BMW

Recall news: all about BMW electrical and VW Group seatbelt alerts

Everything drivers need to know about the BMW electrical recall and the Volkswagen Group seatbelt alert

In the same week, a major recall and important alert have been launched by manufacturers of some of Britain’s best-selling cars. BMW has initiated a UK-wide recall of 312,000 cars after admitting certain models have suffered an electrical short-circuit. And Volkswagen and Seat are having to repair around 30,000 models due to a potentially dangerous seatbelt defect.

BMW is setting out to rectify an electrical fault that could leave drivers stranded with no headlights, brake lights, indicators or hazard lights. It made primetime TV after featuring on BBC One’s Watchdog show.

Meanwhile, independent safety tests revealed that the latest generation VW Polo, Seat Ibiza and Seat Arona, could unfasten one of the rear seatbelts without warning.

It is important that owners of the affected vehicles take action and follow the manufacturers’ guidelines to ensure their vehicle remains safe to drive. Here’s how to find out if the recall and alert involve your car.

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Are electric cars cheaper to service than diesel models? We investigate

Are electric cars cheaper to service than diesel models? We investigate

In the autumn 2017 budget, the government dangled more carrots to entice drivers to switch to electric cars. It promised not to tax those who charge their cars for free at work. It also said there would be £400m for additional charging points and revealed increases in Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) for new diesel cars.

The incentives are intended to accelerate the drive toward electric cars that emit no emissions. Even so, most drivers still have practical questions over the suitability of battery powered vehicles and, importantly, their running costs.

One of the most significant running costs of any car is the price of servicing. And manufacturers of electric models often highlight how much cheaper they are to maintain than a comparably priced diesel car. But are there really savings to be made? And how often do they need to be serviced? We investigate. Continue reading

UK car theft hotspots: Range Rover drivers in London most at risk

Car theft hotspots

Car crime isn’t the problem it used to be but cars are still being stolen

If you drive a Range Rover Sport and live in London you stand more chance of becoming a victim of car crime according to a new ranking of car theft hotspots.

The survey reveals that after London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands were the UK’s car theft hotspots in 2015. The list has been compiled by Tracker, a company that specialises in stolen vehicle recovery by using a transmitter hidden in the vehicle that enables police to find it if it’s recorded as stolen.

Where are the car theft hotspots?

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How new glare-free headlamps will prevent drivers being dazzled

Glare-free headlamps

Ford’s new Glare-Free Highbeam system costs from £900 (Picture © Ford)

Glare-free headlamps which prevent drivers being dazzled by on-coming lights could be on a car near you in the very near future. In the 70s, the Manfred Mann hit Blinded by the Light could be heard coming from cars all over Britain. More recently, the song’s chorus has been adopted as a protest against super bright car lights.

Ever since the introduction of Xenon or High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights in the early ’90s on the BMW 7 Series, and Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights in cars such as the 2006 Audi R8, the brightness and intensity of headlamps has increased. Continue reading

Techtastic or tech-tat? We rate the car and bike technology at CES 2016

 

BMW and Samsung showed a connected mirror at CES 2016

If you get your kicks from microchips, lasers and the Internet of Things rather than pistons, spark plugs and exhausts, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has got your name on it. Since 1967, CES has been held in Las Vegas at the start of each year and has frequently offered gadget lovers and gizmo geeks the first glimpse of emerging technologies. But over the past five years, the car makers have muscled in.

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