Bmw­drivers too horny


pped out to be melted down and re-used.

‘‘While we were able to re­lo­cate many new cars that were await­ing ship­ment to a safe area and made ev­ery ef­fort to pro­tect our plant, but with the mas­sive amount of flood water . . . 1055 ve­hi­cles that re­mained in the plant were fi­nally dam­aged by the flood,’’ Honda Thai­land ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent Pi­tak Pruit­ti­s­arikorn says.

Mr Pruit­ti­s­arikorn says that the process of scrap­ping the cars is a re­flec­tion of Honda’s com­mit­ment to de­liv­er­ing the ‘‘high­est qual­ity’’ to its cus­tomers. ‘‘We will not sell any of the dam­aged cars to cus­tomers, or reuse any of the parts,’’ he added.

Thai­land an­nounced in De­cem­ber that more than 700 peo­ple died in the floods, which at their height af­fected 65 of the 77 prov­inces in the low-ly­ing na­tion and forced the clo­sure of seven ma­jor in­dus­trial parks, dis­rupt­ing global sup­ply chains.

The wa­ters have re­ceded but many in­dus­trial sites will still need to rein­vest in in­fra­struc­ture to re­store plants to nor­mal op­er­a­tion.

Honda be­gan or­der­ing new plant for its Ro­jana site last month and had its em­ploy­ees on full pay since the floods forced the the fac­tory to shut. TOY­OTA’S retro-styled FJ Cruiser has been named the four­wheel-drive of the year by 4X4 Aus­tralia mag­a­zine.

The car was styled in the US and in­spired by the orig­i­nal 40 se­ries Land­cruis­ers which were first pro­duced in 1960.

It beat out the Jeep Grand Chero­kee diesel, Toy­ota Land­cruiser 200 Se­ries GX, Range Rover Vogue TDV8 and the Mercedes-benz G 350 for the top prize. The judges said the Cruiser was not given much chance of win­ning the award when the fi­nal as­sess­ment of the con­tenders be­gan.

‘‘But as the days pro­gressed, the FJ’S fun fac­tor, the sim­plic­ity of de­sign, and the way it works so well came to the fore,’’ they said in their fi­nal ver­dict.

‘‘Three judges scored it first, two scored it sec­ond and an­other third against tough com- pe­ti­tion. The FJ Cruiser puts en­joy­ment into driv­ing on and off road thanks to its in­di­vid­ual styling, ease of use, af­ford­abil­ity and no-fuss abil­ity.’’

The Cruiser was launched in Aus­tralia in 2011 with a start­ing price of $44,990. More than 1700 were sold in Aus­tralia by the end of Novem­ber.

It is pow­ered by a 4.0-litre petrol V6 en­gine, which de­liv­ers 200kw of power. WHEN it comes to blow­ing your own horn, Bmw­drivers are top. But it could be a costly honk.

An online poll of 2000 Bri­tish driv­ers shows 53 per cent of BMW driv­ers ad­mit to us­ing their horn at least once ev­ery jour­ney, al­most triple the national av­er­age of 18 per cent.

Other horn blow­ers are Jaguar driv­ers (45 per cent), Fi­ats (43 per cent), Audis (39 per cent) and Saabs (29 per cent). Nis­san driv­ers are a quiet lot with 95 per cent say­ing they only use their horns in emer­gen­cies.

Blow­ing your horn in Aus­tralia could cost you thou­sands of dol­lars if mis­used.

Most state road rules de­clare that driv­ers must not use a car horn un­less warn­ing other road users or an­i­mals of a dan­ger with fines of up to a max­i­mum of 20 penalty points which varies from state to state but can be as much as $2000.

But the horn can also be used as part of an anti-theft de­vice or an al­co­hol in­ter­lock de­vice.

Aus­tralian De­sign Rules stip­u­late the car horn must be au­di­ble and reach­able by the driver, but have only one note and not sound like a siren, bell or whis­tle.

Con­se­quently, car horns that play a tune such as the pop­u­lar La Cu­caracha are il­le­gal.

RACQ In­sur­ance spokesman Mike Sopin­ski says mis­use of horns shows up on its an­nual sur­vey of what peeves driv­ers.

‘‘Im­proper use of ve­hi­cle horns could be a dis­trac­tion to other driv­ers and may be the cause of an ac­ci­dent,’’ he said.

‘‘Im­proper and over-use of car horns is also of­ten as­so­ci­ated with ag­gres­sive driv­ing and an­ti­so­cial driver be­hav­iour.’’

The UK sur­vey by we­buyany found rea­sons for blow­ing the horn in­cluded when an­other driver pulls out in front (52 per cent) and when a ve­hi­cle is sta­tion­ary at a green traf­fic light (51 per cent).

Only 29 per cent said they blew the horn to warn other driv­ers of dan­ger.

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