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c) Its political. Renault almost went bust years ago. In order to rescue them the french government bought shares in the company and had a rather large management switch around.
When you want to make as much money from customers as possible whats one of the best ways to ensure they come back? - Make servicing as hard as possible. That way customers are forced to come back and find the money once they've bought the car. After all once they've bought it they're not going to want to sell it too quick due to depreciation. Renault aren't stupid. They've just stitched up their customers. It's nothing to do with safety or the design time being short. They know full well at design stage that to change a bulb you need access. They certainly can't claim its an accident can they? Lets face it, headlights are quite a big part of a car at design stage... They know exactly what they've done and their trying to convince the gullable customers out there that they've done it in their best interests.
Thats my theory anyway.
I really hate that - it makes me feel physically sick. Its like Tony Benn deciding it would be good for the British car industry if the shop floor made the decisions and then sit back and watch while they basically screw the whole thing one drop of blood at a time. Having played with the lag a bit myself I don't think its the rule but the exception and I'm positive enough a person to think that anyone responsible for taking such a course of action would rapidly be pushed out. In the long run - it don't work. Never trust a socialist - my motto. (Well I just made it up actually but its true!)
Currently in bpowell555's garage:
2002 Renault Laguna II 2.2dCi Initiale, 1990 E30 325i Touring (Bavarian Tigzwerken Express)