- Feb 1, 2007
- Dallas, Texas
- 00 4Runner | 02 919 | 87 XJ6 | 86 CB700SC
Yup, and if you look at the invoice, it will clearly delineate the Caterham 'kit' and the labor fee to assemble it - or it will in the dealer's books at the very least. (I know the local one here.)Really? So the US Caterham dealers basically get the parts and assemble them for you?
Yes, but I suspect that if you look back, you will find that at least the same percentage of small cars were just as badly designed. So in that sense, everything is equal. You can't say that every time a larger vehicle hits a smaller one, the larger vehicle will be something like a GM W-body and the smaller car will be 'properly engineered' like an S40 or something. You have the same luck of the draw each time - next time it could be one of my XJs versus a Toyota Tercel. This is where the stats come into play.That's the thing, all else is rarely equal. GM products from the 90s, for example, are made of spit and kleenex, so no matter what size you're getting it's not going to be a safe product. The Mercedes S-Class doesn't have statistically tiny fatality numbers solely because it's big - though that doesn't hurt, of course - but because Mercedes also pours billions into safety research on that car. Hell, the XJ is actually a relatively light car, as executive sedans go, and it still does quite well.
Small cars can be, and are, perfectly safe, with the right engineering. Sure, it's not going to be easy, and you're fighting powerful forces, but with proper engineering you'll survive most times. However, if manufacturers are encouraged to cut safety for price reasons or to offer stripped out models, small cars will not be safe. Which is why any attempts to relax safety regs on smaller vehicles are going to chase people away from them, because that's the market segment that needs safety engineering the most - and we can agree on that, I'm sure.
I would also point out that it should be left up to the market and the individual buyer as to how much safety one wants beyond (perhaps) a certain minimal level. If one chooses no safety and is killed because of it, well, that's evolution in action.