Car driving on scenic coastal road
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Your views Dec/Jan 2020

Journeys readers share their thoughts on speeding, vehicle recalls and EVs.

Stick to your own side

Ian Martindale, Ellendale

Some idiotic Tasmanian drivers quite clearly have no idea of how to drive a car and stay on their own side of the road. I actually wonder if they even have a licence.

When is a campaign going to be started to persuade drivers that it would be in their best interests to stay on their own side of the road? If that happens then head-on crashes would be totally avoided.

Cut down on speed

Vic Arthur, Sulphur Creek

I was listening to BBC radio with regard to trained volunteers using laser speed cameras throughout Britain. This had a definite effect on motorists because it was proven that it caused a remarkable change in attitude to speeding. Also it allowed police to carry out their further duties.

After hearing the interview I began to think of other ideas concerning speeding. One idea is to utilise a GPS navigation system that could light up a sign at the rear of the car stating the present speed limit. This may have the effect of reminding following traffic of the present speed limit. If this system was fitted to lots of vehicles then I believe that it would have a positive effect on drivers. If there were many of these systems installed, then the message could be spread quickly. Of course there would have to be an override for when there were temporary speed restrictions in place. After all, how many of us have missed seeing the small speed limit signs by the side of the road and wondered later what the speed limit now is?

Vehicle recall warning

Jennifer Dare, Newnham

Back in July this year, my 2011 Volkswagen Golf appeared to lose all power and forward motion as I was travelling home from work. Thankfully, this occurred in the left-hand lane of the East Tamar Highway near the Mowbray turnoff, where I was able to get off the carriageway safely.

The issue was diagnosed as a ruptured pressure accumulator in the dual clutch transmission, which caused the effect of the car being in neutral. The quoted cost of this repair was $4500 if the transmission specialist could replace the part, or $6500 for a new transmission.

There was some delay in the repair taking place and three months had passed when a family member happened upon a recent news article that Volkswagen (VW) was recalling 65,000 VW and Skoda cars to replace the exact part that had failed on my car. The date range was from 2009-2015.

I had purchased the car second-hand, so had not even thought to register it with VW to be made aware of the recall when it happened. So I would have been unaware of the recall except for that article and paid for the repair when it finally occurred. The car has since been repaired by VW for free and is now back on the road, and I have registered it with VW to be notified of any future recalls.

My story had a happy ending, but how many other Golf and Skoda owners over the last 10 years have either paid for the repair themselves or lost money on resale due to the faulty part; or worse, had it fail in a place where they could not avoid an accident occurring when their car went into neutral unexpectedly? Perhaps somebody in RACT could monitor issues such as recalls and known problems and publish them on its website for easy reference, so members could be aware of them when purchasing a used car.

Also, it is worth registering your car with the manufacturer so you can be notified if a recall happens after purchase.

The ACCC publishes recalls on their website. We do monitor recalls where possible and publish them on our social media channels, but will review this system to better inform our members. – Paula Sward, Editor.

More on the EV debate

Ian Martindale, Ellendale

After reading the test of the IONIQ, I am puzzled by some of the comments. Since when has 200km been classed as a long distance in Australia? In most states that is merely ‘down the road a bit’. I am in my early seventies and don’t think much of going to Launceston and back in a day from my home in Ellendale on the lovely road via Bothwell and Hamilton. The fact that it was driven 20 to 30km/h below the speed limit is both irresponsible and dangerous. The fact that the A/C couldn’t be used was bizarre. What would happen if it was raining or dark?

Then in the latest issue a letter indicated that the true range was 249km, big deal. If someone was trying to sell a car for $50K with a range of 249km, I would walk straight out. Selling those types of vehicles would kill tourism in Tasmania.

Where would you be able to go? Hobart to Strahan would be a two-day journey. Hobart to Strathgordon and return, again a two-day trip.

My nephew was over here recently from his home in Canada and said that, without a reliable car, you would not be able to see much of Tassie, as there is very little intrastate transport.

I am not against EVs with rear-wheel drive and max torque at zero revs. Sounds great but they have to be fit for purpose, and at present I am not convinced that they are. And until the NTSB in USA has finished its report on the self-igniting/exploding batteries, I will not even contemplate an EV.