Split­ting lanes

Read­ers have their say about ev­ery­thing on wheels

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

CLEAR IN­DI­CA­TIONS

A SIG­NIF­I­CANT safety is­sue that has both­ered me for decades could be ad­dressed by the mo­tor­ing me­dia if they would ques­tion their prej­u­dice that ev­ery­thing from Europe, other than a Tra­bant, must be good. My con­cern is the con­fu­sion of driv­ing ve­hi­cles with the turn in­di­ca­tor stalk on the wrong side. I know some will ar­gue right­hand drive ve­hi­cles are in the mi­nor­ity in the world mar­ket, but a stan­dard should be man­dated for safety, and the pre­dom­i­nantly left­hand drive mar­ket ve­hi­cle brands should have to cop the tool­ing cost to be al­lowed to sell in our and other RHD mar­kets. My back­ground as a pro­fes­sional en­gi­neer is in ve­hi­cle el­e­ment de­sign and man­u­fac­ture, and over my 50 years of driv­ing I have owned or driven a mul­ti­tudes of cars. My last four years have been mostly at the wheel of a Volk­swa­gen prod­uct. I still stuff up blinker/wind­screen wiper — mostly when both are re­quired dur­ing damp to wet con­di­tions. I sim­ply would not con­sider an­other ve­hi­cle with this as I be­lieve it is an aber­ra­tion in hav­ing the con­trols the wrong way around. I be­lieve that this should be an Aus­tralian De­sign Rule for mo­tor ve­hi­cle safety re­quire­ment.

Geoff Bartlett, email Yes, the cars­Guide team oc­ca­sion­ally hits the wrong stalk while go­ing for the turn sig­nal or wipers. But it is only once and only in the first few kilo­me­tres with an un­fa­mil­iar car. Driv­ing prop­erly is a skill and that in­cludes cor­rect op­er­a­tion of the con­trols. Own­ers learn their con­trols quickly and what­ever they have be­comes nor­mal to them, some­thing recog­nised by the Aus­tralian De­sign Rules.

RAT­ING GRATES

MERCEDES-BENZ takes great ex­cep­tion to the four-star rat­ing ap­plied to our Vito/Viano ver­sus the five-star rat­ing given to the Ford Tran­sit in the used-car safety rat­ing ( cars­Guide, Septem­ber 17). In ANCAP the Tran­sit scored 22.53 points out of 37 points, thereby barely rat­ing three stars. The Vito/ Viano rated 32.66 points out of 37 points, well into five-star ter­ri­tory. The Viano has al­ways been a five-star ve­hi­cle and the Vito is five stars when fit­ted with the op­tional side airbags stan­dard in the Viano. The Vito/Viano is the only five-star com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle on sale in Aus­tralia. I query the very ba­sis that Monash Uni­ver­sity has used to rate a clearly less safe ve­hi­cle ahead of one that clearly demon­strates safety lead­er­ship.

David McCarthy, Mercedes-Benz Aus­tralia The used-car rat­ings are com­piled from real-world crashes com­piled by Monash Uni­ver­sity, backed by a con­sor­tium in­clud­ing the ma­jor mo­torists’ or­gan­i­sa­tions around Aus­tralia. We recog­nise the ex­cel­lent ANCAP re­sult for the Vi­toViano but are not qual­i­fied to con­test the used-car safety scores.

One good turn: Euro­pean in­di­ca­tors are on the ‘‘wrong’’ side.

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