Sunday 4 December 2016

Dashboard ignorance; women pick Car of Year; dealer celebrates 30 years; who pays?

Shortcuts with Eddie

Published 23/11/2016 | 02:30

The Jaguar F-Pace.
The Jaguar F-Pace.

I'm always surprised at how little we know about the workings of our cars. A new study, for example, found that almost half of us don't understand our dashboard warning lights.

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The Gocompare.com survey discovered:

• 48pc of drivers don't understand the warning lights on the dashboard;

• 60pc have never read their car's manual;

• 31pc don't know if their car has a spare tyre;

• 48pc admitted they didn't know how to use all their car's features, and that included 28pc who said they didn't know how to use their fog lights.

Other disclosures:

• 45pc didn't know the service interval;

• 47pc were ignorant of the correct tyre pressure;

• 44pc couldn't say if their car was front, rear or all-wheel-drive.

It's mad isn't it? We spend thousands, probably tens of thousands, on a car and then forget about most of it.

Ignorance about warning lights is serious because they can avert major outlay.

* Jaguar's F-PACE has been chosen as the winner of this year's World Car of the Year.

The category winners are: Honda Civic (family car); Honda Jazz (budget car); Jaguar F-Pace (SUV/Crossover); Ford Mustang (performance car); Volvo S90 (luxury car); Toyota Prius (Green car).

* Congratulations to Joe Mallon Motors, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Friday in the showroom in Naas, Kildare.

I remember Motors doing a mystery shopping 'Garage Watch' visit there back the years and being most impressed.

I understand the celebrations will feature a fashion-themed event called 'Style Games', which will involve players from the Kildare GAA male and female football teams. Enjoy.

* Just a few days after unveiling the new I-Pace electric SUV - a first for Jaguar - the top man at the JLR automaker, Ralf Speth (a most approachable individual I've found) is saying up to half the group's line-up will be plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles by 2020. Yes, half of all new Jags will be hybrid or electric. Did you ever think you'd hear that? Good news that none will be self-driving. Whew! Who wants a Jag and doesn't want to drive it?

* By my reckoning only around 70 new-car registrations separate the two biggest-selling marques on the Irish market. Hyundai are shading it; Volkswagen are in hot pursuit for the privilege of claiming to be the country's best seller. Not far behind (200 or so) is Toyota. Let's see what happens before the end of the month shall we?

* We know one of the problems with automated cars will be deciding who was in control at the time of an accident.

Thatcham Research have raised the thorny issue again. Someone somewhere will need data so insurers can determine who was in control - the driver or the system.

According to Thatcham's Peter Shaw, consumers need to be protected and legislation is needed so that "who pays can be quickly determined". He adds: "This can only happen if their insurer has access to key data about the crash. "We would like to see car manufacturers and legislators working together with the insurance industry to develop a framework to make this happen." Feels a long, long road ahead doesn't it?

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