The tragic death of a Gurkha in a crash caused by a faulty BMW highlights the risk to manufacturers of not instigating quick safety recalls. I’m sure that BMW and the DVSA will argue that the death of Narayan Gurung on Christmas Day in 2016 was unavoidable and unexpected. Reading reports, however, it was a close run thing as to whether there was sufficient evidence for a charge of corporate manslaughter. The coroner in the case has criticised both the government and the car manufacturer for failing to recall 370,000 vehicles over the problem. Something they have now done. Lest anyone think that corporate manslaughter is not a serious charge, fines of up to £20 million can be levied (although in theory there is no upper limit) and prison sentences of up to 2 years.

And a coroner was not the only one to criticise the government this week. Jeremy Hicks at the CDX18 Expo urged the government to give more clarity, direction and guidance on exactly where its future policies on emissions are going. As he rightly pointed out, if you read press reports you would think that the internal combustion engine is going to fall out of production next year. And that consumers should never buy a diesel again. However good new technology is, it will take a while to get on board. Why even Tesla, who are now the biggest investors in electric vehicles, have struggled to get to realistic production targets for many years. In ain’t gonna be that easy to change over.

I’m sure you know Jeremy Hicks is UK Managing Director of JLR, who are heavily dependent on diesels in their range and are our most successful export. As if to bring out his comments, while registration figures were up in May, diesels had plunged even further. Down 23.6% year-on-year. This is against a modest rise of 3.5% for registrations on the month and a 36% growth in plug-in and hybrid cars.

Have a great weekend, only a week to go to the World Cup which will no doubt give a good excuse for registrations to fall in June.


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Will Rogers (1879 – 1935)

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