Tag Archives: Bosch

Make sure safety features loom large in your new car choice


Too many car buyers take safety features for granted when they go shopping for a new car.

But the most important ones are in the minority it seems.

Rather than pay extra for top of the range info-tainment systems that might distract drivers during their operation, we’d like to see more motorists understanding, appreciating and actively asking for the likes of 5 star NCAP car ratings, AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) systems and new tyre safety features.

And of course we’d like to see safety features figuring a lot higher on the list of selling points for used cars, but we don’t see this happening quite yet.

Who are #STOPTHECRASH at the new London Motor Show?

We were particularly interested in the partnership of leading car safety-related businesses Thatcham Research, Bosch, Continental Tyres and ZF TRW (re chassis/safety related technology) who are joining forces at the new London Motor Show at a stand called #STOPTHECRASH.

They are doing this to help motorists ask the right safety-related questions, then compare the answers, before buying a new car.

What are the lifesaving features for all new cars?

Here are their suggested life-saving questions for car buying motorists to ask, before deciding which car is the safest for them and their family.

1. What Euro NCAP test rating does this car have?

2. Is Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) fitted to this car – and is it standard?

3. What else should I do to maximise the safety protection offered by this car?

Why choose Autonomous Braking as a new car safety feature?

Photo ack: Euro NCAP
Photo ack: Euro NCAP

Choose Autonomous Braking as a must-have safety feature on your next new car and you’ll be doing your bit to reduce the annual 100,000 rear end crashes on UK roads resulting in associated and often avoidable injuries and fatalities.

None of this is rocket science, just common sense that you could #STOPTHECRASH by stopping your car sooner than you might do otherwise in an emergency, because of inferior tyre and/or brake conditions.

Don’t forget the safety importance of brakes and car tyres

A report released by Euro NCAP in 2015 found that Autonomous Braking (AEB) systems were responsible for a 38 per cent reduction in real-world rear-end crashes.

Yet despite these statistics AEB is only standard fit on 17% of new cars currently on sale in the UK. We’re supporting Thatcham Research work to do something about this.

“Autonomous Emergency Braking as standard should be the number one priority for anyone choosing a new car.”
said David Ward, Secretary-General of the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP).

“The technology is already available in one form or another from almost every car manufacturer and in the absence of legislation to make it mandatory, we are encouraging car shoppers to use their buying influence to make sure that every new car coming onto the road has this life-saving feature fitted.”

Demonstrations showing the safety advantage provided by Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) will run throughout the show and anyone wanting to check which new cars have AEB can do so via the Thatcham Research website.

NB: Tyres wear out on new cars too

Contrary to the number of times I’ve heard motorists saying “I change my car every two to three years” to explain their not needing a FREE car safety check, this doesn’t stop tyre wear leading to potentially dangerous tyres, depending on annual mileage.

Representatives from Continental Tyres will be on hand at the #STOPTHECRASH Show to demonstrate that, despite the UK legal limit for tread depth being 1.6mm, car tyres only perform at 55% efficiency with this amount of wear.

FOXY Lady Drivers Club publishes tyre safety advice for women drivers and supports Continental Tyres’ recommendation that we replace tyres when tread depth reaches 3mm. Sadly, in these instances, too many motorists think that the industry is selling them tyres they don’t need, simply because the 1.6mm limit is ‘legal’. They simply don’t understand that the Government is allowing them to drive on tyres that are not as efficient and could let them down in an emergency situation.

Shockingly Continental Tyre research says that 40 per cent of drivers have NEVER checked the tread of their tyres, choosing instead to wait for a service, while 20 per cent admit that they do not even know how to carry out a tyre check.

This confirms roadside tyre check findings we’ve seen, where fractionally more women were unaware of tyre safety than men. So this rings true for us and is why we are increasingly proactive in encouraging women to go for regular tyre safety checks at FOXY Lady Approved tyre centres that women know they can can trust. .

“Research shows that three quarters of all collisions occur at speeds under 20 mph,” commented David Ward. “Even the most basic AEB system in conjunction with sensible tyre safety could prevent the vast majority of these incidents.”

We shouldn’t need to say any more.


For more information

About The New London Motor Show

About the #STOPTHECRASH partnership

About FOXY’s female friendly tyre services register

Female friendly approved UK garages and car dealers

Steph-garage-250I am often asked if our network is different from others that sound impressive but that any Tom, Dick or Harry garage can join. I can honestly answer ‘yes we’re different’.

We have to be different because a bad garage, or one that pretends to be good but is, at best, mediocre, can compromise our motoring safety. Not just for women but also for men I hasten to add which is why we have many male fans and followers because they realise that our standards are higher than most others….

So, when you choose a FOXY Lady Approved female friendly garage you can be sure that it’s been vetted and endorsed by regular female feedback even if we approve a range of garages. As I see it, there’s no point in sending an out of warranty car and its owner into a franchised dealership and paying over the odds if there’s an approved good independent garage alternative. Unless the dealer is competing with them of course…

Our network is run by FOXY Lady Drivers Club’s sister organisation, FOXY Choice. Approved garages pay us an annual subscription to be identified, promoted and monitored as a female friendly garage or car dealer. I am comfortable with this relationship because it’s their money that funds our not for profit club and if the motor industry was as good as it should be, there’d be no need for the Club or for the good guys to have to be seen to out-perform the cowboys.

But there is a need, because, other than MOT’s, this isn’t a licensed industry. One where anyone can tinker with our cars because service and repair mechanics don’t have to be licensed or trained re the latest technology. An industry where she who knows when, where and how much to haggle will usually pay less for a new car than a more trusting neighbour who might venure into a showroom on her innocent own. Where used cars glint as does the salesman’s eye when he sees a gullible prospect to sell a used car to that he knows is about to blow a metaphorical gasket, just outside a mythical warranty he’s sold you. And where you can buy part worn (aka part safe) tyres or buy a car with part worn tyres without your knowledge. Or get your car repaired using cheap and not authentically original car parts. And so on. You get my drift – scratch any surface in this industry and you’ll find standards that aren’t good enough and that let the genuinely good garages and dealers down.

Clearly Rome wasn’t built in a day but FOXY has always started with minimum quality standards. We like to see businesses (garages and dealers) that have invested in training staff, listed on the IMI Professional Register. We also like to see manufacturer approved businesses because, if things go wrong, you can at least escalate problems through the dealer to the manufacturer…

A second standard is the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) schemes run by Motor Codes (backed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders ie SMMT hence the emphasis of franchised dealerships), another me-too scheme run by Trust My Garage (backed by the Retail Motor Industry Federation ie RMIF hence the emphasis on independents more than franchised dealers) or the identical code-scheme operated by the Bosch Car Service network – mainly independents at the high end of the quality spectrum. Amazingly none of these Code of Practice schemes require staff to be licensed but Motor Codes is an Alternative Dispute Resolution services so at least you have somewhere to go if any of their members (and non members) behave badly.

We also expect businesses to sign the FOXY Promise to ‘never overcharge, patronise or sell women services they don’t need’ which is sadly the image that too many women have in their heads. A huge number of women dread the garage experience meaning they don’t go as often as they should for this reason and, in too many cases, delegate the actual MOT, car servicing and often new car test drive to their (male) partner.

Shame on this industry for making us feel intimidated and without a means to fight back. We who are about to outnumber male drivers and who want more for our money. Those who are members of FOXY, can fight back of course, as we will always support them, assuming they’re in the right of course.

My personal bete noir is cleanliness and toilets in garages. These are mainly areas run by men so perhaps cleanliness isn’t as important to them as it would be to us. So where loos are pristine and impressive I heave a huge sigh of relief and want to shout this from the rooftops when inspecting washrooms as customer facilities.

Finally, even garages and dealers with all the quality ratings can be rude. In fact I have encountered some of the rudest men and women in customer facing business roles ever when phoning garages and/or dealers who are clearly oblivious to the way potential customers are treated.

So that’s about it really. A commitment to the FOXY Promise, minimum quality standards, any indication of investment in being better than others in the industry, value for money (I don’t mean cheap here), cleanliness and a warm welcome is what we look for before we award FOXY Lady Approved status. Then minimum supplies of female feedback to make sure they’re keeping their side of the bargain.

PROVISO – Not all FOXY Lady Approved garages tick all these boxes because this has to include a FOXY (as in female) Choice and clearly the more you expect (vehicle collection/courtesy car/italian coffee, WiFi etc) the more the business overheads are but at least you’ll know the garages are doing a good job for women. And that if they get this wrong, they have us to answer to, as per our Terms and Conditions.

My final advice is, don’t buy garage services on price alone. Make sure you know if they are good enough to do the job. Just like a cheap used car, there’ll be a reason for this and it won’t be because the business wants to do you a personal favour.

Trust me – this is the motor industry and it just isn’t good enough yet.

Here’s where to find our FOXY Lady Approved female friendly garages and dealers

Please tell us about your latest garage experiences here

Finally for just £24 you can join FOXY Lady Drivers Club and get a lifetime subscription in 2016 opening the door to cheap car insurance, car deals and VIP garage services we’ve vetted so women (and men in many cases) can trust too.

If you’re a member please tell your friends and help spread the word that women drivers have a female choice.