By now, the name Wolf Vaupel may be quite well-known, considering that he has been mentioned here and on numerous other sites and social media. Perodua was quick to clarify those accusations about their cars being ‘deadly’, but lets take a closer look at what Wolf Vaupel said earlier..
According to Mr Vaupel, the self-illuminated backlit meter cluster “misleads you terribly and give you a wrong impression that you have already turned on your headlights when in actual fact, it is not turned on!”
Perodua responded by saying, “We wish to clarify, that based on inquiries made to both the authorities and insurance companies showed that there is no such linkage concerning self-illuminating instrument cluster and road collisions at night.”
Indeed, Perodua says that there’s no link concerning the meter cluster and road collisions, but anyone who drives on the road at night on a regular basis will notice that it’s not just Peroduas that drive around ‘light-less’, in fact, other marques too! Does that mean that their self-illuminating meter clusters are to be blamed?
On a more personal note, I cannot fathom how drivers can drive in the dark without headlights. Maybe the roads are sufficiently lit? Doubt it. But it still poses a huge safety risk, as other motorists and motorcyclists cannot see the car. Furthermore it is illegal to drive with your headlights turned-off in the dark. Period.
However, Perodua did not comment on the fact that the Perodua Myvi and Alza’s do not have an indicator in the instrument cluster to show that the headlights are on. According to the UNECE Regulation no. 121 which states “Uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the location and identification of hand controls, tell-tales and indicators.” It means that the said car will need to have at least one indicator which shows the status of the headlights, front fog-lights and rear fog-lights. The aforementioned Perodua duo has none of those.
Beginning early this year, the UNECE Regulation no. 121 came into effect in Malaysia, and the facelifted 2015 Perodua Myvi has ditched the Optitron meter cluster, now with a regular meter cluster in place. With this regular meter cluster, drivers will know when the headlights are turned on, as they are not self-illuminating. Despite that, there are still no indicators indicating whether the headlights are turned on or not. The newly launched Perodua Axia also does not have such indicators.
In the end, it isn’t just about the self-illuminating meter, but many drivers’ driving style. Too many people these days are just not aware of their surroundings and drive around with their minds wandering elsewhere. Drivers need to change their driving style for the better, and not rely too much on technology.
Are we becoming so reliant on electronic driver-aids that we can forget something as rudimentary as turning on the headlights at night? Do we really need a reminder for THAT too? So will it now come to a point that all cars must be installed with ‘auto-headlights’ that cannot be deactivated? Do you think that’s a good idea? Hit us up in the comments below! – CW.