AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN
THE 1998 Honda Odyssey with 146,000km at $13,200 sounds pretty impressive.
But what the classified advertisement doesn’t tell you is this particular Honda Odyssey could be a death trap.
It is exactly the type of vehicle Gerry Raleigh is trying to get off our roads.
He says it has been written off, improperly repaired and somehow passed through registration checks.
All the hard work of the Honda engineers has been destroyed because the Odyssey is actually two cars cut and shut together.
It’s so badly repaired that Raleigh was able to tear it apart with a screwdriver.
‘‘If it got hit it would just fall apart,’’ Raleigh says.
‘‘People would just be tossed on to the road.’’
And it isn’t only the roof that’s not attached properly. All the structural welding is insufficient and not reinforced according to the law.
The rear-passenger seatbelts are not bolted in. The child restraints are secured by only three self-tapping screws.
Raleigh believes the car is an accident waiting to happen.
‘The anti-skid brakes valve at the rear was only spot-welded on,’’ he says.
‘‘Had that come off the brakes would have been lost or at the very least locked up at the rear. It could have caused a crash.’’
To prove Raleigh’s point about repairable write-offs, this Honda had passed through the system of checks designed to stop cars like this returning to the road.
It failed its first Vehicle Identification Validation test, but passed two months later on its second attempt. That testing is carried out specifically to ensure a written-off car is repaired to an acceptable standard.
The slapped-together car then passed VicRoads registration tests in January.
Quan Doung and his wife, Vy, bought the Honda in January for Vy’s job ferrying children. Raleigh first saw it when it came in with water leaks.
‘‘This proves the system is rats---,’’ Raleigh says.
The Doungs say they trusted the couple they bought it from because they reminded them of their parents.
Now they are out of pocket the $12,000 they paid for the car because the seller has claimed he is not responsible and the Doungs should complain to VicRoads.
‘‘My wife has lost her job because she can’t carry children in the car.
‘‘We’re very disappointed. Some days my wife and I can’t sleep because of it,’’ Quan says.
But Quan is relieved he found the car was defective before it struck trouble.
‘‘I’ll trade $12,000 for my life. It’s a killer car,’’ he says.