Posts Tagged ‘motoring’
Remember when Nissan had to recall 51,000 cars after a customer’s steering wheel came off in their hands? Well, they’re recalling around 841,000 vehicles worldwide thanks to… you guessed it… a faulty steering wheel!
In the UK, there’ll be 133,869 models of the Nissan Micra recalled, built between 2002-2006. Apparently, the bolt used in the steering wheel hasn’t been screwed on properly, which isn’t particularly exciting, but it is a worrying sign for Nissan.
Earlier in the month, Nissan had to recall 500,000 vehicles globally over a defective passenger airbag.
The carmaker are offering to tighten the bolts or replacing steering wheels entirely.
It is worth pointing out that, thus far, no accidents involving the cars have been reported, but drivers will notice if the steering wheel is getting loose.
You won’t have to be without your car for too long as a Nissan spokesperson in the UK said that the repair should only take around 15 minutes to rectify.
Old people, driving their cars, are ace. They wear leather stringback driving gloves, have pristine chamois leather cleaners in the glove box, tartan blankets on the back seat and, best of all, have cateracts so they can’t see where they’re going.
Concerning the latter, some drivers don’t like pensioners on the road. They think they’re a menace, reaching top speeds of 8 mph.
In fact, three-in-five motorists think older drivers should be forced to retake the driving test when they reach 66, according to a survey.
The opinion of the majority of 17 to 24-year-olds, with their trance music and steroids, is that granddad should be retaking his test at the even younger age of 63, according to the findings of Auto Trader.
The poll of 3763 motorists also revealed that 73% felt worried or concerned when they found themselves driving behind an older motorist, while 26% felt unsafe when being driven by someone over the age of 65.
How about a Logan’s Run style future for drivers?
The price of diesel and unleaded fuel for UK buyers has risen in most European countries compared to last summer, according to a survey by Post Office Travel Money.
This hike has been sharpest in the places that British travellers are most likely to visit, so if you’re getting stung at home, you’ll be getting stung on holiday too. Over in Spain, the price of petrol has shot up by 7.4% in a mere 12 months, while in France, the price has gone up by 4.7%.
Of 17 European countries surveyed, only Croatia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Denmark had cheaper petrol for UK drivers in April 2013 compared to April 2012. If you want a bargain, you’ll have to go to Andorra or Luxembourg. PARTY!
Another reason it’ll be mondo-expensive is that sterling has slumped in value against Euro currencies. So, the price of fuel has gone up AND the exchange rate will give you even less. Diesel has risen in most countries too.
Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “The disparity between what motorists pay for diesel and for unleaded petrol in Europe is in marked contrast to the UK, where diesel has long been more expensive. This was just one of the anomalies we picked up in this year’s survey, another being a difference of up 48p a litre in fuel costs across the eurozone.”
“It may not make sense for holidaymakers to plan big detours just to save a few pounds, but the higher price of motoring on the Continent this year means they should plan their routes carefully before setting out so they keep costs down.”
While the tech giants work on their smartwatches, TomTom have nipped in first with the release of two GPS sports watches (the TomTom Runner and TomTom Multi-Sport), which the company sees the company looking away from car products.
These fitness watches are aimed at runners, cyclists and swimmers and feature an extra large display with one-button control and inbuilt GPS.
“We want to be the brand of choice for everyday athletes,” said Gary Raucher, Global Head of Marketing for TomTom Consumer. And you can take a look at them here.
Back into cars, TomTom are also redesigning their sat-navs, with interactive maps and, more excitingly, 3D Maps, which TomTom claim will make sure drivers know exactly what’s going on around them at all times.
“We have rethought the way drivers use their sat navs,” said TomTom’s co-founder Corinne Vigeux at today’s event. “We are quickly becoming the authority when it comes to traffic information.”
Over in Swindon, simpleton council workers painted double yellow lines along a four feet wide alleyway that is far too skinny to be driven down by a car. With just 13 inches of space between the lines, residents were baffled as to why they appeared along the narrow 60ft long path.
Swindon Borough Council pointed the finger of blame at contractors, adding that they’d probably forgotten “just how big cars actually are”.
A spokesperson for Swindon Borough Council said: ”It seems that our contractors forgot just how big cars actually are when they painted this one. We will be taking it up with them.”
3 million Japanese cars are to be recalled thanks to a boob from Japan’s Takata Corporation who makes airbags for a whole host of vehicles. It will also be a problem for non-Japanese car manufacturers, before any of you racists get going.
The problem regards the airbag on the passenger side. The inflater may burst, which will send bits of plastic flying everywhere, which is obviously counter-productive to safety.
Toyota will be recalling 1.7 million vehicles. If you own a Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC that were made between November 2000 and March 2004, don’t crash and drive around wearing Biggles goggles.
Honda will be recalling 1.1 million cars, Nissan will be wanting 480,000 vehicles, and Mazda will want to look at 45,000.
The problem was caused by two human errors during production of the handbag. Basically, someone forgot to turn on the switch that looked for defective products. They’ll probably be looking at the Japanese equivalent of a P45 this morning.
With that, a small price war has ensued with Morrisons first to offer cheaper fuel, taking off 2p per litre. Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco soon got in on the action.
It isn’t all good news though as motoring groups have noticed that fuel prices are still wildly varying from postcode to postcode.
The AA said: “Although the reduction in the price of diesel is very welcome, the question is to what extent this is reflected in rural areas where it is essential for country business and activities.”
“There is traditionally a springtime fall in the cost of diesel as the demand for heating oil, which comes from the same part of the oil barrel, drops off.”
Still, with an improved exchange rate and better wholesale prices, in addition to a rise in fuel duty being cancelled last September, any savings aren’t to be sniffed at. Wholesale petrol prices are also currently falling, which could mean a 1p drop in petrol prices. Not a life changing amount, but definitely better than a kick in the stones.
Commuting for drivers is a pain in the rump, but who is worst off? Well, if you’re looking at the world, then the poor buggers in Moscow have the grimmest traffic jams in the world where their journeys are 66% longer than they need to be, according to findings from TomTom.
In second place, Istanbul closely followed by Warsaw in third. However, where is the worst place in Britain?
Surprisingly, it isn’t London, but rather, Belfast that comes out on top, with Bristol in second place. Birmingham, Leeds and Nottingham all show signs of growing congestion levels and, oddly, Tuesday and Thursday are the worst days for traffic jams.
In Belfast, journeys are 32.1% longer than they need to be, just pipping Bristol where journeys by car are 32% longer. In London, journeys are 27.5% too long and Manchester has a figure of 24.2%.
Still, it isn’t all bad news as Marseille, Palermo, Paris, Rome, Stuttgart, Sydney and Los Angeles all have higher congestion levels than the UK. You can have a look at TomTom’s findings via this link. You’ll have to mess about downloading PDF files, so you probably shouldn’t bother.
In other driving news, official figures have noted that petrol sales have crashed with retailers selling 5.4 billion fewer litres than five years ago, with drivers opting for diesel instead.
The AA say: ”Soaring pump prices have taken a huge toll on petrol sales more recently – during the 10p-a-litre price surges last March and October, pump sales of petrol fell by up to 5%. The trouble is that, with global economic recovery, the stock market will predict greater oil and fuel demand and push up commodity values accordingly.”
If you live in Belfast, expect fuel to be more expensive, which you’ll waste in traffic jams.
While the coalition government dismantle the NHS, charge people for having extra rooms and do nothing to sort out Britain’s tax problems, at least they’re fixing all that ails us by making it really expensive to drive, so we can’t make a bid for freedom by driving into the sea to escape this hideousness.
With fuel becoming increasingly more expensive and insurance companies whacking your premiums up, you will soon have a new tolled motorway to deal with as well.
George Osborne is ready to announce a new tolled 14-mile stretch along the M4 near Newport in South Wales, in addition to the one on the M6 near Birmingham. If you drive for a living, the message seems to be ‘tough’.
AA president Edmund King isn’t happy, saying: “We have seen with the M6 Toll that drivers can be turned off by the imposition of charges. There is already a toll to get into Wales on the Severn Crossing but no toll to get out. There is no doubt that the M4 around Newport needs improving. At the moment if there is a bad accident and the road is closed there is no real alternative for drivers.”
“If the road is tolled it reduced its economic effectiveness as a lot of people will be put off using it and will simply avoid it.”
This toll money is to generate cash to pay for the improvements made on the M4, but let us remember that the M6 Toll hasn’t ever made any money.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have launched a new app which is designed to stop Brits from crashing when they’re overseas. Believe it or not, foreign countries have different laws to those you’ll find in the UK.
As well as different road laws, the conditions of the roads and driving standards are wildly varied around the world. Driving your car in Thailand is nothing like driving a car through Britain.
In Thailand there were 68,852 traffic incidents resulting in 9,205 deaths while in the UK, there were a mere 1,901 people killed on the roads. See what we’re dealing with here?
“Accidents do occur and not all tragedies are avoidable, but the outcome could be very different with many lives being saved and critical injuries reduced if people adopted the same safety precautions abroad that they would naturally take at home.”
So, a load of information is being made available all under one umbrella, so now, there’s no excuse for you not knowing that, for example, in France, drivers are required to carry their own breathalyser or that in Belarus it is illegal to drive a dirty car.
Have a look at the information here and for god’s sake, don’t die.
British drivers have long complained about the high price of fuelling their cars… and with good reason. It costs more than £100 to fill up their tanks, thanks to the prices shooting up by 5.5% in two months.
Unleaded cars are being hit the hardest, with the price increasing by an eye-watering 7.3% a litre, according to analysis by Santander.
So who is being ripped off the most? Well, if you’re unlucky enough to live in Paisley, Durham or Hereford, you’re paying 9% more for unleaded fuel than anywhere else.
In Dumfries, petrol prices are at an average 145.9 a litre, which equates to £100 per average tank. Same goes for Durham, which is bleak news indeed. However, if you live in Torquay, it’ll cost you an average £95.13 for a 70-litre tank. Still expensive, but not as bad as the aforementioned places.
“With the cost of fuel expected to reach its highest level in the coming weeks, families and car commuters are likely to be the hardest hit once again,” said Alan Mathewson, from Santander. “Aside from mortgage costs, households in the UK already spend more on transport than any other living cost, so further hikes may well push many family budgets over the edge. There are a number of small changes people can make to reduce these costs, such as car-pooling with colleagues, driving more economically or using public transport.”
As well as Dumfries and Durham, other rip-off towns include Hereford, Crewe and Oxford. The five least expensive places (so if you live nearby, you might to get on it) to buy fuel are Torquay, Kirkcaldy, Plymouth, Bradford and Wigan.
Selling cars is a tricky business. If you want to do something different to an ad with twisty mountain roads or neon cityscapes, what do you do?
Well, if you’re JWT India and Ford, and you want to sell a shipment of FordFigo cars, you create an advert that features a load of scantily-clad women tied up and gagged in the boot of Silvio Berlusconi’s car while he winks at everyone.
The tag line reads: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.”
Ford and JWT have both issued an apology and Ford have said that they didn’t approve the ads. Not surprising really as, on closer inspection, the lady in the schoolgirl outfit is crying as well. Classy, just like Sylvio’s bunga bunga parties.
Another ad features Paris Hilton with the Kardashian family being held hostage in the boot of her car. Astonishing.
Despite a price rise of 6p in the last few weeks, the pathetic pound will force petrol prices up by a further 3p a litre, the AA said today.
With the average price of petrol in the UK at a carburettor bustin’ 138.32p a litre, this price rise looks set to making driving a car more expensive than wallowing in a bath of blood diamonds with Kim Kardashian.
The AA is urging George Osborne to ditch the rise in petrol duty planned for September from next month’s Budget (which is like asking Scrooge for a Wonga loan.)
AA president Edmund King said: ‘This latest surge in fuel prices and its impact on spending indicates that UK drivers and families can’t take any more.
We’re no longer talking of the motorist as a cash cow for tax and speculator greed, but a horse slowly but surely being flogged to death.’
DON’T MENTION HORSES.
Actually, that’s it! Sell the car and get a horse. They’re cheaper and when it’s dead: burgers.
Aviva have published a report which, unsurprisingly, has a pop at those who like to make a claim or two. They reckon that personal claims arising from ‘compensation culture’ are adding £118 to every motor insurance premium.
So, all those people who made claims made for whiplash, have made premiums rise rapidly. Not the insurance companies themselves you understand, as they wouldn’t do such a thing, especially when they’re looking at figures that obviously include genuine claims.
Apparently, there’s also been a surge in fraudulent activity, which means that people are staging car-crashes and passengers involved in these collisions are making false claims, which is remarkable. The dedication for getting a quick-buck is almost impressive.
Aviva’s report – ‘Road to Reform: Reducing Motor Premiums by Reforming the Claims Process’ – will be launched before March and hopes to improve the PI claims system.
Dominic Clayden, claims director at Aviva said: “Our primary concerns are that injured parties receive care and compensation as quickly as possible and that all motorists benefit from a reduction in excessive costs that have built up from claims over the last few years.”
The roads, as we all know, are teaming with arseholes. With that in mind, the police have launched a new road safety campaign in a bid to stop inconsiderate drivers. Operation Safeway looks to target motoring bullies who tailgate and drive too close to other drivers.
They’ve released a video of some berk in a van who gets as close as 30cm away from the back of an unmarked police car.
Police will employ these cars and motorbikes fitted with video cameras, in a bid to tackle offending drivers, such as the one shown above, who was recorded travelling at 70mph, tailgating like a madman, flashing his lights and taking both hands off the wheel to make ‘gestures’ at the officer driving the car.
Sgt Simon Willsher from the police said: “Many drivers do not realise that they can be prosecuted for inconsiderate driving when it also careless driving. For example, if someone is tailgating because they aren’t paying attention and don’t think about stopping distances they can go on a National Driver Alertness Course without going through court or having penalty points on their driving licences.”
“If, on the other hand, they are tailgating because they are impatient and trying to bully people out of the way they can be prosecuted for careless driving.”