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post #367 of (permalink) Old 31st January 2007
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Originally Posted by brigatti View Post
This then led on to my views on the case itself, regarding the issue of the bonnet catches. He did agree that it is a two catch mechanism and that any sane person (that includes most of us then!), would check that the bonnet is secure by tugging it. OK so he told you that you and 300 others are insane for not tugging at the bonnet... It is probably more insane to tug at the bonnet than it is not to.
I explained that this was the case, and based on the conversations with those who experienced similar incidents, there was nothing to lead me to think that this was not the case in the other reported incidents! Even if it were I explained to him, I would find it incredibly hard to believe that the bonnet wasn't "secure" in ALL of the 250+ cases (plus the additional 130+ cases reported on Watchdog this week).

He explained that although they felt that had reached a conclusion based on the 34 reported cases to Renault and which VOSA has been aware off, there are still open-minded in the other incidents, and once again requested more reports to be filed to them! I explained that I was no mediator or "middle-man", and said it's VOSA's responsibility to talk to Watchdog - which he agreed that would be doing! he did say VOSA's position could change upon the review of other subsequent cases. I questioned how many cases would it take, I can't recall his response to this query!They don't need reports; they should be doing their own tests and establishing what is happening to these devices making them unsafe. I can tell you that in my opinion it is not a question of maintenance, although it is also true to say that they do not start life being unsafe.

I also explained that I don't believe their statement (of no "safety defect in accordance to the Code of Practice") would stand in all of the reported cases. He didn't want to confirm this until VOSA had reviewed all of the other cases.They are wrong because there is a safety issue and a very simple one to prove, I think.

Lastly, we went back to the incident itself, I explained that a bonnet can only be flush if the safety was "engaged" fully. He acknowledged this. I also explained that the only comments Renault made on my car was that the "catches weren't broken". I advised him that I found the only way this would be possible would be either the bonnet wasn't closed AT ALL (no catches engaged - which would mean I was driving some 15-20miles with a bonnet just resting! - hard to believe!) Or due to the safety not being fully engaged and then the main catch released itself, as well! Hard to believe too, but the only plausible response I can think off! Sadly you are both wrong on the first point you made. It is possible to have a "flush" bonnet if the safety device is not engaged, because it is the lock that makes it flush. You can remove the safety device complete and still have a flush locked bonnet; what you wouldn't have would be a safety device standing by in case the lock failed when the vehicle was travelling. The safety device only comes into play when the lock is released. Neither the lock nor the safety device need to be broken for there to be a failure. If they can't work this out, they wasted their time going to university for an engineering degree. If he actually discussed the possibility that the car had been travelling with both the lock and the safety device undone, he went from the sublime to the ridiculous.

His last view is that it does seem to be down to maintenance which is the responsibility of the driver, I interrrupted him advising that actually it would be the responsibility of the servicing garage - which until only last week Renault UK did not "mandate" the servicing of the catches in question with its dealerships. He sounded a bit concerned that this was not the case prior to last week. I still implied that my biggest concern was that if a safety catch has the potential of not being engaged "fully" in 100% of the times, the there is a potential issue with the design of the catch - he tried to push me back to the maintenance point, but I stood firm and mentioned I still felt it was a safety issue. I guess we had to agreed to disagree on this point. If by maintenance he means lubrication he is wrong again. Lubrication is only secondary.
IMHO, I reckon all this can be proved by a couple of relatively simple experiments involving samples of the two devices.
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