Mazda needs to see the light

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Roadside Assist - SATUR­DAY JUNE 14 2014

I read an ar­ti­cle about the Mazda CX-5 faults and I have had a lot of is­sues with mine since I bought it 18 months ago. We live in the coun­try and we need head­lights with good cov­er­age. My wife hit a kan­ga­roo as she did not see it un­til the last minute due to the poor il­lu­mi­na­tion and range. The lights may be good in the city but they’re no good in the coun­try. I know of two oth­ers who have com­plained about this. Steven Schache, email As a head­light zealot I’m well ac­quainted with sub-par Ja­panese head­lights. Many even have ex­cel­lent xenon low beams and use­less halo­gen highs. It’s be­cause no one in Ja­pan drives on high beam, a point I’ve made nu­mer­ous times to en­gi­neer­ing bosses from Subaru and Toy­ota.

SPEEDO AL­WAYS OUT

My wife and I bought a Holden 2013 Mal­ibu about two months ago and I no­ticed the speed of the car, ac­cord­ing to the speedome­ter, was about 10 per cent slower than my GPS speed alarm. When I hit 110km/h on the GPS I had 120 on the speedome­ter. In a 60 zone when I reached 68 to 70 on the speedo the GPS alert showed 60km/h. The speedo on my 2003 Toy­ota Camry Sportivo works fine with the same GPS. It is frus­trat­ing when driv­ing to not know ex­actly what speed you’re do­ing. I men­tioned it to the deal­er­ship at the first ser­vice and there is noth­ing they can do. But I ex­pect the speedome­ter of a new car to be ac­cu­rate. Jorge So­ri­ano, email By law, speedome­ters only have to be ac­cu­rate within 10 per cent. Most cars have some de­gree of er­ror and com­pa­nies set them to err on the side of gen­eros­ity so you won’t be nabbed for speed­ing. It’s al­ways been like this but GPS now gives far greater ac­cu­racy.

THE WAR’S NOT OVER

Thank you for your re­cent help with our Jeep Pa­triot. The front wish­bones were in­de­pen­dently tested and the ball joints were found to have failed pre­ma­turely. Jeep re­im­bursed us the full cost of re­place­ment, in­clud­ing the labour and tyres that had scrubbed out. Dar­ren Mudge, email I’m glad we got a re­sult for you but the bat­tle continues with Fiat-Chrysler Aus­tralia for a num­ber of other own­ers with faulty cars and com­plaints, es­pe­cially Grand Chero­kee driv­ers with noisy shock ab­sorbers.

FORESTER FOR FUN

I am con­tem­plat­ing trad­ing in my 2007 Subaru Im­preza on a new Forester XT Pre­mium, look­ing for some­thing with a bit more room that would still be fun to drive. I’m af­ter your thoughts, first on the car and then whether I should be con­cerned about the com­bi­na­tion of a turbo en­gine and con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion. Ge­orgie Lo­lis, email The Forester def­i­nitely gets The Tick. The CVT, even though I’m not a fan, keeps the turbo en­gine work­ing in its best per­for­mance band.

GIVE ME GREY ANY DAY

I nearly choked on my Weeties when I read your story on grey im­ports. Aus­tralian new-ve­hi­cle buy­ers are sick to their back teeth with be­ing bla­tantly ripped off with ex­tor­tion­ate new ve­hi­cle over­pric­ing. Since the GFC, our dol­lar has ap­pre­ci­ated from US60 cents to, at its peak, $1.10, yet what has hap­pened to re­duce the price of newve­hi­cle im­ports here in that same time? Ab­so­lutely noth­ing. How stupid do you, and your FCAI mates, think Aus­tralian new-ve­hi­cle con­sumers are? Well, the good times are rapidly draw­ing to a close. Aus­tralians, in­clud­ing our na­tional govern­ment, are now pru­dently look­ing at how the rest of the world’s “im­pov­er­ished” na­tions have over­come the prob­lem of elim­i­nat­ing the pric­ing stran­gle­hold on their lo­cal economies of the newve­hi­cle sales pric­ing car­tels. Adopt­ing the “grey-im­ports” model, one mech­a­nism for do­ing this, has been suc­cess­ful over­seas. Bill, email It’s a fact that new cars in Aus­tralia has never been more af­ford­able. Some ex­otic im­ports are still over­priced but even Rolls-Royce dropped its stick­ers last year — by more than $100,000. The grey

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