Originally Posted by mr.ed
As the owner of a 2003 Clio with a bonnet catch exactly the same as this one I don't have any worries at all. The catches appear to me to be quite substantial and the plastic bit is only to pull to release the safety catch. Like all things mechanical though they do need maintenance, in this case lubrication the lack of which could, I suppose, cause the safety catch to stick in the open position or the return spring could rust and break.
Even if the vehicle has been serviced regularly it is down to the driver to ensure that the vehicle, as far as is possible, is roadworthy. I inspect all fluid levels, tyre pressures, locks and hinges at least weekly. Why? Because that way I reduce the risk of an unpleasant surprise of something failing.
I suspect when all this has been sorted it will be down to lack of lubrication/maintenance.
Sorry mate, but I have to disagree.
Driver's responsibility? That's horlicks.... How is my mother, who drives a Clio, is an octogenarian and thinks a bonnet is something for Ladies' Day at Ascot, going to recognise a sticky safety catch that even a trained mechmaniac cannot view when it is operating? How is she going to recognise a lock spring that has lost its tension? Of course, if Renault put in their brochures "Not suitable for octogenarian ladies and others, younger but with similar vehicle ignorance", we might agree that she can be deemed responsible.
Let's get real here... For maintenance, most drivers rely on their servicing providers (dealers?) and have every right to expect them to be consciencious and trustworthy... after all they are trusting them with their life. And if a manufacturer incorporates a poorly-designed lock or poorly-manufactured lock, the resposibility rests with him... vide, trade descriptions and trading standards legislation.
And how exactly do you inspect your locks and hinges? What do you actually do to check them? Do you assess spring tension, stress tolerances, welding joint strength, centre-pin movement, and the rest of the components (some electrical or electronic) that can cause a door to fly open on a corner or to seize shut after an impact? I think you will find that this sort of assessment is made by a very huge organisation that tests vehicles in the EU and gives them certificates that manufacturers then boast about in their brochures and in their adverts on telly and t'internet.
I hope this doesn't discourage you.