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Autocar EDrroR Maurlce A. Smlth o.r.o. TECHNICAL EDTTOR Harry MUndy a.ill.l.trlcoh.E.tM.8.A.E.'1U.8 ! A. aPoRTa EDtroR Peter Garnier aaalaTANT EDtToBa Leonard A. Aytonr Ronald Barker MTDLAND EDrroR Edward Eves aRT EDtToR Howard VYse

17 JANUARY I964

MANAo tNo o tREcron H. N. Priauix M.B.EI

A Tick in Time A SPOKESMAN fq a large British motor manuA facturing concern complained to us a year or two ^ ^ .go that when his company investigated com- plaints about its cars it sometirrres uanspired that the most serious uouble was tx, more than an electric clock that had stopped working. \Vas this fair, and did one complain about uouble with a house if a clock stopped at home, we wefe asked?

We have forgotten our answer but it was probably conciliatory at that time. We have now been reminded of the incident by the Institute of Directors, whooe iournal priots a list of 30 sources of irritatiqr in one director's life. Ifumber one is tbe electric clock that will not work in his over f,2,000 car. There seem to be several proverbs and sayings which give a clue to people's feelings in such rnatters: Ha'porth q! tar, last itraw, little things mean a lot and so on These are still wise words, if a little hackoeyed, after the test of yeals.

Our reply now to the main question above is ttrat car manufacturers who fit an unsatisfactory clock or any other accessories after a weakness has been evident for some tirne have urly themselves to blame- Unreliable detail equipment-even inessential fittings-must be expected to reflect adversely on the namc of the whole car. Either the suppliers need to be changed or the price of each part fixed high enough for them to make a good job of it.

There is no doubt that the selling price of a car is vitally important in today's extremely competitive markets, but to cut down too far on detail quality in order to achieve a very low price will bring no more than a short-term advantage. A reputation once tarnistred takes years of virtue to shine again.

In passing we should metrtion that elecuic clock troublis often used to corne about because mechanics dironnected the car battery for one of ttre usual reasons ad forgot to restart the clock after connecting up again-

Today clocks have been made self-starting after power is temporarily cut o,ff and do nof " burn ss1 " f6'1 thig reasort"

Speaking as motorists and car o\r/ners we think that car manufacturcrs must take the responsibility for all faults and failures in components and standard equip' ment. Their arrangemearts with suppliers are purely their own affair, Our private notes of car faults at presexrt contain too nrany refereocesl to minor elecuical fittings and to locks and latches.

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