Readers have their say about everything on wheels
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.
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.