Right all.....firstly, hello from sunny and warm Cyprus!!
Lucky Bar Steward, but hello anyway!!!
I've received a letter from Hugh Edwards @ VOSA - in reply to my recent correspondence back to VOSA - outlining my concerns in the approach that they have "completed" their investigations...!
Is this in reply to your request under the FOI ACT?
Can't go into details (mainly as I can't recall them specifically), but the long and short of it, is that VOSA still do not think they have done anything wrong.....!
Whaddya mean you can't recall them???
When I was your age I could remember how much punctuation they had missed and how many words they had mis-spelled!!!
Quite different now I'm afraid
They have completed 2 inspections on damaged cars and they have indicated that once "banged back" into shape, the bonnet appeared to connect correctly with the catch mechanism - and even with 2 man-power worth of force, they were unable to release the bonnet on either the main or safety catch.
Once they "bang them back" up into shape, they won't get any failures; speaks for itself really, doesn't it? [Murphy's law? (or it Sod's law? Can't be Cole's law though)]
They indicated that the apparent release was due to the safety catch not being "engaged" - hmmm.....so 1000 catches replicated this same stand (safety catch "not engaged"!??) - they blamed that the bonnet was not "closed properly" (where have we heard this before, hmmmm....let me think!! [*sarcastic*]). I think they also forgot one thing, it happened once on that particular car - so "something" went wrong.
The safety catch "sometimes" not engaging, is already a MAJOR fault. Having understood their current need to defend themselves against our criticism, I can't see them trying to prove that the devices "ARE NOT" safe, but I can see them trying to prove that they are "adequate". Naturally, their "need" to convince us will by far exceed their vocation to safeguard public safety. I can imagine that political questions may already have been asked, and that possibly, someone's job could be perceived as being at risk. No problem there though, because pensions remain intact and anyone who gets fired can spend their retirement in warm and sunny climes (such as Cyprus, for instance
So to summarise, they concluded on two cases that there is a chance that the "safety catch" is not always engaged (if it is not-maintained (although Renault implied in an earlier letter - that the catches are self-pertuating and do not not require any form of maintenance!) - hmmm....a contradiction!?!
That is quite a substantial admission if you analyse the language. But if they are looking for one single cause for these failures, they are not going to find it because there is a combination of factors.
They also did a further 5 inspections, 3 of VOSA employees and 2 other cars - and no issue were found (no details on background of the cars, and condition etc - so unsure on validity of these - we need the technical reports really...i.e. age of car, status at inspection (were the cars "just serviced" by Renault?).!
But you can take it for granted that they were not trying to prove that the bonnet can unlock and fly open spontaneously; rather the opposite, in fact; in my book, the scope of the exercise changes everything. The condition of the cars is irrelevant because whatever the age or status, safety features should, at the barest minimum, be functional. They are not likely to test a car from the scrappies, are they?
This brings the number of "analysis" (inspection) that VOSA has completed to the magic 10 - yes just 10 vehicles (not the first 2 aren't counted - as no VOSA inspection completed!):!
You can't realistically expect them to investigate each of the 1000 cases. My question is, "What are they trying to prove when they test these cars?" What you say about a "two-man tug" sounds NOT terribly scientific to me. It is not brute force that is causing these bonnets to fly open. It is rather more subtle than that.
- 2 damaged car report inspected (no VOSA inspections completed).They accepted Renault's assessment presumably because they didn't want to "waste" their resources following up a serious complaint about road-safety.... either that or they were on their lunch break.
- 3 spot checks on "serviced" cars at the local Renault dealership - no issue identified.Trying to prove they were not wrong when they accepted Renault's assessment on the previous two inspections by the latter.
- 2 inspections on damaged cars - safety catch was stiff and not engaged, but issue was down to closing the bonnet! (BURNING QUESTION >>> how would one know the safety is not engaged?) - need VOSA to let me know the answer!This stiffness is an indicator that something was seriously wrong which then caused the bonnet security to fail.
- 5 further inspectons (undamaged cars) - no issue reported. Same reason; they are trying to justify their decision to go with Renault's findings.
Originally Posted by brigatti
Thoughts please! I've already drafted my response - but before including here, thought I'd open it to the floor
My thoughts are that with the current situation and the accusations levelled at them, VOSA cannot be seen as either independent or impartial. An independent and impartial engineer should be engaged (perhaps a university's engineering faculty). Hopefully, these would not miss the woods because of the trees.