AIR WAVES

The Chronicle - - Motoring -

I’ve just in­stalled roof racks on my 2016 Re­nault Me­gane Hatch to carry my pad­dle­board. The roof-top an­tenna gets in the way of the board — is it worth buy­ing a shark fin an­tenna? Are there any added ben­e­fits from a shark fin? Chelsea Sla­par, email It is a long old an­tenna on your Me­gane. Check an auto store or on­line for a uni­ver­sal fit stubby an­tenna, which should solve the prob­lem. An af­ter­mar­ket shark fin will prove more of a fit­ment has­sle and the only real ben­e­fits are aes­thetic and aero­dy­namic — th­ese are ir­rel­e­vant with racks and board on your roof.

ROUND THE HOUSES

I own a 2015 Isuzu MU-X with stan­dard Clar­ion Naviex­tras head unit. I re­cently up­dated the nav­i­ga­tion maps — they are still in­ac­cu­rate but the rout­ing has got worse! I con­tacted Isuzu and was sent to Naviex­tras, Mapcre­ator, Navteq and back to Isuzu with no luck. Can you help?

Neil We­ston, email

I’ve spo­ken with Isuzu Ute Aus­tralia. Your spe­cific prob­lem is the first they’ve heard about and it’s been re­ferred to head of­fice in Ja­pan. It ap­pears you’ve al­ready tried but I’ve sent you Isuzu’s de­tailed map data up­date in­struc­tions to try to rem­edy it. As I’ve ad­vised own­ers of other car brands where third party map providers are prov­ing trou­ble­some, you can have an au­dio spe­cial­ist retro­fit a to­tally new unit if you can af­ford it. This could in­clude built-in up-to-date nav­i­ga­tion and even de­sir­able Ap­ple CarPlay/An­droid Auto.

GOOD EYE­SIGHT

Re “Sweet spot for safety”. It said the Eye­Sight safety tech is stan­dard on Subaru Foresters. It’s not, only on the more ex­pen­sive mod­els.

Ian, email

The model year 2019 Foresters, launched in Septem­ber, have Eye­Sight drive as­sist as stan­dard across the range, un­like the MY18 cars.

RUDELY UNSEATED TOO

Re Richard Hall’s Mazda6 seat col­lapse. I never re­ceived a re­call no­ti­fi­ca­tion ei­ther. My dealer told me I had to con­tact Mazda Aus­tralia, which ad­vised re­call no­tices were out­sourced to a third party. I think Mazda has failed in its duty of care and has a mo­ral is­sue to fol­low up. I’ll see what the ACCC has to say. Mike Mud­ford, email

I had the same fail­ure in my 2008 Mazda6 wagon. I had no idea about Mazda’s seat re­call, so when my seat came off the rails I found the push nut had failed and per­formed a fix my­self. This fail­ure could be just as se­ri­ous as any faulty airbag in my opin­ion. Should I take it back to Mazda af­ter my own re­pair? Daniel Bando, email Our pre­vi­ous at­tempts to get a re­sponse from Mazda were met only with “we can’t com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases” on this se­ri­ous seat fail­ure is­sue and the re­call for Mazda6, Mazda2 and Maz­da3s built be­tween 09/2007 and 03/2012. The fact your car and oth­ers were not re­called is of huge con­cern. You and own­ers of other such Maz­das should ur­gently book into a dealer for the free fix. Hope­fully they’ll ap­pre­ci­ate your hand­i­work while be­ing very apolo­getic.

TOW THE LINE?

Re your sug­ges­tion to con­sider a used Subaru Out­back to tow a medium car­a­van, Subaru used to limit speed when tow­ing to 80km/h. Is this still the case? Emil Civil, via email

Subaru spokesman David Row­ley con­firms the owner’s man­ual says you shouldn’t ex­ceed 80km/h or the le­gal tow­ing limit, which­ever is lower. But he adds: “It is in­tended as an ad­vi­sory and doesn’t mean Subarus can’t be driven over 80km/h at le­gal speed lim­its based on driver ex­pe­ri­ence and ca­pa­bil­ity.” The mis­con­cep­tion can come from some Euro­pean coun­tries putting a limit of 80km/h on tow­ing ve­hi­cles.

OUT OF LUCK

My Kia Sportage Plat­inum was bought new six years ago and has trav­elled 147,000km. It broke down. Kia told me a new en­gine was re­quired and, as it is out of war­ranty (it had a five-year war­ranty when pur­chased), Kia won’t as­sist with costs. The same model was re­called in the US in 2017 for sim­i­lar en­gine prob­lems. I think Kia should take re­spon­si­bil­ity even though my car is out of war­ranty. Ro­drigo Munoz, email

Sorry to hear of such an ex­pen­sive fail­ure but it would re­quire a Kia good­will re­pair with you be­ing out of war­ranty. Re­spond­ing to the US re­call, Kia Aus­tralia says en­gines are made and as­sem­bled at dif­fer­ent plants for dif­fer­ent mar­kets and, ac­cord­ing to head of­fice in Korea, Aus­tralian cars did not have the is­sue of the se­ries en­gine in the US. You have a com­plete ser­vice record but the ma­jor­ity were per­formed out­side the Kia dealer net­work, which won’t help good­will claims. If you feel your Kia has failed to meet its con­sumer guar­an­tee, the ACCC is your next op­tion.

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