Best wiper blades: 2018 group test The car wiper blade market is awash with options, so 10 of the best were tested to reveal a clear wiper blade winner for 2018 Wiper blades are easy to overlook, as they deteriorate gradually. Before you know it, you can be left with a smeary screen, compromising safety, and a noisy wiping action. Replacements, fortunately, are plentiful and easy to come by, with a wide range of blades on the market at a decent spread of prices. Fitting new wipers is easier than it once was, too, because many cars come with plug-and-play adaptors. To find out which set of blades we think you should go for, we put 10 to the test. How they were tested The most important aspect of a windscreen wiper blade is obviously whether it is able to effectively and consistently clean a windscreen, and we assessed our 10 products on a 2011 Skoda Superb. We wanted to know whether or not each set of blades left smears, streaks or blemishes, but also assessed how easy they were to fit and how each wiper’s noise level compared with its rivals. We also considered cost in our assessments, with the quoted prices for a 24 and 18-inch twin set taken from online sources as we went to press. Verdict The Bosch Aerotwin blades take victory thanks to their perfect wiping action, while they were also the easiest to fit and felt most solid. Wiperblades’ Aerowipers come a close second for their great cleaning and price, with Trico’s solid and quiet ExactFit third. 1. Bosch Aerotwin 2. Wiperblades Aerowiper 3. Trico ExactFit The Aerotwin blades take another win, thanks to an excellent performance across all areas. They were the most solid-feeling items we tested, and also the easiest to install and remove. Once wiping, they left a perfectly clean screen, with no streaks or smears and perfect dispersal of water. The blades were among the quietest we tested, too.
Peugeot 3008: first SUV to become “car of the year” Peugeot 3008 has evolved into a dynamic SUV – relying on Bosch technology.
At the Geneva Motor Show, 58 journalists from 22 countries elected
Peugeot 3008 “car of the year 2017”. This award honors most of all the
exterior and interior design and the overall concept of the new SUV.
Peugeot 3008 comes with with 88–133 kW (120 – 180 hp) gasoline and diesel engines. It’s equipment also includes modern Bosch technology.
Double Platinum spark plugs
The electrodes with platinum alloy make Bosch Double Platinum spark plugs (type code ZR 6 SPP 3320) particularly wear-resistant and durable – and thus ideal for the tough requirements of the 1.2 l PureTech 130 STOP & START engine – a modern 3-cylinder engine providing 96 kW (130 hp), and which was once again voted engine of the year* in its category in 2017.
Wideband lambda sensors
A wideband lambda sensor – type LSU ADV (advanced) – is installed upstream of the catalytic converter. Due to its high temperature resistance, it can also be installed upstream of the turbocharger.
Its fast signal readiness enables even lower emission levels during
warm-up. An LSF Xfour is installed after the catalytic converter. Its controlled heater ensures high characteristic curve accuracy thus reducing emissions for cold and warm engine starts.
In addition, LSF Xfour also features a particularly high temperature resistance.
BOSCH INSIDE PEUGEOT 3008
Diesel injection system common rail with high-pressure pump, injectors and rail
Engine control unit for gasoline and diesel injection systems
Front and rear wiper system
Gasoline direct injection system with high-pressure pump and high-pressure injectors
Hot-film air-mass meter
Radio with smartphone integration
Vacuum brake booster
New driving laws 2017 explained - Everything you MUST know to avoid fines and points Here is a breakdown of all the driving laws, legislation and rule changes, you should be aware of to avoid facing fines, driving bans or even a criminal record.
Child car seats
On March 1st child car and booster seat regulations changed.
Under the new rules, it is illegal to have your child’s car seat fitted incorrectly. Under the new rules, only children who weigh 22kg or more, or are 4ft 10in (125cm) tall will be recommended to use the backless booster seats.
All children who are under 12 years old or less than 4ft 5in tall (135 cm) will be required to travel in car seat. Once the child is older than 12 or reaches the height guideline, then they will be allowed to travel in the regular adult car seas.
Only EU approved seats can be used in the UK. Here is what you need to look out for to ensure you're buying an appropriate seat:
Make sure you also check for an orange ‘approved’ label. On the orange approved labels there should be a capital E as well as the code R129. This signifies therefore it is a correct and suitable seat to buy.
If your baby is 15 months old or younger, their car seat must be rear-facing, any child older than that can ride in a forward-facing seat.
Car seats should be replaced when a baby's head is level with the top of the seat. Babies that are under 9kg should also travel in a baby carrier and not a child seat.
When fitting a seat parents must ensure that only a belt with a diagonal strap is used unless the seats are specifically designed for use with a lap belt or you use ISOFIX anchor points.
It should be noted that if you are caught with an 'unsuitable' or wrongly fitted car seat then you could charged £500
Under the new speeding laws introduced on 24th April, drivers can be charged up to 175 per cent of their weekly wage.
There is a cap of £1,000 on minor speeding offences or up to £2,500 for major ones.
A three band system will determine the severity of an offence and corresponds to different charges.
These charges are calculated on a percentage basis.
A minor offence constitutes a band A charge. Band A charges are for drivers who exceed the stated speed limit between one and 10mph.
So, if a driver travels 31mph up to 40mph in a 30mph zone, they can be charged between 25 per cent and 75 per cent of their weekly income.
Drivers who exceed the stated speed limit by 11mph up to 20mph will be charged between 75 per cent and 125 per cent of their wage.
Major offences, which are for speed limit breaches of up 22mph and above will be charged between 125 per cent and 175 per cent of their week wage.
In addition to the variable fee motorists could land themselves with a driving offence of this nature, they could also receive between three and six penalty points.
Backless booster seats will only be approved to children who are taller than 125cm or weigh more than 3st 6.5llbs
Children must use a child car seat until they are 12yrs old or 135cm tall
Only EU approved child seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a Capital 'E' in a circle
Children may travel without a car seat if the journey you are taking is unexpected, necessary or over a short distance. this does not apply to children under 3 years old
Children up to 15 months old must be in a rear facing car seat. They can move to a forward facing car seat when they are 15 months old.
Children may travel in a taxi or minicab without a car seat if the driver does not provide one. They must travel in the rear of the vehicle, children over three must use an adult seat belt. Children under three can travel in the rear without using an adult seat belt.
Children can travel in a coach without a car seat or seat belt if they are not available.
Children travelling in a minibus must travel in the rear seats if there is no child seat. Children aged three or over must use a child car seat if there is one available or an adult seat belt if there is not a suitable child seat available.
You must only use a child car seat if your car has a diagonal strap, unless the child car seat is specifically designed for use with a lap seat belt or is fitted using ISOFIX anchor points
If there is no room for a third childs car seat in the back, children under three must sit in the front with the correct child seat. Children over three or older can sit in the back using an adult seat belt
If you are travelling in a car without a seat belt, children under three cannot travel. Children over three can travel in the back without a car seat or seat belt if the vehicle does not have one.
EU speeding laws
On May 7, British motorists caught speeding in Europe could face £640 fines, due to a new Brussels rule.
Member states have been given powers to track down UK motorists and hand them the fines, if an offence is made.
"Your Car, Your Choice" highlights the rights of motorists to freely choose a garage for vehicle repairs and servicing The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) is raising awareness of motorists’ rights by launching the ‘Your Car, Your Choice’ campaign, supporting key legislation providing motorists with freedom to choose where to service, maintain and repair their vehicle. The campaign, formally called ‘Right2Choose’, has been relaunched by IAAF to reflect developments in the digital age and to refocus the industry’s attention on the importance of choice in regards to vehicle maintenance and repair work. Under Block Exemption legislation, consumers have the right to use any repair workshop for non-warranty work during the warranty period. The aftermarket can utilise the re-branded promotional support and materials available, including an easy-to-navigate website, merchandise, literature explaining key legislation and information, and a social media campaign. Motorists unaware of legislation Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “Many motorists are unaware of this legislation and it’s our duty as an industry to inform the general public and give them the opportunity to choose the best option for their own requirements. “We will now work alongside the aftermarket to tackle misconceptions within the industry and beyond. This message is incredibly important, not just for motorists but for the future of the independent aftermarket and we encourage the sector to get behind the campaign and spread the word.”
Independent garages top national chains and dealers, survey shows Independents stand out against competitors for MOT work, brakes and parts replacement
Almost 90 per cent of consumers say independent garages offer the greatest level of satisfaction based on their last experience, according to the latest consumer attitude survey results published by the National Franchised Dealers Association’s (NFDA).
The survey, which researches consumer attitudes towards servicing and repair in the retail automotive aftermarket, also found that two thirds of consumers believe the independent sector offers the greatest convenience.
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) said it is delighted, but not surprised, to see independent garages come out on top.
Stuart James, IGA director said: “The independents will always score highly with customer satisfaction due to their personal involvement in the way customers are treated, and in recent years efforts to improve perceptions of the sector have been very successful.”
The results also revealed that more than half of consumers use the internet for research and the NFDA believe this demonstrates that more needs to be done across the UK to raise awareness of internet bookings
A THIRD OF CAR BUYERS ARE BEING MIS-SOLD FINANCE & INSURANCE PRODUCTS
Research from the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the professional body for the automotive sector, has found that finance and insurance (F&I) products are added to 60% of all car purchases. However 45% of drivers said they felt pressured by a salesman to buy add-ons when they most recently bought a car from a dealership or garage.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has implemented changes to the Consumer Credit Act which aims to stop drivers being mis-sold finance and insurance products. Yet 42% of car buyers said they had avoided a dealership due to the lack of trust.
According to the IMI research this mis-trust could be avoided, with 64% saying buying a car would be easier if the people they were buying from were members of a regulated body. Over half said they would feel more comfortable making financial decisions relating to a car purchase if additional measures were in place to ensure they weren't overcharged
STEVE NASH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT IMI, SAID:
“Sadly our research highlighted that nearly two thirds (63%) of car buyers find the process stressful. This underlines why it's the right time for the retail motor industry to take more responsibility to ensure anybody selling finance and insurance products has the correct training to be able to help drivers decide whether or not they would like to buy these extras when purchasing a vehicle.
“The IMI F&I Accreditation helps safeguard customers by ensuring the salesman is giving accurate and truthful information. It also gives the car salesman the knowledge to be able to identify which products, if any, are suitable for that individual customer. This training is just one step further in ensuring the industry is providing a good quality and honest service.”
SABINA HEGARTY, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT CALIBRE GROUP SOLUTIONS, SAID:
“It's clear from the research that perception of our industry continues to be a barrier for customers. The only way to change this is to 'improve from within' by developing and upskilling our people to ensure the advice they give is fair, transparent, consistent and in the best interest of the customer.
“Savvy shoppers of today are looking for more than just a good price. Knowing that staff in a particular retailer carry additional and 'voluntary' IMI F&I Accreditation might be what sets them apart from their competitors and could make the difference between winning a new customer or not. F&I specialists on site need to actively improve their approach, leading to better customer satisfaction and ultimately resulting in greater consumer confidence. It certainly won't happen by itself.”
The new IMI F&I Accreditation guarantees customers are dealing with an individual who has signed an ethical code of conduct and is working in line with FCA and IMI regulations.
Van with flair: the new Peugeot Traveller Elegant, reliable and with comfortable power characteristics, Peugeot Traveller enters the demanding van sector. Equipped with a host of Bosch innovations, the van appears powerful and of strong character.
Bosch inside Peugeot Traveller
Airbag control unit
Common-rail diesel injection system
ESP® (Electronic Stability Program)
Power window drive
Engine control unit
Being both modern and with a strong
character at the same time, the new
Peugeot Traveller resembles both reliability
and elegance. That’s just what
the van sector is looking for. In addition,
the new French van stands out for
its high flexibility: It can either carry up
to 8 passengers or haul up to 4554 l of
freight. On the other hand, many technical
Bosch innovations also contribute
to a “great journey” on board the new
Bosch start/stop starter
Innovative products provide a significant
contribution by supporting
fuel-saving drive systems. For this
purpose, Peugeot Traveller is equipped
with a state-of-the-art start/stop
system. The Bosch SC70 start/stop
starter comes from a tried and tested
series of starters that has proven its
worth over millions of times. Despite
its low weight, SC70 is particularly
robust and specifically designed for
highly dynamic starting characteristics.
As soon as the vehicle comes
to a standstill, the start/stop system
turns off the engine – for instance,
when waiting at a red traffic light or at
a traffic jam. Pushing down the clutch
pedal, it restarts the engine without
delay. This contributes to fuel savings
in city traffic and thus helps reducing
the CO2 emissions.
Bosch common rail system for high
Peugeot Traveller is equipped with
turbo-diesel engines only. At these
power plants featuring between 95
and 177 hp (70 - 130 kW), Bosch
common-rail systems ensure powerful
and yet comfortable acceleration.
The highly reliable Bosch CP 4.1
common-rail high-pressure pump
generates the required pressure. The
powerful CRI2-16 solenoid-valve injectors
work with a pressure of 1600
bar (about 23 200 psi). At the same
time, the multiple-injection system
contributes to reduced fuel consumption
and thus less CO2 and pollutant
Qashqai owners speak out against engine failures Owners of 1.2l petrol models claim they are being left without a car because of serious mechanical problems
Qashqai owners have accused Nissan of failing to admit to serious problems with models that are powered by the Renault-supplied 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol engines, introduced in 2014.
According to The Guardian, Ana Keogh spent £28,000 on a brand-new Qashqai in 2015 but was left without a car for weeks at a time after her car needed three engine re-builds in just 18-months.
Problems first arose ten-months into her ownership, when Ana noticed a strange noise coming from the engine.
Under warranty, Nissan replaced the timing chain but a couple of months later the noise returned.
Nissan said the car required a new engine and Ana was left without a car once again as the engine was sourced and fitted.
Just a few weeks later, the noise returned again.
‘Don’t know what they are doing’
Ana said: “I think we have been more than patient, but Nissan and the dealer don’t appear to know what they are doing.
“How can a car have so many engine rebuilds in such a short period?
“No explanation is ever offered, and I’m just expected to put up with it, like it’s normal.
“We spent a lot of money on this car.
“I’m about to have a baby, I just want a car that works.”
Nissan have offered to buy the car back for £14,500 if they buy another Nissan but Ana and her husband believe the car to be worth more than £19,000.
Gavin Connolly of Bridgend in south Wales has also had his engine replaced on his 15-month old Qashqai because it was burning too much oil.
Connolly was told by the dealership that there was a problem with the pistons on a batch of engines.
He said: “I took my car in for a service only to be told it was almost empty of oil.
“It was refilled and I was told to bring it back after 3,000 miles, and it was the same story.
“I am aware of other owners with the same problem, including one guy whose car was only driveable for six weeks out of the seven months he owned it.
“In the end, he got so fed up he traded it in at a huge loss, just to get rid of it.”
Owners commenting on Qashqai Forums believe oil consumption problems date back as far as 2015 and some owners have commented that their cars are booked in for rectification work this week.
The Qashqai is one of the UK’s best-selling cars and 3.3 million have been sold across 137 market during its ten-years in production.
70% OF DRIVERS PUT OFF ELECTRIC AND HYBRID CARS BY HIGH INSURANCE COSTS
Higher insurance premiums for electric and hybrid cars is the biggest factor putting off most drivers from making the switch from diesel to low emission vehicles, according to a survey published today (31.1.17).
Research conducted on behalf of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) shows that while 40% of the public have grave concerns about air pollution and see Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) as a solution. But they are unwilling or unable to pay the increased insurance premiums currently levied on these cars. As a result they won’t consider buying or leasing one in the near future.
Insurers charge up to 50%* more to cover electric and hybrid cars because of the higher purchase price and the current lack of skilled technicians available to repair them. As things stand only 1% of mechanics in the UK have the necessary qualifications to carry out work on the high-voltage systems of ULEVs and they are almost exclusively employed within franchised dealers.
The public are similarly concerned with the lack of charging points available to service electric and hybrid cars, according to the IMI research. But, while the government is supporting the development of the charging infrastructure with a £600m fund to promote clean cars, it continues to resist any intervention in the market to deal with the serious skills gap.
The IMI has called on Ministers to help with a £30 million investment in training from its £600 million fund created to promote emission free vehicles.
The IMI had positive dialogue with the Department for Transport on the skills issue in 2016, but since Chris Grayling MP took over as Secretary of State the talks have stalled. The new Minister with the brief for the Modern Transport Bill, Environment and Technology, John Hayes MP, has so far been reluctant to engage in further discussions.
Vital Research and Statistics conducted the survey for the IMI. They polled 2,000 UK adults with driving licenses between 13th and 19th December 2016. Only 17% of respondents thought the extra costs for insurance for ULEVs were a price worth paying for the environmental benefits. Even though 38% ranked Air Pollution as the thing they worried about most.
With a passion for improving climate change and the growing level of air pollution, The shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rachael Maskell MP, said:
“Members of the public are rightly concerned about air pollution, and many drivers clearly want to do their bit for the environment. But it’s up to the government to make sure the right incentives are there.
"The reality at the moment is that motorists are effectively penalised for choosing greener options. For that to change the government needs to step up and invest more in clean fuel vehicles, as well as the infrastructure and skills needed to support, service and maintain them.”
There were age and regional variations in the responses. 18-24 year olds are more willing to pay higher insurance costs, 21% compared to the over 55s of whom only 9% would pay the extra cost.More than 20% of residents of London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Brighton and Cardiff believed the extra costs worth paying for cleaner air. Only 11% of residents of Coventry, Leeds, Southampton and Newcastle agreed.
IMI CEO Steve Nash said:
“Millions of tax payers cash spent on charging points will be wasted if the government won’t help independent garages and wider industry keep up with the switch to electric.
“It’s not rocket science. Small businesses are uncertain about future demand for work on electrified cars and won’t risk investing in the skills they need without help from the government. This means insurance and servicing costs will stay out of the reach of many drivers and car buyers will still be attracted to diesel cars as the most fuel efficient alternative, keeping them on our roads in significant numbers for decades to come.
“The government has recognised the most obvious barrier to consumers buying electric cars, which is the charging infrastructure, and it is taking direct steps to address this. However, it needs to recognise that this is the biggest change in the automotive industry for over 100 years and there are other barriers that must be addressed too, not least the skills gap.”
Vauxhall face continued pressure over Corsa fire scandal DVSA launches investigation amid fears over the safety of Vauxhall models
DVSA inspectors are to visit Vauxhall’s Luton HQ to check that it is doing everything it can to ensure safety, according to a report by The Sun.
DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “It is vital Vauxhall swiftly rectifies its problems.
“It has taken too long for them to protect consumers.
“We are visiting Vauxhall to make certain it is doing all it can to ensure the safety of its customers.”
The audit is part of the DVSA’s Quality Assurance Programme for all major firms.
The inspection follows renewed concerns about Vauxhall fires.
The BBC’s Watchdog, aired on December 7, examined ten Corsas and three posed a fire risk with degradation in the heater wiring.
In the first car examined the heater wires were damaged, in the second they were starting to melt.
The programme suggested that there is a link between the cars that don’t have air-conditioning but instead a four-speed fan and those which have caught fire.
The show also revealed six fires in Corsa D models that had not been covered under recalls of the 1.4-litre turbocharged engines in April.
In a statement to Watchdog, Vauxhall said: “Vauxhall Corsa D is one of our most popular models, with over 700,000 sold in the UK between 2006 and 2014.
“Earlier this year we identified a potential fire related issue with a specific Corsa D variant equipped with the 1.4 Turbo petrol engine.
“Nine cases had previously been reported to us, which we investigated.
“Two of these cases had resulted in a fire.
“A Safety Recall to address this issue was initiated in April 2016 for the 2,767 vehicles affected.
“Vauxhall is not aware of a fire risk to any other variant of Corsa D.
“Fires can occur in all makes of cars and it is important that thorough investigations are carried out before determining if there is a manufacturing defect that can relate to fire.”
Bosch motorcycle systems honored with three CES 2017 Innovation Awards
Bosch gets the motorcycle connected
• Bosch motorcycle systems honored with three CES Innovation Awards in two categories
• Rider information system winner and honoree in the In-Vehicle Audio/Video and Vehicle Intelligence categories
• Connected safety solution for small motorcycles and scooters is honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence category
• Bosch presents both products for powered two-wheelers at CES in Las Vegas
Enhanced safety and more infotainment for powered two-wheelers was Bosch’s formula for success at the CES 2017 Innovation Awards. On November 10, 2016, the judges honored the company’s motorcycle systems with a total of three awards. A rider information system that replaces a traditional instrument cluster with a display impressed the judges twice, becoming a winner in the In-Vehicle Audio/Video category and an honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence category. In addition to that, a connected safety solution for small motorcycles and scooters made it to the winner’s podium – it too was declared an honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence category. “With its dedicated connectivity solutions, Bosch makes motorcycles safer and more convenient,” says Manfred Baden, President of the Car Multimedia division at Robert Bosch GmbH.
„With its dedicated connectivity solutions, Bosch makes motorcycles safer and more convenient“
Manfred Baden, President of the Car Multimedia division at Robert Bosch GmbH
Infotainment on the vehicle display
The rider information system, known as the Integrated connectivity cluster, combines all the motorcycle’s instrumentation on a single display and makes it possible for riders to use their smartphone. The advantage of this is that the system automatically adapts the display to current usage. That means the rider is shown only the information needed at that particular moment. This in turn reduces distraction, thus enhancing safety. So, for example, at high speeds, all the display information elements with the exception of the speed indicator and warning notifications are gradually hidden. The display is easy to read in all weather conditions. Even in direct sunlight, the colors are distinct and the contrast is very high; and in the dark the display does not dazzle the rider. What is more, it endures rain.
Regardless of whether the user wants to select some music or answer a call, it is possible to operate all the main smartphone functions using a handlebar remote control during the ride without ever having to handle the device directly. After one-time initial pairing, the system connects immediately via Bluetooth to the smartphone and helmet headset.
Enhanced safety saves lives
The connected safety solution, known as the Lean connectivity unit, connects the smartphone to small motorcycles or scooters via Bluetooth. The product was developed in India with a clear focus on the needs of users in the Asia/Pacific region. After all, braking control systems for powered two-wheelers, like ABS and MSC, are still only a rarity there. And so, the number of road traffic fatalities among riders of powered two-wheelers continues to rise. Analyses of accidents in Indonesia and Thailand have shown, for instance, that approximately 21,000 people die in motorcycle accidents in these two countries every year. India will for this reason make ABS a legal requirement for all new motorcycle types from 2018 and will be one of the first newly industrialized countries to take this step.
The main components of the Lean connectivity unit are a handlebar remote control, a box for establishing the connection to the smartphone, and an app. If the driver has fallen off the motorcycle or scooter, the app automatically sends a text message containing the coordinates of the accident to a predefined emergency contact. In situations in which the rider feels unsafe, the handlebar remote control can be used to send an emergency call. In this case too, a previously defined emergency contact is alerted via a text message. The emergency call transmits the vehicle’s position at regular intervals. The Lean connectivity unit also allows users to unlock the vehicle via their mobile phone. Using the corresponding app, the owner can furthermore share a smartphone “key” and so, for instance, allow other family members to use the vehicle too. Telephone functions are an option as well, allowing the user, for example, to set the Lean connectivity unit to reject calls automatically when the vehicle is moving.
The CES Innovation Awards are sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM and honor the best products at CES every year in advance of the show. The CES Innovation Awards are awarded in 28 categories. In addition to the motorcycle systems, a new line of highly efficient and app-controllable gas tankless condensing water heaters for the residential and commercial buildings was also honored in the Home Appliances category. In 2016, Bosch already won a CES Innovation Award for its neoSense product, a touchscreen with haptic feedback.
EXPERIENCE BOSCH at the CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.: At CES 2017, Bosch will show how the Internet of Things is getting personal – turning things into partners. Connected technology enables personal assistance across all domains of people’s lives: improving mobility, shaping the life in the cities of the future, making homes smarter, healthcare more efficient and working holistic. Exhibiting at CES for the fifth year, Bosch will introduce an extended portfolio of solutions that are “simply.connected.”
VMs found to be manipulating TPMS tests Evidence suggests that lives are at risk as carmakers adjust indirect TPMS to manipulate lab tests
New research claims that vehicle manufacturers are “again manipulating official tests, this time on safety by adjusting indirect tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) to pass the lab test but failing to perform on the road”.
The findings were published by campaigning body, Transport & Environment (T&E) after it commissioned IDIADA to test a Volkswagen Golf and a Fiat 500L equipped with indirect TPMS to perform a copy of the type approval test carried at IDIADA, which they passed.
However, out of 16 real-world tests, the Golf failed 14 and the 500L all 16.
Such indirect systems rely on tyre vibration and wheel rotations to detect low pressure, while the more effective direct TPMS have sensors to accurately measure the pressure in each wheel.
Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles manager at T&E, said: “With Dieselgate, carmakers were caught wilfully putting the public’s health at risk from poisonous emissions.
“Now we find manufacturers could be deploying similar defeat devices to get ineffective tyre pressure monitoring systems to pass safety tests and save themselves €10.
“Our tests clearly show that the unsafe indirect systems put drivers, pedestrians and cyclists at greater risk of dangerous blow-outs.”
The T&E says the most suspicious results were obtained when the same regulatory test was repeated on tyres with some mileage; the TPMS failed to alert drivers of tyres’ low pressure.
It suggests that the indirect systems were primed to get through official tests but become less sensitive once they were used on the road.
Lest we Forget
New name for Motor Codes The Motor Ombudsman launches with warning about servicing habits Motor Codes has rebranded as The Motor Ombudsman as it aims to improve relations between garages and consumers when it comes to settling disputes.The first Ombudsman in the motoring industry, it is responsible for providing an impartial service between consumers and its 7,500 accredited businesses to resolve motoring-related disagreements outside of the courtroom. This helps to reduce stress, and the time and money involved in bringing disputes to an end. The body aims to help vehicle owners feel confident taking their car to a garage, especially at any that are Motor Ombudsman accredited. It is the first voluntary and fully-impartial private sector ombudsman that provides a self-regulatory environment for the automotive industry using its Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Motor Industry Codes of Practice. Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, adds: "Our ultimate aim is to give consumers peace of mind, ease relations between garages and motorists and find the fairest solution for both parties should a dispute arise. All our accredited garages comply with our comprehensive Trading Standards-approved Codes of Practice and our service is completely free for the public." The brand launched with a release stating that nearly half of the nation’s drivers (43%) put their safety at risk along with the safety of other road users by avoiding taking their car to a garage despite suspecting a fault. New research of 1,000 UK drivers has found that the major barriers to seeking professional garage advice are “not being able to explain what’s wrong with their car” (35%) and “feeling intimidated by the garage” (32%). Also, 38% of motorists have skipped having their car serviced, with the biggest concern a fear of overcharging (36%). Jodie Kidd, the spokesperson for the launch of The Motor Ombudsman, says: “I definitely understand that not knowing too much about cars can put people off taking their car to the garage - no one wants to draw attention to their ignorance! Another big worry is the cost associated with the work that needs to be done, meaning we’re skipping services. Having a reliable guide to help find a reputable garage with credible professionals fills us with confidence and allows us to address any potential issues.”
Independents are more convenient than dealers, poll findings show
63 per cent of consumers believe independent garages are the most convenient option for repairs and servicing
Consumer attitude survey reveals independent garages as much more convenient than franchised dealers and non-franchised national chains.Independent garages remain the most convenient option for consumers, with over two thirds agreeing they are a convenient place to have their car serviced.
The poll findings were revealed by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) in its latest consumer attitude survey. 63 per cent of consumers say independents are the most convenient, compared with 51 per cent for franchised dealers and just 35 per cent for franchised national chains.
However, since the last survey in December 2015, the number of consumers who think a franchised dealership is most convenient has increased by two per cent. When asked what best describes convenience, over a third of respondents selected ‘appointments available at a suitable time’ as the best description of convenience. Locality, timescale and same day service were also highlighted as important considerations for consumers. The survey also shows that independent garages offer the greatest levels of satisfaction, with 90 per cent of customers satisfied with their last experience.
Halfords apologises after ‘expert fitter’ sets van on fire
Fast Fit told customer to go to its retail shop to get new battery fitted but failed to check cause of problem
Halfords has issued an apology to Benjamin Lean, whose van caught fire and was almost completely destroyed when a so-called ‘expert fitter’ from one of its retail shops installed a new battery onto his van.
Mr Lean originally went to Halfords Autocentre after his van failed to start but, without any inspection, was told to go to the retail side of the business to have a new battery fitted.
Mr Lean said: “Upon fitting, the retail member of staff tells me to start my engine, which I do and it turns over first time, he then tells me to turn it off quick as there is smoke coming from the engine
“The alternator in my vehicle had caught fire and was starting to grow.
“The retail member of staff then runs into his shop in a panic and comes out with a less than adequate fire extinguisher which didn’t put out the fire.”
Mr Lean, who also works on the same retail park, then ran to his place of work for a suitable extinguisher and successfully put out the fire.
Halfords staff told him to remain with the vehicle to ensure it didn’t reignite before returning to the shop and was later told by the Autocentre that there was nothing they could do and that they were booked up for weeks.
“I feel I received very poor customer service from Halfords initially, the fact my vehicle wasn’t even inspected and they’ve just assumed I needed a new battery which caused a fire.
“But also after the incident with blank refusal to even book my vehicle in for repairs and just giving me a number for a tow company.
“It’s a very public car park, a full blown vehicle fire would have been very dangerous in this area.”
A Halfords spokesperson has said: “Our expert fitters at Halfords and technicians at Halfords Autocentres fit thousands of car batteries every year.
“Unfortunately on this occasion there was an underlying issue with the vehicle’s alternator, unrelated to the battery fitting.
“We have offered to reimburse Mr Lean for his car battery and fitting and also to bring his vehicle into the local Autocentre at his earliest convenience for an independent inspection so we can resolve to his total satisfaction.”
The news follows a spate of recent national fast fit bloopers, just last week a Kwik Fit customer shared the horrifying moment a car fell on its roof.
VW electric car concept to shock Paris
Prepare to be shocked, folks: Volkswagen is readying an influential, Golf-sized electric concept car for the 2016 Paris motor show.
Only these annoyingly restricted teaser images have been issued so far, but they'll be fleshed out in the run-up to the French car show on 29 September.
Volkswagen lays out its electric future
'As influential as the Beetle was seven decades ago'
Announced under the banner 'Think New', the as-yet-nameless concept car is clearly designed to pinpoint the future for Volkswagen post-Dieselgate.
It's hard to believe it was exactly one year ago that the world's biggest car maker was embroiled in one of the greatest modern-day industrial scandals, as its American cars were found to be cheating emissions tests
Full-scale regime change – and billions of pounds in fix-it money – later, this points to a new, electrified future. VW calls it an 'iconic design study with the potential to define history.'
What can we expect from the VW Paris motor show electric car?
Well, it's electric for starters. Word is, it'll have a range of around 250 miles, deemed to be sufficient for most users.
'This one-of-a-kind concept car signals the Volkswagen brand’s entry into a new era,' says the blurb. 'The vehicle is as revolutionary as the Beetle was seven decades ago, before it evolved into the world’s best-selling car of the last century.
'This car, too, has the potential to make history with its completely new vehicle concept. The production vehicle which follows will be the first Volkswagen to enter the market based on the new modular electrification kit (MEB
Mitsubishi ordered to stop selling eight models in fuel scandal
An investigation by the transport ministry found the carmaker to be overstating the fuel economy of its cars
Mitsubishi Motors has been told to stop selling eight of its models while it submitted correct fuel economy readings.
The investigation was launched by the transport ministry after the firm admitted to falsifying the fuel efficiency of two of its models, along with two more cars produced for Nissan.
The latest models affected by the scandal include variants of the Pajero, Outlander and RVR.
In a statement, the transport ministry said: “Our investigation confirmed that the fuel economy on eight models were as much as 8.8 per cent and on average 4.2 per cent lower than advertised.”
Some $3bn was wiped off the firm’s market value in April when it first admitted to rigging tests.
Mitsubishi Motors now forecasts further losses, marking the first fall in profit since the 2008 financial crisis.
Finally after many hours of work and discussions with our web designers we are proud to present our new website.
We have tried to give our customers an insight into All Trans Autos Ltd and into the modern motor car. Whilst our website will be ever evolving it is at a point where we feel it offers our customers a great deal.
We hope you enjoy looking at the different pages and learning about our partners with whom we work very closely.
20 years of the theory test making roads safer The driving theory test is today (1 July 2016) marking 20 years of helping to make Great Britain’s roads safer. Theory test Since its introduction, the theory test has continued to contribute towards the government’s commitment to: •reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads •ensure safer journeys How the test works There are 2 parts to the theory test: •50 multiple-choice questions •hazard perception - a video test about spotting hazards on the road You must pass both parts to pass the test. But not everyone passes their theory test first time. The pass rate for car drivers in 2015 to 2016 was 49.3%. Questions on these topics are the most incorrectly answered: •road and traffic signs •safety margins •rules of the road Other topics include attitude, safety and your vehicle, and documents. How the theory test developed The theory test was introduced as a written part of the driving test process, replacing questions asked by the driving examiner during the driving test. It later became a computer-based test, with a hazard perception test introduced to test candidates’ awareness of developing hazards. Since its introduction, the hazard perception test has been shown to reduce non-low-speed accidents by an estimated 11% for novice drivers in their first year of driving. Modernising hazard perception clips The filmed video clips were replaced with high-quality computer generated imagery (CGI) in January 2015. These contain more modern vehicles, roads, and surroundings. In the future, DVSA wants to introduce CGI clips that show situations with vulnerable road users, like children, cyclists, and motorcyclists. These can be used to create situations that would be too difficult or dangerous to film.
27/05/2016 Fiat shares drop on report of sales ban
Fiat Chrysler shares have fallen sharply on the Milan stock exchange after media reports that it could face a sales ban in Germany over accusations that it cheated emissions tests.
Its shares fell as much as 5% in early trading before recovering slightly.
At the weekend, Germany's Bild newspaper said the country's regulators had found evidence of emissions-cheating software in Fiat cars.
Rival VW has already been engulfed by a similar test-cheating scandal.
According to Bild's Sunday edition, the German Federal Motor Vehicle Office (KBA) had tested a Fiat car and discovered software that shut down emissions control technology after 22 minutes - two minutes after the end of a standard test.
The newspaper said the KBA had reported its findings to the European Commission and to the Italian authorities.
Fiat Chrysler has so far made no comment on the allegations.
It has also cancelled a meeting with the German authorities which had been due to take place last week, on the grounds that responsibility for testing lay with Italy.
The German transport minister, Alexander Dobrindt, has criticised Fiat's "un-co-operative attitude", which he described as "totally incomprehensible".
27/05/2016 Ford Mondeo (2016) 1.0 EcoBoost Long Term Test Review FINAL REPORT
The fifth generation Mondeo went on sale in UK showrooms at the beginning of 2015 and re-confirmed the car’s no-nonsense reputation as a comfortable, practical and hard grafting workhorse; beloved by families and fleets for over 20 years.
The latest incarnation is more upmarket looking than ever before with its supersized grille, attractive bonnet and flowing lines giving it an unmistakable road presence.
For the last three months Motor Trader has been testing the latest addition to the line-up to see how the mighty Mondeo fares with a 1.0-litre petrol Ecoboost engine.
Priced at £20,495 this model acts as the line-up’s new entry-level price point and serves as the ultimate test for Ford’s acclaimed range of EcoBoost engines tuned to squeeze more power and improved fuel efficiency from smaller units.
The three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine has already proved itself across Ford’s range of small cars from the Fiesta and B-MAX to the Focus and EcoSport; making it one of the brand’s most popular engine choices. Its biggest challenge is therefore presented by the Mondeo which weighs in at a hefty 1.5 tonnes.
On paper it impresses with a power output of 125PS, C02 emissions of just 119g/km and, a claimed combined fuel figure of 55mpg. But how does this all translate on the road?
Around town and in traffic the engPhoto of Ford Mondeo Test Car Road2 620ine is responsive, although you do find yourself staying in low gears a little longer than normal as the car builds momentum.
It’s only really on the motorway that the engine’s size feels like a compromise. Here overtaking manoeuvres need to be planned well in advance, a move often helped by dropping from sixth to fifth gear. However, once up to motorway cruising speed the engine is remarkably capable and does not feel over-worked.
So, a mixed bag in terms of performance, but anyone buying this car will be doing so because of its pricing, low fuel consumption figures and size.
While the pricing is spot-on and the load-lugging potential excellent, the fuel consumption figures were disappointing. The best we achieved over three months of driving, with the car unladen most of the time, was a genuinely diesel challenging 48.5mpg on a steady 90 mile motorway run. However, that figure soon dipped around town giving us an average of 40.9mpg for that particular tankful.
Furthermore, with a lot of our driving being done in the urban crawl of south London commuting it’s was not unusual to average just 31mpg – a far cry from that claimed combined figure of 55mpg. Our overall average over three months was a disappointing 35.4mpg.
In generous Zetec trim our test model featured Ford’s excellent 8-inch touch screen infotainment system complete with DAB radio, voice activation and simple Bluetooth connectivity. SatNav is a £300 extra but well worth paying for as it’s one of the easiest systems we’ve ever tested. It would also be worth opting for parking sensors (a £299 dealer-fit optional extra) as the Mondeo is 90mm longer and 30mm wider than before which can make parking manoeuvres somewhat challenging.
Ultimately, this car will appeal to retail buyers who want the size and practicality of a traditional large family hatchback, rather than a crossover, all for around £20,000. For that they will certainly get a lot of car for their money. But, they will need the lightest of touches and some clear roads to achieve the fuel economy they hope for.
23/05/2016 Vauxhall Recalls Zafira B models again after first fix fails
235,000 models are being recalled for a second time and owners are labelling the move a 'cover-up'
Zafira B models are still bursting into flames even after being 'fixed' by Vauxhall.
Zafira B models are still bursting into flames even after being 'fixed' by Vauxhall.
Vauxhall has announced that it is to recall 234,935 Zafira B models again after a four-month study and an investigation by The Sun revealed that so-called repaired cars were still bursting into flames.
All vehicles are now to have the heating system motor blowers replaced.
In its latest statement, Vauxhall said: “After extensive investigations we have decided to go further and improve the overall robustness of the system.
“When the recalls are complete, all vehicles will have a new wax fuse resistor, a new blower motor and a new moulding at the base of the windscreen to address water ingress.”
Vauxhall and the DVSA, which oversaw the first recall, claimed that it was a resistor and “improper repairs” which caused the problem but a report commissioned by The Sun has revealed a design fault which means the blower motor can rust prematurely.
The theory has been backed by a number of owners who had no work undertaken but still suffered fires.
Wendy Williamson of the IAAF recently told GW that it will continue to challenge Vauxhall.
She said: “They started off blaming these fires on the aftermarket but have subsequently toned it down saying that it was actually due to a soldering repair on the resistors but that’s the sort of activity that just doesn’t happen so we’re looking to challenge Vauxhall’s comments on this.”
Jacqueline Young, of Slater and Gordon which has been representing Zafira owners, said: “At worst Vauxhall has sought to conceal a potentially life-endangering technical fault. “The situation also begs questions about the efficacy of the DVSA.”
Vauxhall has said it will send letters to owners in August about the latest recall.
Steve Gooding, of the RAC Foundation, said: “This report appears unequivocal. “The fault lies at Vauxhall’s door.” The report’s publication was closely followed by Vauxhall’s announcement of the second recall. -