal use of company assets and misuse of the company budget.
All three carmakers are poised to throw Mr Ghosn under the bus in coming days. They love doing that. And, of course, shares in all three companies have tanked, off the back of learning none of them could keep track of five billion yen on the balance sheet.
Nissan slumped more than five per cent, Mitsubishi dropped seven and (spectacularly enough) more than 13 per cent of Renault’s capitalisation evaporated across a couple of trading days earlier this week.
Big G - who is also fondly called ‘le Cost Killer’ after a slashfest that brought Nissan back from the brink of bankruptcy in the 1990s - is credited as being the wunderkind of shitbox manufacturer unification.
As such, Nissan rewarded him handsomely. He was provided with homes in Rio De Janeiro, Beirut, Paris and Amsterdam - and I get the feeling he never flew economy class between any of them.
In june this year, by a slim majority, Renault Shitbox shareholders voted to approve a 7.4 million Euro pay package for le Cost Killer (obviously he never took that knife zealously to himself). That was for fiscal 2017.
According to other securities filings, he also earned 735 million Yen for the top job at Nissan - maybe more, who knows? - and a lazy 227 million Yen from our lacklustre friends at Mitsubishi.
That’s a total of about 17 million US dollars, or about 24 million in our attractive but pretend plastic ‘Strayan money.
So my question to you is simple: For $24 million bucks (‘Strayan) a year, and four homes on four continents (probably not slums, either), why cook the friggin’ books?
Is your lifestyle tangibly better if you can up the ante under the table to - I dunno - $30 million a year? I’d suggest for $24 million you’d eat the best food, drink the best wine, wear the best clothes, travel wherever you want, receive the best medical care and take more than adequate care of your closest 50 relatives and friends.
Is it just because you can? And possibly because you have to be precisely that kind of cock to get to the top? I’d love to know what you think. So have at it, in the comments feed below.
Is it just absolute power corrupting absolutely?
Ghosn is 64 years old - so he’s got another 20 years left, if he’s fortunate, ballpark. Would you risk spending half of your remaining life in a Jap prison, being a de facto hot water bottle for a former sumo star, for 10 long Tokyo winters, in exchange for a few million extra dollars that won’t make any tangible difference to the quality of the rest of your life?
Crackdown on "Mandatory" RV Fees - Lehto's Law Ep. 5.27 Steve Lehto
Published on Nov 22, 2018
I recently spoke about "Mandatory" RV inspection fees some dealers are foisting on buyers. The CA DMV recently went after a dealer that was allegedly telling buyers the fees were required by state law.
My previous video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P51N8...
Best German car for $50k (warning: contains nuts) | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 21, 2018
Best German car for $50k
This is from Kate - a nice lady about to go into a knife fight in a financial phone box, versus her son and friends.
"I need to replace my 12 year old Subaru Impreza with a car of similar size. My budget is up to mid $50K. My 19 year old son (a good driver) will also use the car. Of course he wants a European car such as a Merc A Class, Audi A3/VW Golf and I am having challenges trying to argue against these as my friends drive these vehicles…"
Up front, Kate, I presume you consider yourself a responsible mother. Therefore I’d suggest it behooves you emphatically not to give even half a crap what your son wants to drive.
Mum is dropping the $50k on this conveyance and until the progeny’s balls drop and his wallet fills with contributory cash, I’d suggest that you are presented with a great opportunity here to demonstrate to him the disempowerment of poverty, the better to motivate him, perhaps, to pay attention during tertiary education.
Whatever you buy, it’s going to be a substantial upgrade from walking for him.
Also, I’d suggest, it’s undignified for a grown up be peer-pressured into anything by so-called ‘friends’. I do understand the gravitational attraction of approval, but since I liberated myself from giving a shit what other people think, everything got better.
Buy what you want, not what the rest of the world wants you to want.
"Is there any difference between Audis and VWs - Audi argues otherwise. My concerns with these cars are the run flat tyres/inflator kit for the Merc (your comments appreciated) and the DSG issue and oil consumption with the Audi/Golf. My husband has a 2012 VW Passat which has ongoing oil consumption issues and he does not want a repeat of this."
Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi sell nice looking cars, but they are spectacularly poor value unless you are spending more than $80k (ballpark). That’s here in Shitsville.
Customer support from Benz and Audi is also very poor and the cost of keeping these cars on the road is pretty high. Reliability is only average.
Audi Vs VW: In the cheap seats it’s 90 per cent smoke and mirrors. An A3 is essentially a Golf with cosmetic upgrades only. Both are nice looking cars, good to drive, but with poor reliability, and terrible support.
And your husband is a living example of Volkswagen ownership and the spectacularly poor support Volkswagen invariably delivers. You’ve already run this experiment.
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity was running the same experiment twice and expecting a different result… So this is like getting out of hospital, after the first experiment, and jumping off the balcony again, vainly hoping this time to prove that ‘gravity is just a theory’.
Our concern with the Subaru is the lack of power - I have taken a test drive in the top Impreza and I thought it was ok but shuddered with the stop start plus I think it would struggle going up steep hills out of the city.
Stop-start is awful - especially the re-start. It’s unrefined.
Impreza is a budget small car with a one-size-fits-all powertrain. Its performance is adequate. Hills on the highway will be OK, but the place where these adequate powertrain cars lose the battle for power delivery is taking off at the lights and accelerating for things like overtaking - they lose the fight against their own inertia.
"I also looked at a Mazda3 but found visibility issues with the back windscreen. I am in my late 50s and have had Corollas and Subarus to date so would like to treat myself to a nice vehicle which I can retain beyond the original warranty. What are your thoughts? Many thanks. Kate"
What an endurance event - but I thought Kate’s question serves to illustrate the chaotic nature of car consideration going on in people’s heads in the lead-up to spending the big bucks.
My suggestion here: Instead of spending $50k on a very average German car, spend $40k on a fully-loaded Mazda3 SP25 Astina or a Hyundai i30 SR Premium.
These cars are packed with every conceivable inclusion, five-year warranties, decent support, they offer excellent performance and objective superiority over any Audi or Merc you could find new for the same price.
On the rear vision: There is no problem with rear vision in a Mazda3. What’s happening here is Kate is observing a difference between it and the 12 year old car she’s driving now.
This is a classic test drive mistake that a lot of people make. There’s a massive difference between ‘different’ and ‘bad’. People often conflate the two.
Which fuel is right for your car: regular or premium? | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 25, 2018
Premium or regular? What’s right for your car?
Now: battle of the gasolines, based upon a question from you.
"I just purchased a Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium. I intended using regular 91 unleaded but I was told to use 95, or (better still) 98. They told me the engine was designed to run on higher octane fuels. I was told the engines have a tendency to clog up and 98 fuel keeps them clean. They also told me to avoid using E10.
"If I do use E10 I'm to use it up straight away not leave it sitting in the tank. I find this very annoying. I have used 98 so far and I’m considering using 91, but I'm concerned about clogging my engine up. I have talked to other owners and most use 95 or 98." - Noel
Your car - like most cars in ‘Straya - is designed to run on e10 or 91. That’s in the owner’s manual, and I just confirmed this with a senior exec at Subaru Shitsville.
Just to back up: We use the RON scale here in Arse-tralia. Research Octane Number. In Retardistan and Canadabad you use Anti-knock Index, which is the average of RON and MON (or Motor Octane Number - same test as RON, but run at a different engine speed).
Anyway, you can Wikipedia the crap out of that if you want, but the upshot is that 91 here is about 87 there.
In fact, premium fuel cannot help un-clog an engine (to the extent that this is a problem - which is: it’s not) because if any clogging up happens it’ll be in the inlet port, and the fuel in a direct injection engine never actually goes there.
Direct injection injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber. (So, golly-gee, Jim-Bob, I wonder why they called it that?) This occurs when both the inlet and exhaust valves are closed. So the fuel cannot wash the inlet valve. So premium can’t help cure this non-problem.
Modern engines adapt slightly to premium fuels by increasing the ignition advance, and this delivers a small power and fuel economy increase.
But not enough to be a tangible benefit, and the extra cost per litre generally eclipses the improved fuel consumption.
The dealership’s so-called ‘advice’ is weapons-grade bullshit.
Including about needing to consume e10 urgently.
Fuel systems are sealed. The fuel therefore does not interact with the atmosphere like it’s sitting in some open jar on the bench. E10 simply does not have a ‘use by’ date in the context of the way ordinary motorists use ordinary cars.
So it’s complete bullshit to be advised to use premium on an engine the manufacturer has designed to run on 91 or e10. It’s just uninformed waffle.
So, I’d suggest running e10 or 91, get your car serviced on time, and if you can, go for a drive on the open road for an hour or so, once a fortnight.
On the open road there’s lots of lean burning to clean things up in the top end, and the sustained normal operating temp helps purify the sump oil by evaporating off volatile contaminants.
Of course, if the manufacturer says: ‘Use premium unleaded’ - use premium. You cannot hurt an engine by using premium on a car designed for regular, but you certainly can damage an engine by using regular in a car designed for premium.
How to get out of a new car contract with minimum pain | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 26, 2018
The 'contract killer's' guide to backing out of buying a car, once you’ve stupidly, shamefully signed a contract and paid a deposit. A lot of people do that....
I get two of these a week on average - sometimes more. Normally sane, rational people who sign a contract and pay a deposit, at the dealership, usually after getting swept up by the car buying bullshit tsunami.
Then they get home. Reality bites. Perhaps the finance payment is much more than they thought. Maybe their wives threaten to sashimi their wedding vegetables - whatever - and they want to back out before the whole thing becomes a bizarre Lorena Bobbit-esque, Kill Bill wasabi-fuelled nightmare.
This morning I got an e-mail from a guy I’ll call Frank. Frank puts $1000 down on a new Mercedes-Benz for about $100-and-a-bit. He signs and pays. He was just browsing one minute, and now this. Get the number of that bus.
Notionally he jumps in because the salesman is nudging him via the time-honoured bullshit fear that unless he deposits-up, now, someone else could rush in and buy ‘his’ three-point Swastika shitheap at any time.
To which, the Jedi Master’s response is: OK. Let them buy it; Like I care. I’ll take the next one.
Your average car dealer is an ambush predator who will say anything to convince you to stand on the ‘X’ and decide that ankle-grabbing is a grand idea, and that, no, you don’t require lubrication or even a reach-around.
Overlapping fields of fire. If you stand on the X.
Furthermore, the default position of your average Mercedes-Benz arsehole is that is is a tremendous privilege - bestowed by them upon you - if they agree to allow you to give them your money. Lucky you.
Mercedes, in particular, has not yet reached that state of enlightenment which would indicate to them that you could go elsewhere and buy an equivalent wanking chariot, like an Audi.
It’s a cognitive speed hump, and they don’t have the intellectual traction to get over it.
So anyway, there’s a lengthy SMS exchange, which I’ve read, between Frank and the sales arsehole (personal opinion) confirming that Frank can back out if the finance comes out more expensive than he can afford.
This is before he signs and pays, of friggin’ course.
And if he does back out, he’ll get his deposit back.
The salesman confirms this. “All good”: Un-quote.
It’s in black and white. (Actually, blue and white. It was an iMessage.)
Fast forward: Frank tells me he invokes this ‘brace for impact; full reverse thrusters’ option - finance too expensive, backing out now. Got other commitments, et cetera.
And of course the dealer goes from Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde in a heartbeat - and now they’re refusing to refund the deposit and there’s a veiled threat they’ll pursue Frank for 15 per cent of the purchase price if he does not proceed.
So suddenly backing out might be a $16,000 mistake. Ouch.
Respectfully, our hero has fallen for the oldest trick in the car sales arsehole playbook. A deposit does not help you; it locks you in and gives them leverage, which those Mercedes-Benz mother-lovers (personal opinion) seem now to be exploiting.
And it’s not just Benz - they all try it on.
They tell you the deposit is a benefit to you. Securing the car, like it’s the last one on earth. They tell you this precisely because it’s not a benefit to you.
Basically, if you put yourself in this situation, you’ll most likely lose your deposit, but the happy ending part of this story is that they probably won’t come after you hard for the five, 10 or 15% cancellation fee - that’s overwhelmingly just an empty threat.
If I were Frank, I’d succinctly recommend sex and travel to the dealer, with words starting in ‘F’ and ‘O’, because, hey, you can’t afford the car.
And, while we’re playing ‘Threat Bingo’ let them know you’ll lodge a formal complaint with the ACCC regarding their conduct. The regulator currently has its knickers in a twist over carmakers behaving badly, so that’s nice.
So, the Jedi mastery here is never pay a deposit or sign any forms until you are absolutely ready to buy. Like: good to go. Let’s do this. (Said Bill Cosby over a martini.)
Let’s talk about leverage and being nudged onto the ‘X’.
If you are buying a car, the suggestion someone will buy ‘your’ car out from under you is entirely artificial. And so what if they do? The same ‘unbeatable’ deal will be available on the next car. Or at a different dealer. Or from a competing brand.
I’m continually amazed how many people - normally articulate, intelligent, educated people, in business for themselves - fall for this underhanded sales bullshit.
(If you do, you’re not alone - but it’s an expensive lesson.)
If you stand on the showroom floor and his lips are moving, and air is causing his vocal cords to vibrate, imagine a clock on the wall. It’s always stuck on the same time: Bullshit o’clock. It’s always bullshit o’clock in a car dealership. Just remember that and you won’t go wrong.
If you are in the market for a new car may I suggest a Mazda. I am getting ready to trade-in my 2016 CX-5 with about 105k miles. Only things replaced are the oil and filters and wipers. Everything else including brakes and battery are original. Gets great gas mileage too. Mazda is more reliable and cheaper to own than Honda which I considered supreme until now.
Hyundai Ioniq: Should you buy Australia's cheapest EV? | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Nov 30, 2018
Hyundai announced pricing and specs on the new Ioniq last week.
Ioniq comes in three genders: two that identify as hybrid, and one that’s a plug-in, battery-powered EV.
Battery Ioniq: Cheapest EV. It’s either super-impressive value for an EV, or a really expensive car, and, like most EVs in Australia, not an especially viable way to reduce CO2 emissions or be otherwise ontologically green.
If we had clean energy - different story. However, nationally, according to the Feds, we produced 260 gigawatt-hours of electrical energy in 2016-17. About 41 GW-Hs of which was renewable - that’s below 16 per cent renewable.
You cannot recharge an EV in Australia with green energy, unless you connect to your own solar array. Or someone else’s. If you plug into the grid, it’s 85 per cent filth, ballpark.
Ioniq EV is $45 grand before on-road costs. It’s the same size as an i30. (It’s actually about [INDICATE] that much longer.) And it’s got an 88 kilowatt electric motor. They say it’ll go 230 kilometres before running out of electrons.
That’s not bad.
The battery Ioniq costs 37 per cent more than a 2.0-litre i30 Premium. But if you fit a $2000 30-amp charging station at home, the price differential jumps to 43 per cent.
The price premium is about $14,000, including the 7kVA charger, which allows you to recharge in four and a half hours, as opposed to 12 from a standard plug.
To be fair, you probably won’t come home that often with the battery nearly dead. So you might not actually need amped-up charger. If you’ve only gone 100 kays that day, a standard plug is gunna be fine.
But a basic i30 will give you 36 per cent more power. And it’s really only an adequate performer.
I get that buying an EV is not just about the economics, and I get that some people drive without ever needing more than 88 kilowatts. For some people there’s also a deep emotional dimension to going green, or a deep resentment to buying petrol. Or both.
And on those subjective criteria, Ioniq might be a great deal - if that’s what pushes your buttons.
But I’m all about the rationalism.
Frankly, there is an opportunity cost dimension to buying the cheapest EV. Like: How much greener could you be by spending the price premium elsewhere?
You could buy a conventional car that’s better in many respects (more power) for about $25 grand. And you could spend less than $20 grand (about the same total price as Ioniq) on a solar array, plus a home battery pack.
Sonnen, for example, is a home battery, grid decentralisation mob from Germany, establishing itself in Shitsville - so, kinda like the Tesla Power Wall.
Such an installation is gunna last 25 years. And I really don’t think an Ioniq will last that long.
I know a guy who did this. Stephen Fenech. He runs a consumer tech website called TechGuide.com.au.
I met Stephen several years ago, when I was a host on talkback radio - he knows his stuff, and he filled in when the regular tech guy was getting - I dunno - upgrades.
So, Stephen did exactly this installation at his joint.
His electricity bill is now $44 a month, locked in, and the installation is gunna pay for itself in about five or six years - and then it’s gunna run profitably for another two decades.
That’s economically rational. Defensibly green.
In the domain of rationalism, unfortunately, where the facts really do matter: green rationalism, economic rationalism, whatever, it is impossible to defend even Australia’s cheapest EV as a viably green automotive choice.
On rational criteria, even the most affordable EV is still too expensive.
The truth about cars and greenhouse (contains nuts) | Auto Expert John Cadogan2 AutoExpertTV
Published on Dec 1, 2018
The truth about greenhouse and cars - prompted by you.
Additionally in this report we’ll talk trucks, acceleration, the power of prayer (yesss!) strip clubs, and if I’m not careful [LOOK LEFT] my cock may come out as well.
But first, a viewer named (allegedly) Tbone H (I’m tipping he’s a carnivore … could be a chick) has a bone of sorts to pick with moi:
"Statement @5:48 is incorrect.The biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in Australia is Industrial Agriculture and in actual fact it produces more than all other man made greenhouse gases combined.These facts are always extremely hard to find residing well into the teens of search engine pages. Not to take away from the fact that coal is unsustainable and continuing down that path is borderline genocide but facts are facts." - Tbone H
Yes, they are. Those pesky facts. We’ll get to that.
For context, yesterday, while eviscerating EVs, I did say electricity generation was the biggest CO2 emitter in our great nation - Arse-tralia.
Tbone says industrial agriculture. Cap I, cap A. And I didn’t know that was a proper noun, so thanks for that. #FactsAreFacts
Instead of the (quote) “teens” of search engine results pages, just go to Google. Type in ‘Australia greenhouse gas’. Page 1, top search result: The Federal Department of the Environment and Energy. The page is called ‘Tracking Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions’.
The second link in the text: Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
Top Quarterly update: June 2018.
Download the PDF. And then you have to scroll all the way to page 7. Or, if you didn’t pay attention at school and can’t count, just scroll briefly until you see the big, blue, round thing that looks like a pie.
Electricity, as you can see, clearly, is the biggest emitter. Just like I said. What a friggin surprise.
182 million tonnes (these are all 12 months to June 2018). Slight disparity to yesterday’s report, which used the latest full calendar year figures from the same department.
Stationary energy is next - that’s like burning coal or gas in a factory to heat something up for an industrial process, like making ethanol or steam reforming hydrogen, and it also includes things like home heating. (But it excludes electricity.)
Transport is next - just under 20 per cent, just over 100 million tonnes. Bear in mind that’s all transport - planes, trains, etc., as well as cars and trucks.
According to the Climate Council, cars are 46 per cent of total transport emissions. Let’s call it 46 million tonnes. That’s about eight or nine per cent of the total.
So even if we could reduce car tailpipe emissions to zero tomorrow (impossible) it would only decrease CO2 by at most nine per cent. That’s provided doing this didn’t also bump up emissions elsewhere (likely). #FactsAreFacts.
According to the Federal Government, Agriculture is next - 13.2 per cent of the problem. Let’s call it a 50 per cent bigger problem than cars, ballpark.
But we all have to move, and we all have to eat, so there’s that.
I don’t know where you are getting your facts from, Tbone, but I trust the Federal Government to get this right - and (PS) they’re also working it out in accordance with an internationally recognised standard.
As to your claim that agriculture produces more than all the other sources combined, it would need to produce slightly less than 270 million tonnes to achieve that, so you’re only about 200 million tonnes short of being right on that.
What surprises me here is things like fugitive emissions, industrial processes and particularly waste are such small slices of the pie.
(FYI, fugitive emissions are greenhouse-type emissions from exploiting fossil fuels. Like, you drill into an oil reservoir and methane escapes, just like opening a large scale bottle of champagne full of crude oil, and carbonated with methane. Like that.)
So the things that are routinely demonised as ushering in hell on earth - like landfill, and the car, are actually fairly small parts of this puzzle.
I didn’t just say ‘insignificant’. I said ‘small’. Inconveniently, you cannot make a dent in the problem - and it is absolutely a problem - without moving urgently away from coal.
There is no such thing as clean coal. It’s a completely made-up, bullshit concept.
Pedestrian Crossing Shame, 'Strayan style (Warning: not safe for work) | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Dec 6, 2018
Social justice arseholery has reached fever pitch in the Shitsville capital - and the humble pedestrian crossing is the unlikely battleground.
In an ongoing effort to prove to the world just what a laughing stock our fine nation of Shitsville has become (as if seven prime ministers in 11 years isn’t more than enough to secure gold for ‘Straya in Tokyo) an arsehole named Malcolm Snow, who heads up the Canberra City Renewal Authority (personal lubricant dispensers throughout the building there, I’m sure - otherwise too much nasty chafing, given the nature of the work) is taking the fight for traffic light inclusiveness to a whole new level, by installing same-sex traffic lights just outside what a Retardistani visitor who made all the wrong tour choices would call ‘downtown Canberra’.
“I think it gives further credence to the statement that we are a cool little capital.”
Au contraire, Mr Snow - I think it proves you’re a group of left-leaning apologist fuckwits who’ve let the appeasement of minorities get comprehensively out of control.
“We put it in and I guess we’re quietly testing people’s responses.”
Well, seeing as the door is open, allow me to provide my requested feedback.
Of all the inequalities to tackle with public money… If I were in charge, the vexed issue of pedestrian crossing marriage inequality would be somewhat lower on the list.
There’s no evidence that these stick figures are men either. I looked carefully for any evidence a penis, or other typically male accoutrement, such as a lawn mower, or an angle grinder.
There isn’t any.
What I find particularly offensive - on behalf of women - is the allied initiative of some do-gooding arseholes in Melbourne evening-up the ledger and tackling what it calls (quote) “unconsious bias”.
You fucktards - because A) clearly you can’t have a vagina without wearing a dress. I mean, we still stone women to death for wearing pants, don’t we? And B) existing traffic lights are human stick figures, not men.
And what about those men who enjoy wearing dresses? Like Eddie Izzard. Why put him in a box? How disgracefully stereotypical. These idiots spending your money are playing tennis without the fucking net.
This move by those retards in Melbourne - which costs more than $8000 per set of lights - public money - is based on the nutbag presumption of a select group of dickheads with too much spare time - lobbyists, and the Victorian Governor, who (literally and metaphorically, it seems) has no balls:
“Some people have expressed a little scepticism wondering whether it's gesture politics rather than having any real substance. But these symbols are a practical and meaningful way to demonstrate that in fact 50 per cent of our population is female and should therefore also be represented at traffic lights." - Victorian Governor Linda Dessau.
We’re becoming the world leader in pedestrian crossing equality.
Solving one of the world’s least significant problems. Yesssss!
I’ve never seen a sexist or homophobic traffic light - ever - and I’d suggest to you that having female or marriage-equality pedestrian crossing signals, of the kind championed here by Governor No Balls and Mr Snowflake, is like developing a saxophone holder that’s also an ashtray for a Harley-Davidson that wants to marry another Fat Boy.
Please don’t misunderstand me, however. Unlike God, I actually like, respect and support fags. I don’t want to be one, but I carry no resentment in their direction.
Fags - and lezzos - at the very least - should absolutely be allowed to marry. Why should we breeders experience all the bliss? Especially during a divorce.
In fact, if you want to marry your Fat Boy, or your Harley-Davidson, or if you want, polyamorously enough, to marry your Harley and also the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I say: Go for it. Knock yourself out. It can’t hurt.
The rest of us don’t give a shit, or are at best mildly supportive.
I’m not alone when I say I feel about gay marriage the same way I feel about the prospect of Heinz introducing green-coloured butter to supermarket shelves:
I say, emphatically: go for it. I’m just not gunna try it.
But what shits me are clowns like Governor No Balls and Mr Snowflake, and the salary they draw, in my view under false pretenses, to promote civic wellbeing. Champions of social justice. Wasting public funds and inflicting this nauseating shit on the rest of us.
Doing their bit to demean Arse-tralia on the world stage. To make us laughing stocks. Again.
If you wrote kind of bullshit this into the script for a TV drama, and submitted the screenplay upstairs for approval at to the network, a senior programming executive would be straight on the phone, telling you to stop sniffing glue, and get back on track.
And now: Thermodynamics nut-baggery, writ large. Yesss!
"I wonder whether my WRX would benefit from a larger intercooler. Turbochargers add considerable heat. I often drive in mountainous regions. Although I have not made measured temperature comparisons, I suspect there is a lot of heat under the bonnet that would not be there were it not for the turbo.
"I am concerned that certain sensitive vehicle components might not have been designed to withstand those temperatures over 250,000km. Since I want my vehicle to last as long as possible, it occurred to me that a larger intercooler could help.
"If you are willing to provide it, I would like your opinion regarding the usefulness of a somewhat larger and/or more efficient intercooler in extending the life of my vehicle’s engine-bay components." - Eugene
Not all nuts are malignant. This is a benign nutty enquiry that’s sadly not informed by even a vestigial grasp of the facts, in my view.
And that’s why it’s so wrong.
It’s breathtakingly presumptuous to assume that you can have no education (on heat transfer) and no data, and yet still possess the confidence to dream up a purportedly better system than the one a bunch of engineers worked on, and validated by testing.
I guess it might be liberating not to know what you don’t know - but ultimately it doesn’t help.
An intercooler rejects heat from the inlet air, and bleeds it by convection into the engine bay, where airflow from forward movement dissipates it.
Therefore, a bigger intercooler rejects more heat into the engine bay. Therefore, the engine bay will get slightly hotter, all other things being equal.
Also, the density of the inlet air will increase, because it’s cooler. This will allow the engine to burn even more fuel during periods of high demand - climbing those mountains, overtaking a truck, whatever.
Result: More power. More waste heat. Engine gets hotter. Not cooler.
This is, like, thermodynamics in the beer garden.
A bigger intercooler will not cool down the engine bay. It will heat it up, if you drive your WRX like you stole it.
Also - I’d want to know that the injectors can keep up. In other words, the MAF sensor is going to notice the extra mass of air going in. It’s essentially going to tell the engine to deliver more fuel now.
So, at 6000rpm, foot flat to the boards, I’d really want to know the injectors and fuel pump can deliver sufficient fuel. Because if the engine leans out under those conditions, internal temperatures will skyrocket, and the cooling system won’t keep up.
And that’s how you melt pistons. So I’d want some expert WRX tuner involved at some level if I was going to dick with this stuff, otherwise you might engineer-in the exact opposite of durability.
But there’s also another massive logical problem here, and I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet.
There’s no evidence that temperatures in the engine bay are, over time, contributing to failure of components. This is a completely fictional proposition.
Dozens of engineers did actual R&D with prototypes, in extreme environments, with thermocouples pasted all over the engine bay, taking actual temperature measurements near critical components...
And comparing those measurements to the operating temperature limits of those parts. And, if it’s too hot, they either move the bits, or (if they can’t move them) they protect them, for example, with a heat shield.
When you see a shiny aluminium heat shield [LOOK DOWN] down there, it’s generally not because someone had a dream that this would be a good idea. It’s data-driven.
They don’t always get it right because cars are complex, and complexity is the enemy of reliability, and not all failure modes can be predicted in advance.
But you have to give R&D dudes due credit. You’ve got fuel, plastic, electricity, heat and massive airflow - the unholy quinternity of conflagration - all within a bee’s dick of each other. For 250,000 kilometres.
And yet cars don’t all catch fire routinely (except Fords). Not only that, they’re quite durable, generally (except Volkswagens, and Jeeps, and Mercedes-Benzes, and Nissans, and Fords, and or course, Holdens).
So I’d suggest these kinds of modification dreams are aimed at non-problems and operating in a domain of decisions stemming from dubious reasoning and a complete lack of evidence.
Published on Dec 3, 2018
I thought Chevy or GMC might be the best work truck & I was going to buy one & then I got a message saying "Stan I work in the chevy plant and their is a reason I drive a ford". I needed to find out more & he agreed to do an interview. What I learned changed my mind on buying Chevy trucks.
2019 Wrangler earns catastrophic 1-star safety rating | Auto Expert John Cadogan AutoExpertTV
Published on Dec 8, 2018
Just over a week ago, Jeep dickheads threw the covers off the Gladiator pickup in LA. The Wrangler of pickups.
Unfortunately, just a couple of days later, the actual Wrangler of Wranglers - the new one, which won’t go on sale here until the first quarter of 2019 - was swamped in a tsunami of shit, well beyond the official wading depth, after Euro NCAP made its tragic safety rating public:
One star. That’s indefensibly appalling. Grossly under-engineered. Incredibly negligent. So, just another day in the Fiat Chrysler office, basically.
Of course, Jeep PR types leapt into the fray, here and abroad, firing all kinds of shots at any journalist retarded enough to listen and regurgitate.
Head office Jeep PR types said the Wrangler:
“...meets or exceeds federal safety requirements in every market in which it is sold.”
Well, d’uh. I guess if it didn’t meet them, they wouldn’t be allowed to sell it.
An un-named PR person, speaking on behalf of Fiat Chrysler locally, dribbled on in defence of the upcoming shitbox Wrangler:
“The Jeep Wrangler arrives in Australia with a long list of standard and available safety equipment, including front and side airbags, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, parking sensors, a rear-view camera and autonomous emergency braking, all of which is paired with the use of high-strength steel in its construction designed to protect the cabin in the case of an accident.”
The Wrangler crashes like 10 pounds of shit in a five-pound bag, dropped from the third floor balcony.
In the frontal offset crash, with the deformable barrier, at 64 kilometres an hour, nobody in the front seating positions gets off with better than a ‘marginal’ survival rating. That’s disgraceful.
The ratings are: Good, adequate, marginal, weak and poor, and they’re attributed to the body parts that can kill you quickly at the roadside if sufficiently injured.
Front passenger: ‘Marginal’ for both thighs. Vascular injuries to the legs, shattered femurs … very serious. Devastating injuries. Driver’s whole right leg and foot: Marginal. Left thigh, left foot: Marginal. Driver’s chest: Weak.
In the new 50km/h full-width frontal crash - no deformable barrier - things look even worse: ‘poor’ chest protection for the front passenger (that’s the worst rating) and ‘marginal’ for the driver.
Wrangler is - structurally - an indefensible death trap. I’d welcome the opportunity to debate this with the anonymous local PR dudes rabbiting on about quote: “high-strength steel in its construction designed to protect the cabin in the case of an accident”.
According to Euro NCAP, the connection between the A-pillar and the trans fascia beam failed catastrophically in the offset frontal crash. (Pro tip: that’s bad.) The footwell lost its structural integrity (meaning its capacity to, quote, ‘protect the cabin’. That’s bad, too.)
The local local Fiat Chrysler bullshitter continued undaunted, however. Spectacularly so, in my view:
“Safety is something we take incredibly seriously, and every other member of our Jeep family of vehicles wears a five-star safety rating with pride…”
The first part of this statement is simply not true in relation to the Wrangler and the second part is … irrelevant. We’re not talking about the rest of the inventory. We’re talking about the Wrangler.
Safety cannot be something Jeep takes (quote) “incredibly seriously” - not with the crashworthiness deficiencies inherent in the new Wrangler, independently identified by Euro NCAP.
They’re either lying or grossly incompetent. I can’t see another alternative. And both point in the exact opposite direction from taking it seriously.
No mainstream publications had the balls to say - apparently - (unless I missed it, and I did look) is that no matter what clever technology is added to that Jeep shitbox, its structural performance in crashing will remain a disgraceful 50 per cent.
And I guarantee you, they will not re-engineer the structure for Arse-trailia. Not with sales here the way they are.
And that means, at 50 per cent for adult occupant protection, the best the Wrangler can hope for, here in Shitsville, is two-stars.