Who pays? - sean
Who pays in a blame culture?

I ask this because I was sorry for one of our backroomers, yesterday.

He admitted that he?d filled his diesel car with petrol and driven 100 miles.

Now it?s misfiring. I wanted to help him and spent time and my own money phoning VW in Wolfsburg.

Have a look at the thread in the Technical Section.

I?m not pleased with how it?s gone though. Do you see why?

Another thread concerns a chap who ran over a pothole and damaged his oil pan (sump). He wants to sue the maker, again VW.

I remember the days when you could nip down to your local dealer?s service department and they?d advise you with a little fault you had, usually for free. Not any more. Product Liability suits killed that. They offer you advice, which you follow, and hurt yourself. CLAIM TIME, big style.

Who do you think pays for all this?

Who pays for shoplifting, roadtax fraud, TV licence evasion and all the rest? WE DO as we pay to subsidise those who won?t.

What is really upsetting when you read the threads is that the 2 backroomers are moneyed. Look at their cars. Many folks come here for help as they are trying to keep ends going.
One rule for the rich?.?

Who pays? - hootie
Sean - the short answer to that (unusual for me I know) is that I expect to take responsbility for my own actions. I can't abide the culture that reckons if you scald yourself on McDonalds' coffee (or anyone else's) then it's their fault for making it too hot!

I am very happy to seek advice from interested parties, and learn more, but personally I leave jobs to the professionals, whatever it may be - and usually find out that for me, it's more cost effective that way anyway. I just appreciate paying a fair price for a fair job, well done, and not being ripped off cos I don't know any better.

I'm off now to seek some common sense advice for servicing etc.

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
Who pays? - volvoman
Hi Sean - you're right of course it is us all who pay but I'm not sure there's an easy answer other than self restraint. Sadly the richer you are the better the advice you get, the better the representation and the more likely you are to get a payout. I have grave reservations about the compensation culture we are creating but as someone who was involved in 2 genuine and serious litigation cases there's no doubt in my mind that in certain circumstances legal remedies have to be made easier for those affected. The problem is that if you make the leagl route easier, everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Don't know what the answer is but I'm very concerned about the very wide implications of this compensation and litigation culture. How many claims are made every day by people who deliberately engineer an 'accident' just to claim compensation for whiplash or something ? The sad part is that not only do we all pay in ncreased premiums but genuine cases of whiplash etc. are brought into disrepute leaving those affected having to work harder to secure proper compensation.

BTW - Mrs V. still wants to know where you live :-)
Who pays? - sean
All right, V.

I live in Leeds, which despite what I wrote here before, isn't a little village at all. It's a massive urban conurbation.

I'm at Roundhay, up in the top North East part.

It used to be very posh here, until I arrived with motorcycles and diesel cars, attracting "rough boys".

We have pop concerts opposite my house in Roundhay Park.

A few small players have been:
Rolling Stones
Michael Wacko Jacko
Bruce Springsteen.

(Never heard of them)

My neighbour is Jimmy Savile OBE
Who pays? - Rojer

Does JS live in Roundhay?

Astra, Renault 18, Renault 25 TXi, Astra Est, Passat Est, Mercedes 190E, Mercedes
Who pays? - teabelly
We do all end up paying and it depends on the circumstances and how intelligent the average person is considered to be. Americans have to be specifically told not to put sand in their tanks so I think the British are a little brighter! It depends on how much car knowledge you think people need to have. Washing machine users don't need to know how it operates just which things to do and what to do if they do something stupid. It should be the same for cars. Although common sense rules need to be applied. If the car book says it runs on petrol then one would assume that filling up with fanta would cause damage without having it explicitly written in the manual!

VW have misled the petrol-in-a-diesel backroomer a little as they said the car would be ok (assuming he was honest with them). The damage occurred in the first instance due to his own negligence so he still hasn't got a claim against them. But if as a result of their advice further damage occurred then he maybe able to claim the difference in costs. Either way I think he needs to come clean and get it fixed. Either at the independent and lose the warranty or pay full whack to the vw dealer (who may offer a reduced price out of sympathy if he has been nice to them). I am sure if he talked to the dealer about whether to go independent they should allow him to keep the warranty on the rest of the car as getting the engine fixed by an independent shouldn't invalidate a claim for anything else. It all depends whether he wants to be honest with VW or not.

As for the pothole chap it depends on whether the pothole was easily avoided, how much care he took in slowing down over the pothole if it was unavoidable and whether the ground clearance on his VW could be considered excessively low. Suing vw is the wrong way to do it, I'd be suing the person responsible for the road maintenance. I haven't read the thread so I may change my mind about the pothole man.

The same rules in fairness should be applied regardless of the finances of the owner. A daft beggar is still a daft beggar regardless of the size of their bank balance.
Who pays? - smokie
My company put me on a Health and Safety course for Managers yesterday.

It made me think about just how much money and resource is devoted to Health and Safety, and the avoidance of accidents. And my own cynical view, summarised, were:

The cost of anything you buy is vastly increased due to the incredible amount of effort that companies right through the production chain have to go through for H&S
The H&S industry has a safe future as no-one can reasonably argue it's value (saving lives)
Companies are less interested in saving lives than avoiding claims

I got on a rant during the course when the teacher was saying that soon, painters will have to take a minimum 5 minute break every 30 minutes if they are working up a ladder (although ladders will soon be obsoleted in favour of semi permanent platforms - imagine what your window cleaning bill will soon be!), and a risk statement will need to be written for ANY work that takes place above floor height. Is this nanny state gone mad? I'm all on favour of protecting workers health, but sheesh....
Who pays? - teabelly
You can easily make something idiot proof but you can bet someone will invent a better idiot ;-)

I would like to see h & s guidelines for car drivers that are closer in line with those for lorry drivers to disuade people from driving when tired or when taking certain medication. I don't know how you would enforce it but making it a legal requirement to take breaks every so often and maybe even have a minimum number of hours sleep in the previous 24 hours before being allowed to drive ( and respected by employers) would reduce probably one of the biggest killers on our roads. I suspect this would mean that junior doctors would have to be taxi'd into work though!

Ladders are actually pretty dangerous things when not used properly so building semi permanent platforums is ultimately quite sensible but possibly costly in the short term. Perhaps h & s could encourage window cleaners to invest in jet packs that would let them hover while cleaning. All they would then need would be a heat proof crash mat in case they ran out of fuel..... much safer than a dodgy ladder!
Who pays? - Marcos{P}

I agree with you on the health and safety issue. When I was working on site etc we used to do some quite dangerous things and then health and safety came along and things got better.
I decided to start on my own and now run a large succesfull electrical contracting business but over the past couple of years the health and safety issue has become a pain in the backside. The chaps on site get fed up with it because of all the equipment they have to use/wear and I get fed up with it because you have to provide method statements and risk assesments for every job we carry out. This all takes time to carry out and costs money for all the additional equipment so at the end of the day the end consumer ends up paying more.
Health and Safety is obviously a good idea but because everyone is scared of who will take them to court next it is becoming a little bit OTT and again the end consumer will have to pay for this, rich or not.
Who pays? - Alfafan {P}
Daftest thing I read over the weekend is that mountain climbing schools may be expected to comply with the HASAW regulations regarding anybody working above head height!
Who pays? - Mark (RLBS)
>>Companies are less interested in saving lives than avoiding claims

Certainly that is some of it. However there at least two other reasons;

People are more likely to work for you if you have a safe reputation

Companies/People are more likely to contract you if you have a proven track record of safety and have the right approach.

We will *only* work with contractors who follow an appropriate methodology and have a safe record. And we *always* check, irrespective of the contact amount.

And since our turnover was in the region of 9.5 billion pounds last year, people want and need to deal with us - therefore they have to follow HSE policies, procedures and guidelines.

And we even extend them to company car incidents driven by office based staff as well as commercial vehicle incidents.
Who pays? - smokie
but...in the words of the title...who pays? The end consumer. I know you are right Mark, my company spends thousands on different accreditations just so that we are eligible to even bid (another costly process) certain pieces of work.

The course also told us about serial claimants, particularly in London offices. People get recruited, often to a fairly lowly position, and within days begin complaining about some aspect of the working conditions which is affecting their H&S. Eventually the company pays them off (to avoid court and publicity) and off they go to do it again somewhere else. Samll amounts (< £5k) but if you do it enough times it pays the bills.

Who pays? - pdc {P}
Possibly one of the daftest applications I have come across is the use of ear defenders on military firing ranges.

OK, so I guess during peace time practise it is reasonable to protect hearing. Can you imagine them trying to extend it to the battlefield next? "Sorry, can't invade Iraq, someone may get hurt"
Who pays? - Nortones2
There is plenty of data that having the savvy and will to organise safe working, e.g. in construction, actually cuts costs. Ditto safe driving, to bring this back to a relevant topic!
Who pays? - joe
These things always save money in the "long-term". No government seems able to come u with ideas for businesses that will save money here and now.

Bought a packet of peanuts the other day. On the back were the immortal words "Caution, this product may contain nuts".

Wasn't there abloke in the US who succesfully sued Winnebago on the basis that they should have expressly told him that cruise control didn't mean that he could go to the galley area and make a cup of tea while leaving the steering wheel unnattended?

In the UK, the majority of the relevant law (primarily the law of negligence) is made by the judges. The are usually faced with a situation of having to decide between the big corporation or public body, and poor old Joe Public on the other side. Sympathy leads the judges to make the wrong decisions. People then read about these things in the papers, and the idea spreads that someone can always be blamed for everything ("where there's blame, there's a claim...)

Who pays? - Dynamic Dave
Wasn't there abloke in the US who succesfully sued Winnebago
on the basis that they should have expressly told him that
cruise control didn't mean that he could go to the galley area
and make a cup of tea while leaving the steering wheel

That turned out to be a fabricated claim.
Who pays? - sean
Many thanks for the link, DD.

You can "subscribe" there and receive interesting e-mails.
Who pays? - smokie
Of course, that may be a hoax...
Who pays? - pdc {P}
The story after the Harry Potter story, at www.stellaawards.com/sample.html is fascinating. Is about parents in America who sued a man who stopped on a multilane highway as he feared he would hit their daughter, a pedestrian, who then stepped out and got hit by the car in the next lane.

Once again it's the fault of the driver, and not of the parents who didn't drum in stop, look, listen
Who pays? - the gardener
The honest man pays for the dishonest one: its the way of the World and has been like that for as long as money has been used.

Perhaps now it is more apparent with so much money around: too much some might think, but it (money) is there so someone has to claim ownership of it and it is often the dishonest man who steals it... and more wants more.

Imo, cars and especially houses can bring out the worst in people: and by that I mean the greed, envy and covetiveness. In the end a road to nowhere and to spiritual ruin.

Value my car