Media Releases

These are the most recent media releases from the Dog and Lemon Guide.
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Fines and disqualification do not reduce offending – major study.

Fines and disqualification often have little effect on driver behaviour, and may make a bad situation worse, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Matthew-Wilson was commenting after unpaid fines reached $800 million for the first time.

Cellphone ban may not work

The government’s cellphone ban won’t work unless it actually changes driver behavior, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson – whose road safety research was awarded by the Australian Police Journal – points to overseas research showing that teenagers, who are the most vulnerable road users – tend to ignore cellphone bans.

Warning over diesel vehicles

Small diesel cars are not the bargain they appear to be, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide. Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

Warning Over Illegal Car Dealers

Car buyers should be wary of unlicensed car dealers posing as private sellers, says the car buyer’s Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says: “You don’t get bargains from unlicensed car dealers. Often you’ll end up paying much the same as if you had bought the same car from a legitimate car yard, but you won’t get much protection if anything goes wrong.”

Car Guide Slams Chinese Vehicles

The first Chinese-made vehicles to arrive in Australasia have been savaged in a review by the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide, which describes them as: “a clumsy and unsafe copy of several existing Japanese vehicles.”The review slams the Great Wall SA220 and V240 utes on virtually all fronts, including appearance, safety, performance, fuel economy and handling.Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson – whose road safety research was awarded by the Australian Police Journal – adds:

“One of the reasons these vehicles are so cheap is that many vital safety features have been simply left off in an

ACC Changes Would Penalize Poor People

Proposals to make owners of older, less safe, cars pay more in ACC levies than those in newer, safer, cars, will simply penalise the poor, says the car buyer’s Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“Poor people buy old cars because they have little money. Penalising poor people for having little money is something that only someone in Treasury could dream up.”

Motorists robbed by trucking plans

The trucking industry is effectively being subsidised by other road users, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Commenting after the government announced plans to allow trucks of up to 50 tonnes on public roads, Dog & Lemon Guide editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“The government’s transport strategy is being driven by trucking industry lobbyists, and the average motorist is the loser.”

Call for government to require Electronic Stability Control on all new vehicles

The New Zealand government should follow the lead of Australia and require Electronic Stability Control on all new passenger cars and SUVs, says the car buyer’s Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“The evidence is quite clear: Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is the biggest lifesaver since the airbag.”

ESC uses computers to detect when a driver is losing control and selectively brakes the individual wheels and/or reduces excess engine power until control is regained.

Expert Calls For Prosecutions over Unsafe Commercial Vehicles

The Department of Labour should prosecute employers who make workers use unsafe vehicles, says the car buyer’s Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“The law is quite clear: employers are required to provide a safe workplace and can be prosecuted if they don’t.”

“Legally, a motor vehicle is a workplace, yet the Department of Labour appears to be taking no action against employers who put their workers at risk by making them drive unsafe vehicles.”

Chinese takeover of Holden “a real possibility”

Speculation that Australia's iconic Holden brand will be sold to a Chinese company is valid, but this will not save Australian jobs, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says China isn’t interested in protecting the Australian car assembly industry.

“What the Chinese want is the dealers and the technology. The Holden Commodore would make an ideal vehicle to sell from China to America, and the Chinese could probably retail it for around 30% cheaper than a Commodore built in Australia.”