By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
Zut alors? According to reports, on July 1 France became the first country to require every driver on the road, including tourists, to carry small hand-held breathalyzers in their vehicles. The intent is to encourage wine-loving drivers in a wine loving country to do a self breath-test before setting off on the road and thereby reduce the nation’s drunken driving problems.
FIAT will be taking a different approach to in-car services. The company recently announced that it will offer a genuine, built-in espresso machine in its 500L model that will launch in Europe in October. The company has teamed with Lavazza to produce a unit “perfectly integrated in the car” and using pre-packaged coffee pods. Immediately upon the announcement, concerns were raised about yet another driver distraction, but the company said the machine only works with vehicle in Park.
Men use GPS navigation more than women, at least in Australia. At least so says a report on a study conducted by the Australian Association for Motor Insurers. Their poll showed 64 percent of male drivers use the sat-nav systems while only half (50 percent) of female drivers said they rely on them.
A BMW dealership in South Africa recently recovered one of their customer loaner cars by sending an armed team of repo men to the customer’s business office while a support helicopter hovered overhead. But they had to return the loaner to the customer after he took the dealer to court and obtained a consent order.
Very long story short, customer’s new car had been in and out of the shop since March for several repairs including air conditioning that didn’t work. Dealership said the car was now fixed; owner claimed it was still defective and wanted a new car from BMW. That appeal took some time, but the company ultimately said no and the dealership wanted its loaner back. The ultimate decision on who gets to keep the loaner will be made in court later this month.
We doff our hat to Harry Etting of New York city as someone who really loved his car. When his rusted and deformed ’82 Honda Civic (170,000+ miles) finally became unsuitable as a daily driver, he gave it a New Orleans funeral prior to its sendoff to the junkyard. During its long service life as his only car, “Bluey” had once been severely damaged in a collision while parked on the street and then years later was overturned and damaged during a street riot. In both cases, Etting fixed the car to at least minimal driveability and continued to use it in the city.
Everyone in the neighborhood knew and recognized his car, and many turned out for the funeral procession, complete with a jazz band and a spray of flowers on the hood. The owner told a newspaper that he wasn’t getting a new car right away because he “needed time to heal.”
Some good news last week for the Nurburgring track in Germany. As reported earlier, the famous facility had filed for bankruptcy after being turned down for loans by both local banks and various government agencies. Now, the state government of Rhineland-palatinate has recanted its initial decision and approved a $312 million loan guarantee for the track. The bailout will help the ‘Ring meet its immediate debt obligations and remain open for the moment but does not address the root causes of its financial downturn.
The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Be the Best of the Best will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.