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Old 26th October 2012, 15:16   #166
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

I actually prefer some of the design that have been carried forward from Left Hand Drive market. For instance, I love the fuel lid being towards the driver side and the wiper stalk arrangement. Weird - Let me explain why I like it.

On the highways, I use the lane change indicators a lot. The indicator stalk being on the left hand side kind of forces me to get both the hands on the steering wheel rather than relaxing the left hand momentarily. Mind you, at good speeds I grip the wheels with both the hands and subconsciously I might do it anyway, but I like the way this arrangement enforces it.

To shift gears a bit, I hate that my car (vRS Laura) comes with plain mirror on the driver side. It is dangerous and I am making arrangements of getting the age-old convex mirrors on the Right hand side. This to me seems to be a cost cutting measure, or Skoda couldn't just be bothered.
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Old 26th October 2012, 15:47   #167
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya101 View Post
Dear Vijay and Shine: in fact I thought that the European arrangement was better for Indian drivers. This way all of the following can be on the same side:

1. Driver
2. Fuel Lid
3. Pump operator
4. Dispensing machine

Mind you not all cars come with Left ORVMs, so you cant see where the person has closed the lid properly etc. I was curious as to why the Japanese and Koreans ignored it.
Yes, I agree. Fuel lid on the driver side is a better option as driver will have clear view.

Even punto has a single reverse light, that's a very cheap cost cutting measure.
And ofcourse, the cabin should have had more place to put a water bottle, a coffee cup etc. And yeah, quality of plastics are very average as well.
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Old 26th October 2012, 15:47   #168
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by aditya101 View Post
Dear Vijay and Shine: in fact I thought that the European arrangement was better for Indian drivers. This way all of the following can be on the same side:
1. Driver
2. Fuel Lid
3. Pump operator
4. Dispensing machine
Mind you not all cars come with Left ORVMs, so you cant see where the person has closed the lid properly etc. I was curious as to why the Japanese and Koreans ignored it.
aditya101, Japs and Koreans did not ignore anything. Actually, it's the Europeans who are lazy to change the position of the fuel lid in in their cars. See the link to the wikipedia page of the Volkswagen Polo for example.
The European left hand drive Polo has the fuel lid on the right side. But in the same page, you can see that the UK based right hand drive Polo also having the fuel lid on the same side. So, actually, the concept is to keep the fuel lid on the opposite side of the driver. But they never bothered to alter the design when they market the cars for right hand drive markets.
The fuel lid placement on the right side seems to be an accepted convention in the EU. I checked for something similar in US and there, as expected, there seems to be no standard placement.
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Old 26th October 2012, 18:01   #169
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Regarding placement of fuel lid, I feel that since India is a right hand drive country and the left side is the "safe side". So the fuel lid should be on the left side so that the fuel attendant is always standing on the safe side. This logic can be a basis for forming a convention instead of having no convention at all.

Last edited by anuragn : 26th October 2012 at 18:04.
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Old 26th October 2012, 19:01   #170
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Ok. Now this is going to be more like revival of an already "beaten to death" topic. However my hands so ache to pitch in my points of view as well.

As far as the rear-window not going down completely, people's perspectives and what they look for in a car are so different from one another and hence their views as well. I personally chose "not" to buy Figo in the year 2011 (yes, not all that long back) for the very same reason, because i felt my folks (my family and a few important friends) have Claustrophobic about the window not rolling down all the way. The sales person told me there was no power windows even in the highest variant citing cost-"effective" reasons. So I indeed was a potential buyer and it influenced my decision. I don't want argue on how much of it was a design flaw or may be it was a trade off that they had decided to forgo one aspect for another.

Though what I am going to talk about could be considered off topic, i felt i might like to get some views on what i feel.

1. Just as how someone here had mentioned a rear-wiper I feel is so important especially during the rainy days. Though I don't live in a place where it rains all that much, but still, it is an inconvenience and when i pay close to 7 lacs for a vehicle, i feel deserve a little more to save me from such inconveniences and for me to be able to get it, i wouldn't want to spend another 80K more (referring to the top variants)

2.At the times when some people talk about the mere existence of left ORVM, me talking about an electrically adjustable or fold-able ORVM might just sound too much , but trust me, single drivers like me would much empathize with me. In a city like Chennai where the two wheeler and the three wheeler traffic is overwhelming, its the order of the day that the ORVMs along with the hood get hit and lose the purpose of even having gotten one. As i drive alone (no one at the passenger seat, while i am driving back and forth to work everyday), its such a difficult task to get them back in position, especially the left side ones. In traffic, if i cant stop in the side lanes, i have to so careful that i don't end up kicking the gear and move over to the passenger side and then put it back in place.

On a concluding note,the above mentioned points may not really sound like it is a big deal, but then they can really be frustrating. Also, I can't really buy it if one had to tell me the rear window not going down is for safety purposes,give me aesthetics, i ll take it.If a kid that could roll down the window completely, can jump out, chances are that he could still do that with the window 80% down. After all kids are small, 20% doesn't make a big difference. The one safety reason that i can see is from Chain-snatching..
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Old 26th October 2012, 19:05   #171
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

^^^ so basically there is no method at all to the question of fuel lid placement.

Assuming that placing it diagonally opposite to the driver is safer viz-a-viz fire; then VW/Skoda should correct it.
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Old 26th October 2012, 19:16   #172
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by anuragn View Post
Regarding placement of fuel lid, I feel that since India is a right hand drive country and the left side is the "safe side". So the fuel lid should be on the left side so that the fuel attendant is always standing on the safe side. This logic can be a basis for forming a convention instead of having no convention at all.
Not sure what you mean by 'Safe Side'. If you mean this in terms of fire, nothing is safe. We do have kids sittings in back and wife at front left seat.

I personally prefer the right side fuel lid as I can see it better. Also, at Shell, where they dispense from both sides of the pump, they direct the cars such that fuel lid is nearest to pump. So when all Marutis and Hyundai's are waiting on queue at one side, my Spark gets direct access to other side of the pump.
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Old 27th October 2012, 11:01   #173
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Originally Posted by radek View Post
Not sure what you mean by 'Safe Side'. If you mean this in terms of fire, nothing is safe. We do have kids sittings in back and wife at front left seat.

I personally prefer the right side fuel lid as I can see it better. Also, at Shell, where they dispense from both sides of the pump, they direct the cars such that fuel lid is nearest to pump. So when all Marutis and Hyundai's are waiting on queue at one side, my Spark gets direct access to other side of the pump.
Safe side: It has nothing to do with fire safety. Imagine you are driving your car and then need to stop it. You will obviously park the car on the left side of the road. The right side of the car is a busy road. So which side of the car is it safer for anyone to stand? Obviously the left side!
Though it may not be strictly applicable at a petrol pump, but still this "safe side" philosophy could be a basis for deciding the fuel lid placement.

That is why I always keep the right side rear door child-locked since both kids sit at the back. So that they always alight from the "safe side".
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Old 27th October 2012, 11:59   #174
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Your car ran out of fuel and you've parked it on the left side of a busy unpartitioned two lane road with heavy traffic (typical of most roads in Kerala). From which side would you prefer to fill your car from a Jerry can? I'd chose left since its safer for me.
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Old 27th October 2012, 13:06   #175
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by azeemhafiz View Post
To shift gears a bit, I hate that my car (vRS Laura) comes with plain mirror on the driver side. It is dangerous and I am making arrangements of getting the age-old convex mirrors on the Right hand side. This to me seems to be a cost cutting measure, or Skoda couldn't just be bothered.
From what I know, the Right side plain mirror in the newer Laura is anti-glare, which dims the headlight reflections of the vehicles following you in the night. It appears to me as a safety and convenience feature rather than Cost cutting.

If it is just a plain mirror without any anti-glare properties, then it is foolish in my opinion.
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Old 27th October 2012, 14:30   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrman

From what I know, the Right side plain mirror in the newer Laura is anti-glare, which dims the headlight reflections of the vehicles following you in the night. It appears to me as a safety and convenience feature rather than Cost cutting.

If it is just a plain mirror without any anti-glare properties, then it is foolish in my opinion.
It's not. Trust me the left hand side mirror works on same glare level and is way superior.
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Old 27th October 2012, 14:40   #177
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by radek View Post
Also, at Shell, where they dispense from both sides of the pump, they direct the cars such that fuel lid is nearest to pump. So when all Marutis and Hyundai's are waiting on queue at one side, my Spark gets direct access to other side of the pump.
In most of the bunks I have visited, the hose is long enough to fill on either side of the car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azeemhafiz View Post
To shift gears a bit, I hate that my car (vRS Laura) comes with plain mirror on the driver side. It is dangerous and I am making arrangements of getting the age-old convex mirrors on the Right hand side. This to me seems to be a cost cutting measure, or Skoda couldn't just be bothered.
Some US states have this regulation that driver side mirror must be plain. Not sure why any Indian car need to adhere to that rule. IMO, plain OVRM is just pain.
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Old 27th October 2012, 17:44   #178
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Default re: Design flaws and cost cutting in Indian cars

Dude get on with it.I drive my European and Asian cars regularly. I don't find it difficult at all. Just get on with it.The pleasure of driving a good solid European car is worth the stupid stalks or damn quarter glass. Who cares when you are having so much pleasure driving the euro cars over Japanese/Korean tin boxes?

Are tinny cars not a design or cost cutting feature? Drive the Polo over after driving the Micra to see what I mean. The qualitative difference can be felt in the feel and the general stability of the car.

Anyway the stalks in the polo are made of much better plastic than any other hatch I know and I particularly like the lane change indication that they provide(The 3 blinks-I donít know what they are called).I personally feel the cars from the VAG group are well thought out and practical in every sense.

In case you want only cars designed for India then all you can aspire to drive would be the Suzuki Dzire or cars from Tata/Mahindra.I definitely don't want that. Companies are not going to retool for the scale of our market, common they donít do it for the UK.
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Old 27th October 2012, 19:18   #179
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An excellent thread being revived. I'd like to pour in my views some of which are most probably redundant but I'd like to have them all here in one place just for the record...

Must-haves in ANY car:
  • RVMs on both sides that are convex and are sufficiently large with a good view - this should hardly cost extra per car to implement and cost can easily be passed on to customers. Visibility is of utmost importance in any car. Internal adjustment mechanism not needed, but internal mechanical adjustment doesn't cost much to add either.
  • Both front AND rear wipers - anything that reduces visibility is a hazard. And wipers prevent such a hazard.
  • Sufficiently bright headlights. It shouldn't cost much to replace low power bulbs with higher powered bulbs or to make better quality better focussing reflectors. Projectors SHOULD be present.
  • Tachometer - EVERYONE skimps on this in low-end models and I see no reason why. It hardly costs anything.
  • Dual reversing lamps - for reasons already discussed at the start of the thread.
  • Front and rear fog lamps - It doesn't cost too much either and I see little reason why cars 3 lacs and above shouldn't have these.
  • Engine temperature gauge - again stuff that costs little to add but can be of tremendous value
  • Spare Wheel should be identical to other 4 wheels - basically if all 4 tyres are a particular size, spare should be the same size. And if all 4 wheels are alloys, spare should also be an alloy (this part skimped by many manufacturers). If they cannot offer 5 alloys then just give all 5 normal wheels instead. This is mainly because the car looks normal when spare is used and it encourages owners to practice tyre rotation with the spare included in rotation cycle.
  • Mobile Charger Point - I doubt any battery is that weak to not support a cheap to install mobile charger point.
  • Console on the RIGHT side - dunno why several companies are bringing out ugly looking central consoles. I see no reason to deviate from the norm.

Safety Features that I wish were atleast OPTIONS in Indian cars:
  • ABS+EBD+TC+ESP - Antilock Baking System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Traction Control and Electronic Stability Program - required as a part of 5-star NCAP rating. If ABS and EBD are present already, the programming knowledge I have tells me it should not cost manufacturers much extra to add TC and ESP features as well.
  • 7 Airbags - front (driver, passenger) airbags, front side airbags (driver and passenger), driver knee airbags and side curtain airbags. This much should atleast be offered as an option. I agree not everyone would want these many airbags, but atleast offer them as options!
  • Variant with 5-Star NCAP Rating - above features and properly designed crumple zones and good structural engineering. Not everybody cares about a safe car, but please help those who love their own lives!
  • All 4 disc brakes - It shouldn't be overcharged for either.

Auxiliary Features that should be OPTIONS in all cars:
  • Hydraulic Power Steering instead of electronic power steering for those enthusiast drivers.
  • Sportier Suspensions should be options along with softer suspensions for those who want them.
  • Remote Central Locking - mentioning it even though Indian manufacturers atleast don't skip it as an option.
  • Rear Parking Sensors - 3 or 4 of them. Essential in horribly congested parking spaces in India.
  • Rear View Camera - which has a separate display from central RVM.
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Old 27th October 2012, 20:14   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punto_ View Post
Even punto has a single reverse light, that's a very cheap cost cutting measure.
I would buy that if you were just provided a reflector instead of the rear fog-lamps.

Be sensible, this in no-way is related to cost cutting. How much should FIAT invest to put on a transparent lens instead of the red one?

The rear fog-lamp is provided for a purpose and let's appreciate it. Even most other European cars have a rear fog instead of the additional reverse lamp.
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