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Convoy of trucks to stage Dublin Quinn protest

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A demonstration against the ban on Quinn Insurance writing new business in the UK will begin at tomorrow morning at 8am, according to organisers.

A convoy of more than 300 trucks is expected to leave a truck stop on the M7 at Naas, Co Kildare.

It will travel to Kilmainham, through St John’s Rd West and onto the north quays, where it is expected at approximately 8.30am.

The protestors will continue up the north quays and over Memorial Bridge to the south quays.

They will complete a second circuit around the north and south quays before making their way back through Kilmainham onto the N7 and back to Naas via the M7.

AA Roadwatch has advised road users to try and get into the city before 8.30am when the trucks are expected.

One of the organisers, Barry O’Reilly, said ‘around 300’ trucks were expected to take part in the demonstration.

April 26th, 2010

The Irish Government €5,000 grant offered to electric car buyers

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 The Government is to provide a €5,000 grant to incentivise the public to purchase electric cars.

Energy Minister Eamon Ryan said the grant would make electric vehicles comparable in price to conventional cars, but they would run at 20% of the cost.

The Government wants Ireland to become an effective test site for electric cars, with a goal of 10% of all vehicles running on electricity by 2020.

Last year, the Government signed a strategic deal with Nissan Renault, and today Renault is showcasing its new electric vehicle, the Fluence.

The ESB has already committed to installing 1,500 charging points across the country before the end of next year.

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April 12th, 2010

Changes to Dublin 30km limit to be considered

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A proposal to amend the 30km speed limit zone in Dublin city centre is to be considered by the Council’s transport committee.

The motion from Labour Party councillors would mean the re-introduction of the 50km limit along most of the quays.

Look at a current map of the 30km limit area

The 30km speed limit was brought by Labour councillors and received cross-party support.

The proposed amendment follows widespread opposition to the new limit including that of Labour party leader Eamon Gilmore.

Labour councillors feel there was a lack of information about the area affected with many people believing it covered the entire city centre.

Councillors are proposing to amend the zone with the section from O’Connell St to Capel St bridges remaining as the only part of the quays at 30km. All other parts of the quays along with Winetavern St and Kildare St would be 50km.

The 30km zone would remain in place bordered by, but not including, Bolton St in the north to most of St Stephen’s Green in the south.

The councillors have also called on legal changes to allow different speed limits at different times of the day.

In his report, Dublin City Council Executive Manager Tim O’Sullivan said the new limit had not caused any traffic congestion and added just one and a half minutes to a 2km journey time.

He also said lower speed limits have been proven to be safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Mr O’Sullivan said a further period of public consultation would be necessary to amend the bye-laws.

The transport committee will hear the amendment motion on Thursday while a motion to scrap the entire limit will come before a full council meeting on 1 March.

February 16th, 2010

THOUSANDS OF CAR OWNERS COULD BE UNAWARE OF URGENT REPAIRS

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MOTORCHECK.IE CALLS FOR NATIONAL RECALL DATABASE 

Motorcheck.ie Director and co-founder, Shane Teskey today called for a change to the way vehicles are “recalled” for urgent repairs by their manufacturer.

 Motorcheck.ie has identified gaps in the current methodology which could lead to thousands of cars operating on Irish roads without notification of urgent repairs called for by the manufacturer.

 Mr. Teskey has called for the establishment of one central database where each manufacturer would record details of past, current and future recall campaigns. A similar system operated by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency in the UK (VOSA) carries details in excess of 5 thousand separate recalls, many of which could have been relevant for Irish drivers.

 “The present system which relies mostly on written correspondence from the manufacturer to the registered owner is flawed and liable to leave thousands of affected car owners uninformed about the urgent repairs required” he said.

 European legislation requires that vehicle recalls are administered by the most competent authority in the state. In Ireland this duty falls to the Department of Transport that manages the National Vehicle and Driver File. 

 When a ‘Recall Campaign’ is deemed necessary, the Department provides the manufacturer with the recorded names and addresses for the present registered owners who are subsequently informed by writing of the remedial action required.

 There are many reasons why this important information may never reach the current keeper.

* The owners current address may be different to that recorded on the government database

* The registered owner may not be the actual user of the car

* Title to the vehicle may have recently changed hands and the change of ownership not yet been processed

* The vehicle may have been privately imported and subsequently overlooked by the local distributor carrying out the recall

Usually, details of a recall campaign are communicated in writing to the registered owner and direct to the local franchised dealer tasked with carrying out the repair on behalf of the manufacturer. This way, important repairs are often carried out along with the normal servicing. However, In the current economic climate many consumers choose to have their cars serviced by non-franchise operators who may not have access to the manufacturers diagnostic equipment or internal communications. If the mechanic working on the vehicle doesn’t have the information, the repair could go undetected and cause serious trouble further down the line.

 “The recent publicity surrounding recalls currently in operation with Toyota, Honda and Peugeot have drawn attention to a problematic area that requires immediate attention” says Teskey. “At Motorcheck we take matters of road safety and vehicle maintenance very seriously. Rather than wait for government to draft legislation on this we have decided to release our own National Recall Database. Adopting ‘best practice’ from the UK it will be hosted online at www.motorcheck.ie/blog/recalls and be completely free to use for both industry operators and concerned members of the public”.

Further information please contact 

Shane Teskey
Tel: 086 8079066

Benchmark Fleet Services Limited

February 10th, 2010

Over 17,000 drivers escape penalty points

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The Road Safety Authority has confirmed that 17,656 motorists convicted of driving offences have escaped penalty points because of a legal loophole.

The RSA’s Noel Brett said court clerks were not legally obliged to pass on the licence numbers of drivers convicted in court of offences that carry points.

The RSA is the body charged with applying penalty points.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Brett said he hoped the new Road Safety Bill would close the loophole.

According to the Irish Independent, 18,383 drivers have been convicted of offences that require a mandatory court appearance since 2003.

However just 727 of these drivers had penalty points applied.

February 8th, 2010

New Car Sales Disappoint With Tiny Rise On Last Year

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Today’s newly released statistics from the Motorcheck.ie Car Index show that new car registrations for the month of January exceeded those recorded last year by a disappointing 4.6%. This relates to 16,612 units for 2010 as compared with 15,877 in 2009.

Commenting on the slow start Motorcheck.ie Director Shane Teskey says “Given that the majority of sales occur in the first quarter, it’s a disappointing start meaning that dealers will be concerned about the total sales potential for 2010.”  

“Anecdotally we’re hearing that an inability to source finance is still a serious problem. Although an improvement in consumer confidence and a manufacturer strategy of heavily discounting new car prices has generated significant interest in the sector, the ‘finance famine’ currently being experienced by new car dealers is suffocating sales” he said. 

Revenue coffers will be bit hit with a double blow as combined with poor sales in new cars, the number of used cars being imported to Ireland dropped 47% in January 2010 against registrations recorded for January 2009. Used cars being imported to Ireland are subject to Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) a significant part of the tax take which has been declining rapidly in recent months.

League Table

Top of the table for ‘Manufacturer’ in January is Ford with 2,641 registrations. Their Fiesta and Focus models have proven to be first and second most popular with 1,060 and 922 respectively.
Diesel continues to outsell Petrol with 59% (9,768) of new vehicles registered. 

Band B is by far the most common tax class with 43% (7,212) of all registrations.
Only 50 registrations separates Silver (4,070) from Black (4,020) as the most popular colour on Irish roads.

Shane Teskey
Director
Benchmark Fleet Services Limited

February 1st, 2010

Toyota’s Safety Recall Campaign

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Toyota has announced that is recalling eight models of its cars across Europe to solve a potential an accelerator pedal issue.

Amongst the models to be recalled are the popular Avensis, Corolla, Yaris and Auris.

The company says up to 1.8m vehicles in all may be recalled because of the possibility that in certain circumstances accelerator mechanisms may stick or only slowly return to ideal position.

A spokesperson for Toyota here has said it will be the middle of next week before they know the exact number and model of vehicles that will be recalled in Ireland.

Toyota Ireland will be operating a helpline for concerned customers who wish to make contact with the company.

The number is 01-4190222 and will be open from 9am to 5pm tomorrow and Sunday.

Nothing is more important to Toyota than doing the right thing for our customers -- and restoring their confidence in the safety of our vehicles. We deeply regret the concern that our recalls are causing for our loyal customers, and we are making an all-out effort to develop and implement effective remedies as quickly as we can.
Our highest priority is to fix the accelerator pedal problems for our existing customers. We want to reassure Toyota owners that instances of sticking pedals are rare and generally do not occur suddenly. Toyota is currently in the process of recalling vehicles to remedy the issue of pedal entrapment and we have begun sending instructions to customers about how we will fix their vehicles. Customers who have any questions or have experienced any issues with their accelerator pedals should visit Toyota.com, contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331, or call their local Toyota dealer.
We’ve identified the cause of the problem and are focusing all of our energy and resources on developing and thoroughly testing remedies. Our engineers have been working around the clock and we’ve been in direct communication with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) throughout this process. We also appreciate the opportunity to inform the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about our efforts to address this situation for our customers and we pledge our full cooperation with the Committee.
Toyota has taken the unprecedented step of stopping production to help serve our customers quickly and ensure that all new Toyota vehicles going forward do not experience this problem. Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) has also been working closely with our pedal supplier CTS on a revised design that effectively remedies the problem. These pedals are now in full production at CTS to support Toyota’s needs. At the same time, we continue to work with CTS to test effective pedal modifications for existing vehicles on the road that will be available to our customers as quickly as possible.
We appreciate the comments that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made today about the way Toyota has stepped up to meet our responsibilities to our customers, and we are determined to continue fulfilling our commitment to put our customers first.

Published under Motoring News, Toyotasend this post
January 29th, 2010
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