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Thread: VH Commodre broke in half

  1. #1
    Ext User(Blue Heeler) Guest

    VH Commodre broke in half

    In a post in another thread today Clocky made mention of a VH Commodore
    that broke in half following a relatively minor accident.

    Clocky alluded to a subsequent court case in which the owner did not
    fare well.


    I've been unable to find any reference to commodores (of any vintage)
    breaking unexpectedly in half in accidents.

    I did find reference to the original Opel Rekord body requiring
    extensive reworking to cope with Australian roads - apparently a rekord
    fitted with Australian running gear broke at the firewall after
    extended rough road testing - but that is hardly the definitive
    Commodore, Wikipedia says that by the time the first Commodore rolled
    off the line it had less than 35% commonality with the Opel edition.


    Anyway, I do not think clocky made it up, so there must be something of
    a grain of truth in the story - does anyone know what happened? And if
    you can find something with names in it, then I can do a case search
    and see what happened in court.

  2. #2
    Ext User(Noddy) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/13 11:35 AM, Blue Heeler wrote:

    > Anyway, I do not think clocky made it up, so there must be something of
    > a grain of truth in the story - does anyone know what happened? And if
    > you can find something with names in it, then I can do a case search
    > and see what happened in court.


    It was actually me that mentioned it, and I remember the case as it was
    detailed fairly well in the Victorian media at the time.

    It was back in the day when the VH was still fairly newish, so would
    have been early to mid 80's. Unfortunately I don't recall any names, but
    apparently what happened was the owner was in a relatively minor
    collision with another car that saw the complete back half of his VH
    Commy break away from the rest of the vehicle. There were pictures of
    the accident damage in the paper, and the car broke right through the C
    pillar and separated through the back window the boot and rear axle
    coming away as cleanly as if it'd been deliberately cut.

    The car was clearly defective, and the insurer had apparently scrubbed
    his claim saying that Holden was responsible because it had made a
    defective car.

    Anyway, after much arguing and getting nowhere the owner launched a
    civil suit against GMH for a replacement of the car. GMH apparently
    furnished themselves with a field of technical experts from both here
    and overseas who successfully argued that the car wasn't faulty and the
    damage was the result of the collision, and the costs were awarded
    against the car's owner which if I remember correctly at the time were
    reported to be a million dollars.





    --
    --
    Regards,
    Noddy.

  3. #3
    Ext User(Blue Heeler) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    Noddy wrote:

    > Anyway, after much arguing and getting nowhere the owner launched a
    > civil suit against GMH for a replacement of the car. GMH apparently
    > furnished themselves with a field of technical experts from both here
    > and overseas who successfully argued that the car wasn't faulty and
    > the damage was the result of the collision, and the costs were
    > awarded against the car's owner which if I remember correctly at the
    > time were reported to be a million dollars.


    Well I doubt that the owner woul dhave ended up out of pocket. If the
    court decided that the vehicle was not defective, then the owner woul
    dhave been able to rely on his indemnity given by the insurer and the
    insurer would have had to pick up all the costs of the action, an
    action that came about because the insurer denied liability on the
    basis of defective design/manufacturing fault.

    A first year law studunet could have won that one for him providing
    your memory is accurate.


    BUT

    I really would like more info, you see I have a little more info from
    another source.

    A Wrecker near Proserpine in North QLD used to have a big sign on the
    highway (around the time of the VH commodore) to the effect that for
    $3,500 he would structurally reinforce your defective and dangerous
    Commodore so that it actually met Australian design rules and was safe
    to drive.

    In the fullness of time, holden contacted him and requested him to
    cease, desist and remove his sign.

    Holden got told to GFY.

    Holden sued and mid trial when things were apparently going bad for
    them, made a settlement offer to wrecker. Such things are usually the
    subject of confidentiality, all I know is that the wrecker closed the
    doors, literally closed the doors and the wrecking yard became more and
    more overgrown until sold a few years back. The former wrecker
    apparently moved to Shute Harbour and spent a lot of time onboard his
    very new, and very big, game boat.

    I'd love to know more, but when I contacted the law firm I was told was
    involved involved, the partner who handled had since retired and lost
    his marbles, nobody else there remembered anything general about the
    matter and due to the confidentiality agreement wouldn't look at the
    files to tell me more.

  4. #4
    Ext User(Clocky) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half


    "Blue Heeler" <woof@bark.org> wrote in message
    news:bbedvbF7n0cU1@mid.individual.net...
    > In a post in another thread today Clocky made mention of a VH Commodore
    > that broke in half following a relatively minor accident.
    >


    Did I?

    > Clocky alluded to a subsequent court case in which the owner did not
    > fare well.
    >


    Did I?

    >
    > I've been unable to find any reference to commodores (of any vintage)
    > breaking unexpectedly in half in accidents.
    >
    > I did find reference to the original Opel Rekord body requiring
    > extensive reworking to cope with Australian roads - apparently a rekord
    > fitted with Australian running gear broke at the firewall after
    > extended rough road testing - but that is hardly the definitive
    > Commodore, Wikipedia says that by the time the first Commodore rolled
    > off the line it had less than 35% commonality with the Opel edition.
    >
    >
    > Anyway, I do not think clocky made it up, so there must be something of
    > a grain of truth in the story - does anyone know what happened? And if
    > you can find something with names in it, then I can do a case search
    > and see what happened in court.


    I do have a vague recollection of a Commodore breaking in half and this
    topic being discussed many years ago
    I'll see what I can find.



  5. #5
    Ext User(Clocky) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half


    "Blue Heeler" <woof@bark.org> wrote in message
    news:bbekfoF8s2gU1@mid.individual.net...
    > Noddy wrote:
    >
    >> Anyway, after much arguing and getting nowhere the owner launched a
    >> civil suit against GMH for a replacement of the car. GMH apparently
    >> furnished themselves with a field of technical experts from both here
    >> and overseas who successfully argued that the car wasn't faulty and
    >> the damage was the result of the collision, and the costs were
    >> awarded against the car's owner which if I remember correctly at the
    >> time were reported to be a million dollars.

    >
    > Well I doubt that the owner woul dhave ended up out of pocket. If the
    > court decided that the vehicle was not defective, then the owner woul
    > dhave been able to rely on his indemnity given by the insurer and the
    > insurer would have had to pick up all the costs of the action, an
    > action that came about because the insurer denied liability on the
    > basis of defective design/manufacturing fault.
    >
    > A first year law studunet could have won that one for him providing
    > your memory is accurate.
    >
    >
    > BUT
    >
    > I really would like more info, you see I have a little more info from
    > another source.
    >
    > A Wrecker near Proserpine in North QLD used to have a big sign on the
    > highway (around the time of the VH commodore) to the effect that for
    > $3,500 he would structurally reinforce your defective and dangerous
    > Commodore so that it actually met Australian design rules and was safe
    > to drive.
    >


    It probably referred to the seat rail modification for which a recall notice
    was published around that time. IIRC it consisted of a bracket or plate
    being welded somewhere the seat anchorage area to prevent cracking on some
    select models - not that the car would split in half because of that.

    Nor does the breaking up of early Commodores seem to have been widespread.


    > In the fullness of time, holden contacted him and requested him to
    > cease, desist and remove his sign.
    >
    > Holden got told to GFY.
    >
    > Holden sued and mid trial when things were apparently going bad for
    > them, made a settlement offer to wrecker.


    According to who or what? If it was in the paper, you should be able to find
    the article.

    Such things are usually the
    > subject of confidentiality, all I know is that the wrecker closed the
    > doors, literally closed the doors and the wrecking yard became more and
    > more overgrown until sold a few years back. The former wrecker
    > apparently moved to Shute Harbour and spent a lot of time onboard his
    > very new, and very big, game boat.


    Sounds like one of those tales you hear in the pub to be honest but I'd like
    to know more about it.

    > I'd love to know more, but when I contacted the law firm I was told was
    > involved involved, the partner who handled had since retired and lost
    > his marbles, nobody else there remembered anything general about the
    > matter and due to the confidentiality agreement wouldn't look at the
    > files to tell me more.


    ....and couldn't be ****ed anyway ;-)




  6. #6
    Ext User(Blue Heeler) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    Clocky wrote:

    > > Clocky alluded to a subsequent court case in which the owner did not
    > > fare well.
    > >

    >
    > Did I?
    >



    Apparently not.

    However i assure you i wasn't planning on taking issue woht you, I am
    genuinely interested given my own knowledge about the Nth QLD matter.

    >
    > I do have a vague recollection of a Commodore breaking in half and
    > this topic being discussed many years ago I'll see what I can find.



    Yes, and were it not for the half remembered other matter I would have
    put it down to pub talk, a transmogrification of the Rekord that bropke
    in half during testing, thereby proving why testing is necessary.

    If you do find anything, please post.


  7. #7
    Ext User(Noddy) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/13 1:27 PM, Blue Heeler wrote:

    > Well I doubt that the owner woul dhave ended up out of pocket. If the
    > court decided that the vehicle was not defective, then the owner woul
    > dhave been able to rely on his indemnity given by the insurer and the
    > insurer would have had to pick up all the costs of the action, an
    > action that came about because the insurer denied liability on the
    > basis of defective design/manufacturing fault.
    >
    > A first year law studunet could have won that one for him providing
    > your memory is accurate.


    I remember what was printed in the paper at the time, but don't know any
    more about it than that other than a few people who saw the photos of
    the damaged car all agreeing that it had a major structural failure in a
    way that was totally inconsistent with the amount of damage on the other
    car (which I think was something like a Toyota Corolla that clipped the
    rear of the Commodore and got a bent bumper bar for it's trouble).

    > BUT
    >
    > I really would like more info, you see I have a little more info from
    > another source.


    Cool.

    > A Wrecker near Proserpine in North QLD used to have a big sign on the
    > highway (around the time of the VH commodore) to the effect that for
    > $3,500 he would structurally reinforce your defective and dangerous
    > Commodore so that it actually met Australian design rules and was safe
    > to drive.


    Wow. I wonder if GMH ever took issue with that?.

    Oh. I see they did :)

    > In the fullness of time, holden contacted him and requested him to
    > cease, desist and remove his sign.
    >
    > Holden got told to GFY.
    >
    > Holden sued and mid trial when things were apparently going bad for
    > them, made a settlement offer to wrecker. Such things are usually the
    > subject of confidentiality, all I know is that the wrecker closed the
    > doors, literally closed the doors and the wrecking yard became more and
    > more overgrown until sold a few years back. The former wrecker
    > apparently moved to Shute Harbour and spent a lot of time onboard his
    > very new, and very big, game boat.


    Interesting.

    > I'd love to know more, but when I contacted the law firm I was told was
    > involved involved, the partner who handled had since retired and lost
    > his marbles, nobody else there remembered anything general about the
    > matter and due to the confidentiality agreement wouldn't look at the
    > files to tell me more.


    Bugger.

    What I remember at the time was that talk of this particular case was
    all over the repair industry down here, and particularly amongst panel
    beaters who seemed to be of the opinion at the time that the Dunny had
    some failings. When I mentioned earlier that a couple of people looked
    at the photos with me one of them owned one of the biggest panel shops
    in Melbourne at the time and was well positioned to tell if the car was
    damaged in a way that would be reasonably expected given the type of
    accident it was involved with and his opinion was most definitely not.

    The give away in his opinion (and that of many others apparently), was
    not only the lack of any substantial damage to the other car involved,
    but the clean "break" line in the Commodore. As I said earlier, the
    thing came apart looking like it had been carefully cut along a
    particular line.




    --
    --
    Regards,
    Noddy.

  8. #8
    Ext User(D Walford) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/2013 5:06 PM, Noddy wrote:
    > On 07/10/13 1:27 PM, Blue Heeler wrote:
    >
    >> Well I doubt that the owner woul dhave ended up out of pocket. If the
    >> court decided that the vehicle was not defective, then the owner woul
    >> dhave been able to rely on his indemnity given by the insurer and the
    >> insurer would have had to pick up all the costs of the action, an
    >> action that came about because the insurer denied liability on the
    >> basis of defective design/manufacturing fault.
    >>
    >> A first year law studunet could have won that one for him providing
    >> your memory is accurate.

    >
    > I remember what was printed in the paper at the time, but don't know any
    > more about it than that other than a few people who saw the photos of
    > the damaged car all agreeing that it had a major structural failure in a
    > way that was totally inconsistent with the amount of damage on the other
    > car (which I think was something like a Toyota Corolla that clipped the
    > rear of the Commodore and got a bent bumper bar for it's trouble).
    >
    >> BUT
    >>
    >> I really would like more info, you see I have a little more info from
    >> another source.

    >
    > Cool.
    >
    >> A Wrecker near Proserpine in North QLD used to have a big sign on the
    >> highway (around the time of the VH commodore) to the effect that for
    >> $3,500 he would structurally reinforce your defective and dangerous
    >> Commodore so that it actually met Australian design rules and was safe
    >> to drive.

    >
    > Wow. I wonder if GMH ever took issue with that?.
    >
    > Oh. I see they did :)
    >
    >> In the fullness of time, holden contacted him and requested him to
    >> cease, desist and remove his sign.
    >>
    >> Holden got told to GFY.
    >>
    >> Holden sued and mid trial when things were apparently going bad for
    >> them, made a settlement offer to wrecker. Such things are usually the
    >> subject of confidentiality, all I know is that the wrecker closed the
    >> doors, literally closed the doors and the wrecking yard became more and
    >> more overgrown until sold a few years back. The former wrecker
    >> apparently moved to Shute Harbour and spent a lot of time onboard his
    >> very new, and very big, game boat.

    >
    > Interesting.
    >
    >> I'd love to know more, but when I contacted the law firm I was told was
    >> involved involved, the partner who handled had since retired and lost
    >> his marbles, nobody else there remembered anything general about the
    >> matter and due to the confidentiality agreement wouldn't look at the
    >> files to tell me more.

    >
    > Bugger.
    >
    > What I remember at the time was that talk of this particular case was
    > all over the repair industry down here, and particularly amongst panel
    > beaters who seemed to be of the opinion at the time that the Dunny had
    > some failings. When I mentioned earlier that a couple of people looked
    > at the photos with me one of them owned one of the biggest panel shops
    > in Melbourne at the time and was well positioned to tell if the car was
    > damaged in a way that would be reasonably expected given the type of
    > accident it was involved with and his opinion was most definitely not.
    >
    > The give away in his opinion (and that of many others apparently), was
    > not only the lack of any substantial damage to the other car involved,
    > but the clean "break" line in the Commodore. As I said earlier, the
    > thing came apart looking like it had been carefully cut along a
    > particular line.
    >
    >
    >
    >

    Sounds like a row or several rows of spot welds were missing which can
    easily happen if a machine breaks down on the production line but the
    body shouldn't get past QC.
    If it was that simple I can't imagine Holden denying that it was
    production fault, if I was in charge at Holden I would have given the
    owner a new car and bought the wreck so the engineers could find out why
    it happened and make sure it didn't happen again.

    --
    Daryl

  9. #9
    Ext User(Noddy) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/13 5:17 PM, D Walford wrote:

    > Sounds like a row or several rows of spot welds were missing which can
    > easily happen if a machine breaks down on the production line but the
    > body shouldn't get past QC.


    This was the era of Blue motors. There *was* not QC then :)

    > If it was that simple I can't imagine Holden denying that it was
    > production fault,


    I think you can get away with denying whatever you like if you're
    prepared to pay for the best legal team.

    > if I was in charge at Holden I would have given the
    > owner a new car and bought the wreck so the engineers could find out why
    > it happened and make sure it didn't happen again.


    I would have too, but that would have been too easy. Holden was more
    concerned with making this guy's life a misery by having his claims
    publicly disgraced and thus avoiding any bad press about their product.
    What they *could* have done was simply offered the guy a new car if he
    signed a non disclosure agreement and the public would never have known
    about it at all, but their minds simply don't work like that.





    --
    --
    Regards,
    Noddy.

  10. #10
    Ext User(Clocky) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half


    "D Walford" <dwalford@internode.on.net> wrote in message
    news:52525227$0$2910$c3e8da3$76491128@news.astrawe b.com...
    > On 07/10/2013 5:06 PM, Noddy wrote:
    >> On 07/10/13 1:27 PM, Blue Heeler wrote:
    >>
    >>> Well I doubt that the owner woul dhave ended up out of pocket. If the
    >>> court decided that the vehicle was not defective, then the owner woul
    >>> dhave been able to rely on his indemnity given by the insurer and the
    >>> insurer would have had to pick up all the costs of the action, an
    >>> action that came about because the insurer denied liability on the
    >>> basis of defective design/manufacturing fault.
    >>>
    >>> A first year law studunet could have won that one for him providing
    >>> your memory is accurate.

    >>
    >> I remember what was printed in the paper at the time, but don't know any
    >> more about it than that other than a few people who saw the photos of
    >> the damaged car all agreeing that it had a major structural failure in a
    >> way that was totally inconsistent with the amount of damage on the other
    >> car (which I think was something like a Toyota Corolla that clipped the
    >> rear of the Commodore and got a bent bumper bar for it's trouble).
    >>
    >>> BUT
    >>>
    >>> I really would like more info, you see I have a little more info from
    >>> another source.

    >>
    >> Cool.
    >>
    >>> A Wrecker near Proserpine in North QLD used to have a big sign on the
    >>> highway (around the time of the VH commodore) to the effect that for
    >>> $3,500 he would structurally reinforce your defective and dangerous
    >>> Commodore so that it actually met Australian design rules and was safe
    >>> to drive.

    >>
    >> Wow. I wonder if GMH ever took issue with that?.
    >>
    >> Oh. I see they did :)
    >>
    >>> In the fullness of time, holden contacted him and requested him to
    >>> cease, desist and remove his sign.
    >>>
    >>> Holden got told to GFY.
    >>>
    >>> Holden sued and mid trial when things were apparently going bad for
    >>> them, made a settlement offer to wrecker. Such things are usually the
    >>> subject of confidentiality, all I know is that the wrecker closed the
    >>> doors, literally closed the doors and the wrecking yard became more and
    >>> more overgrown until sold a few years back. The former wrecker
    >>> apparently moved to Shute Harbour and spent a lot of time onboard his
    >>> very new, and very big, game boat.

    >>
    >> Interesting.
    >>
    >>> I'd love to know more, but when I contacted the law firm I was told was
    >>> involved involved, the partner who handled had since retired and lost
    >>> his marbles, nobody else there remembered anything general about the
    >>> matter and due to the confidentiality agreement wouldn't look at the
    >>> files to tell me more.

    >>
    >> Bugger.
    >>
    >> What I remember at the time was that talk of this particular case was
    >> all over the repair industry down here, and particularly amongst panel
    >> beaters who seemed to be of the opinion at the time that the Dunny had
    >> some failings. When I mentioned earlier that a couple of people looked
    >> at the photos with me one of them owned one of the biggest panel shops
    >> in Melbourne at the time and was well positioned to tell if the car was
    >> damaged in a way that would be reasonably expected given the type of
    >> accident it was involved with and his opinion was most definitely not.
    >>
    >> The give away in his opinion (and that of many others apparently), was
    >> not only the lack of any substantial damage to the other car involved,
    >> but the clean "break" line in the Commodore. As I said earlier, the
    >> thing came apart looking like it had been carefully cut along a
    >> particular line.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    > Sounds like a row or several rows of spot welds were missing which can
    > easily happen if a machine breaks down on the production line but the body
    > shouldn't get past QC.


    I dare say that if it was that bad you would notice the flex.

    > If it was that simple I can't imagine Holden denying that it was
    > production fault, if I was in charge at Holden I would have given the
    > owner a new car and bought the wreck so the engineers could find out why
    > it happened and make sure it didn't happen again.
    >


    Makes perfect sense that they would have done just that. Noddy's bullshit
    about panelbeaters means jack shit, they're not structural engineers and
    they didn't inspect the vehicle first hand.

    Perhaps it had been tampered with for all we know.
    The fact that Holden (if this isn't some urban myth) fought it tooth and
    nail and won is quite revealing IMO.




  11. #11
    Ext User(Clocky) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half


    "Noddy" <me@wardengineering.com.au> wrote in message
    news:l2tqp8$upq$1@dont-email.me...
    > On 07/10/13 5:17 PM, D Walford wrote:
    >
    >> Sounds like a row or several rows of spot welds were missing which can
    >> easily happen if a machine breaks down on the production line but the
    >> body shouldn't get past QC.

    >
    > This was the era of Blue motors. There *was* not QC then :)
    >
    >> If it was that simple I can't imagine Holden denying that it was
    >> production fault,

    >
    > I think you can get away with denying whatever you like if you're prepared
    > to pay for the best legal team.
    >


    It makes no sense to draw attention to the fault if indeed there was *one*
    example of it.
    Give the man a new car and let engineering loose on his broken wreck to find
    out what went wrong makes more sense.

    Chances are Holden looked at the car and determined it really wasn't a
    production fault and they weren't going to wear it.

    >> if I was in charge at Holden I would have given the
    >> owner a new car and bought the wreck so the engineers could find out why
    >> it happened and make sure it didn't happen again.

    >
    > I would have too, but that would have been too easy. Holden was more
    > concerned with making this guy's life a misery by having his claims
    > publicly disgraced and thus avoiding any bad press about their product.


    Or infact there was no production fault. You are speculating here.

    > What they *could* have done was simply offered the guy a new car if he
    > signed a non disclosure agreement and the public would never have known
    > about it at all, but their minds simply don't work like that.
    >


    Obviously not a sound solution if it wasn't a production fault.

    It's all very speculative.



  12. #12
    Ext User(Clocky) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half


    "Blue Heeler" <woof@bark.org> wrote in message
    news:bbesq5FabivU1@mid.individual.net...
    > Clocky wrote:
    >
    >> > Clocky alluded to a subsequent court case in which the owner did not
    >> > fare well.
    >> >

    >>
    >> Did I?
    >>

    >
    >
    > Apparently not.
    >
    > However i assure you i wasn't planning on taking issue woht you, I am
    > genuinely interested given my own knowledge about the Nth QLD matter.
    >


    Fair enough. I 'm interested too because I haven't heard of that one. The
    break in two story I do vaguely remember. Should be relatively easy to find
    the newspaper article, I'll see what comes up.

    >>
    >> I do have a vague recollection of a Commodore breaking in half and
    >> this topic being discussed many years ago I'll see what I can find.

    >
    >
    > Yes, and were it not for the half remembered other matter I would have
    > put it down to pub talk, a transmogrification of the Rekord that bropke
    > in half during testing, thereby proving why testing is necessary.
    >


    Yeah, I still suspect transmogrification may well be the source of the
    story. Nice word BTW lol.

    > If you do find anything, please post.
    >


    Sure thing.




  13. #13
    Ext User(D Walford) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/2013 10:26 PM, Clocky wrote:
    > "D Walford" <dwalford@internode.on.net> wrote in message
    > news:52525227$0$2910$c3e8da3$76491128@news.astrawe b.com...
    >> On 07/10/2013 5:06 PM, Noddy wrote:
    >>> On 07/10/13 1:27 PM, Blue Heeler wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Well I doubt that the owner woul dhave ended up out of pocket. If the
    >>>> court decided that the vehicle was not defective, then the owner woul
    >>>> dhave been able to rely on his indemnity given by the insurer and the
    >>>> insurer would have had to pick up all the costs of the action, an
    >>>> action that came about because the insurer denied liability on the
    >>>> basis of defective design/manufacturing fault.
    >>>>
    >>>> A first year law studunet could have won that one for him providing
    >>>> your memory is accurate.
    >>>
    >>> I remember what was printed in the paper at the time, but don't know any
    >>> more about it than that other than a few people who saw the photos of
    >>> the damaged car all agreeing that it had a major structural failure in a
    >>> way that was totally inconsistent with the amount of damage on the other
    >>> car (which I think was something like a Toyota Corolla that clipped the
    >>> rear of the Commodore and got a bent bumper bar for it's trouble).
    >>>
    >>>> BUT
    >>>>
    >>>> I really would like more info, you see I have a little more info from
    >>>> another source.
    >>>
    >>> Cool.
    >>>
    >>>> A Wrecker near Proserpine in North QLD used to have a big sign on the
    >>>> highway (around the time of the VH commodore) to the effect that for
    >>>> $3,500 he would structurally reinforce your defective and dangerous
    >>>> Commodore so that it actually met Australian design rules and was safe
    >>>> to drive.
    >>>
    >>> Wow. I wonder if GMH ever took issue with that?.
    >>>
    >>> Oh. I see they did :)
    >>>
    >>>> In the fullness of time, holden contacted him and requested him to
    >>>> cease, desist and remove his sign.
    >>>>
    >>>> Holden got told to GFY.
    >>>>
    >>>> Holden sued and mid trial when things were apparently going bad for
    >>>> them, made a settlement offer to wrecker. Such things are usually the
    >>>> subject of confidentiality, all I know is that the wrecker closed the
    >>>> doors, literally closed the doors and the wrecking yard became more and
    >>>> more overgrown until sold a few years back. The former wrecker
    >>>> apparently moved to Shute Harbour and spent a lot of time onboard his
    >>>> very new, and very big, game boat.
    >>>
    >>> Interesting.
    >>>
    >>>> I'd love to know more, but when I contacted the law firm I was told was
    >>>> involved involved, the partner who handled had since retired and lost
    >>>> his marbles, nobody else there remembered anything general about the
    >>>> matter and due to the confidentiality agreement wouldn't look at the
    >>>> files to tell me more.
    >>>
    >>> Bugger.
    >>>
    >>> What I remember at the time was that talk of this particular case was
    >>> all over the repair industry down here, and particularly amongst panel
    >>> beaters who seemed to be of the opinion at the time that the Dunny had
    >>> some failings. When I mentioned earlier that a couple of people looked
    >>> at the photos with me one of them owned one of the biggest panel shops
    >>> in Melbourne at the time and was well positioned to tell if the car was
    >>> damaged in a way that would be reasonably expected given the type of
    >>> accident it was involved with and his opinion was most definitely not.
    >>>
    >>> The give away in his opinion (and that of many others apparently), was
    >>> not only the lack of any substantial damage to the other car involved,
    >>> but the clean "break" line in the Commodore. As I said earlier, the
    >>> thing came apart looking like it had been carefully cut along a
    >>> particular line.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>

    >> Sounds like a row or several rows of spot welds were missing which can
    >> easily happen if a machine breaks down on the production line but the body
    >> shouldn't get past QC.

    >
    > I dare say that if it was that bad you would notice the flex.


    Maybe but if it was very new it wasn't on the road long enough for it to
    show up.
    >
    >> If it was that simple I can't imagine Holden denying that it was
    >> production fault, if I was in charge at Holden I would have given the
    >> owner a new car and bought the wreck so the engineers could find out why
    >> it happened and make sure it didn't happen again.
    >>

    >
    > Makes perfect sense that they would have done just that. Noddy's bullshit
    > about panelbeaters means jack shit, they're not structural engineers and
    > they didn't inspect the vehicle first hand.
    >
    > Perhaps it had been tampered with for all we know.


    That would be unlikely unless it was an older car and the owner
    deliberately set out to get Holden.

    > The fact that Holden (if this isn't some urban myth) fought it tooth and
    > nail and won is quite revealing IMO.
    >


    Not necessarily, I haven't had any direct dealing with Holden but like
    Ford they are an American company and they (American companies) have a
    rather odd attitude to such things, they would rather spend mega bucks
    on lawyers than admit they made a faulty product which might have
    something to do with US consumer laws.
    I know Ford replaced a couple of cars in the late 70's but they did it
    kicking and screaming and only when their legal team told them they
    couldn't win in court, the cost of replacing the cars was a fraction of
    the cost of fighting the customer yet they chose to fight anyway which
    makes no sense at all to me.


    --
    Daryl

  14. #14
    Ext User(atec77) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 7/10/2013 9:45 PM, D Walford wrote:
    > On 07/10/2013 10:26 PM, Clocky wrote:
    >> "D Walford" <dwalford@internode.on.net> wrote in message
    >> news:52525227$0$2910$c3e8da3$76491128@news.astrawe b.com...
    >>> On 07/10/2013 5:06 PM, Noddy wrote:
    >>>> On 07/10/13 1:27 PM, Blue Heeler wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Well I doubt that the owner woul dhave ended up out of pocket. If the
    >>>>> court decided that the vehicle was not defective, then the owner woul
    >>>>> dhave been able to rely on his indemnity given by the insurer and the
    >>>>> insurer would have had to pick up all the costs of the action, an
    >>>>> action that came about because the insurer denied liability on the
    >>>>> basis of defective design/manufacturing fault.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> A first year law studunet could have won that one for him providing
    >>>>> your memory is accurate.
    >>>>
    >>>> I remember what was printed in the paper at the time, but don't know
    >>>> any
    >>>> more about it than that other than a few people who saw the photos of
    >>>> the damaged car all agreeing that it had a major structural failure
    >>>> in a
    >>>> way that was totally inconsistent with the amount of damage on the
    >>>> other
    >>>> car (which I think was something like a Toyota Corolla that clipped the
    >>>> rear of the Commodore and got a bent bumper bar for it's trouble).
    >>>>
    >>>>> BUT
    >>>>>
    >>>>> I really would like more info, you see I have a little more info from
    >>>>> another source.
    >>>>
    >>>> Cool.
    >>>>
    >>>>> A Wrecker near Proserpine in North QLD used to have a big sign on the
    >>>>> highway (around the time of the VH commodore) to the effect that for
    >>>>> $3,500 he would structurally reinforce your defective and dangerous
    >>>>> Commodore so that it actually met Australian design rules and was safe
    >>>>> to drive.
    >>>>
    >>>> Wow. I wonder if GMH ever took issue with that?.
    >>>>
    >>>> Oh. I see they did :)
    >>>>
    >>>>> In the fullness of time, holden contacted him and requested him to
    >>>>> cease, desist and remove his sign.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Holden got told to GFY.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Holden sued and mid trial when things were apparently going bad for
    >>>>> them, made a settlement offer to wrecker. Such things are usually the
    >>>>> subject of confidentiality, all I know is that the wrecker closed the
    >>>>> doors, literally closed the doors and the wrecking yard became more
    >>>>> and
    >>>>> more overgrown until sold a few years back. The former wrecker
    >>>>> apparently moved to Shute Harbour and spent a lot of time onboard his
    >>>>> very new, and very big, game boat.
    >>>>
    >>>> Interesting.
    >>>>
    >>>>> I'd love to know more, but when I contacted the law firm I was told
    >>>>> was
    >>>>> involved involved, the partner who handled had since retired and lost
    >>>>> his marbles, nobody else there remembered anything general about the
    >>>>> matter and due to the confidentiality agreement wouldn't look at the
    >>>>> files to tell me more.
    >>>>
    >>>> Bugger.
    >>>>
    >>>> What I remember at the time was that talk of this particular case was
    >>>> all over the repair industry down here, and particularly amongst panel
    >>>> beaters who seemed to be of the opinion at the time that the Dunny had
    >>>> some failings. When I mentioned earlier that a couple of people looked
    >>>> at the photos with me one of them owned one of the biggest panel shops
    >>>> in Melbourne at the time and was well positioned to tell if the car was
    >>>> damaged in a way that would be reasonably expected given the type of
    >>>> accident it was involved with and his opinion was most definitely not.
    >>>>
    >>>> The give away in his opinion (and that of many others apparently), was
    >>>> not only the lack of any substantial damage to the other car involved,
    >>>> but the clean "break" line in the Commodore. As I said earlier, the
    >>>> thing came apart looking like it had been carefully cut along a
    >>>> particular line.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>> Sounds like a row or several rows of spot welds were missing which can
    >>> easily happen if a machine breaks down on the production line but the
    >>> body
    >>> shouldn't get past QC.

    >>
    >> I dare say that if it was that bad you would notice the flex.

    >
    > Maybe but if it was very new it wasn't on the road long enough for it to
    > show up.
    >>
    >>> If it was that simple I can't imagine Holden denying that it was
    >>> production fault, if I was in charge at Holden I would have given the
    >>> owner a new car and bought the wreck so the engineers could find out why
    >>> it happened and make sure it didn't happen again.


    >
    > Not necessarily, I haven't had any direct dealing with Holden but like
    > Ford they are an American company and they (American companies) have a
    > rather odd attitude to such things, they would rather spend mega bucks
    > on lawyers than admit they made a faulty product which might have
    > something to do with US consumer laws.
    > I know Ford replaced a couple of cars in the late 70's but they did it
    > kicking and screaming and only when their legal team told them they
    > couldn't win in court, the cost of replacing the cars was a fraction of
    > the cost of fighting the customer yet they chose to fight anyway which
    > makes no sense at all to me.
    >
    >

    in a word , precedent

    --









    X-No-Archive: Yes


  15. #15
    Ext User(D Walford) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/2013 10:38 PM, Clocky wrote:
    > "Noddy" <me@wardengineering.com.au> wrote in message
    > news:l2tqp8$upq$1@dont-email.me...
    >> On 07/10/13 5:17 PM, D Walford wrote:
    >>
    >>> Sounds like a row or several rows of spot welds were missing which can
    >>> easily happen if a machine breaks down on the production line but the
    >>> body shouldn't get past QC.

    >>
    >> This was the era of Blue motors. There *was* not QC then :)
    >>
    >>> If it was that simple I can't imagine Holden denying that it was
    >>> production fault,

    >>
    >> I think you can get away with denying whatever you like if you're prepared
    >> to pay for the best legal team.
    >>

    >
    > It makes no sense to draw attention to the fault if indeed there was *one*
    > example of it.
    > Give the man a new car and let engineering loose on his broken wreck to find
    > out what went wrong makes more sense.


    That makes sense to us here but we aren't an American car company, in my
    experience they do a lot of things that don't make sense.
    >
    > Chances are Holden looked at the car and determined it really wasn't a
    > production fault and they weren't going to wear it.


    It may not have been a production fault but IMO any car that breaks in
    half without having had an enormous impact has a design fault which is
    even worse.
    >
    >>> if I was in charge at Holden I would have given the
    >>> owner a new car and bought the wreck so the engineers could find out why
    >>> it happened and make sure it didn't happen again.

    >>
    >> I would have too, but that would have been too easy. Holden was more
    >> concerned with making this guy's life a misery by having his claims
    >> publicly disgraced and thus avoiding any bad press about their product.

    >
    > Or infact there was no production fault. You are speculating here.
    >
    >> What they *could* have done was simply offered the guy a new car if he
    >> signed a non disclosure agreement and the public would never have known
    >> about it at all, but their minds simply don't work like that.
    >>

    >
    > Obviously not a sound solution if it wasn't a production fault.
    >
    > It's all very speculative.
    >


    It is and without the facts which I doubt we will ever know its all just
    guesswork.
    IMO Americans have some weird ideas which show up in many aspects of the
    way they do things, most civilised people think that providing their
    citizens with affordable health care is normal but the Yanks think its a
    communist plot, they also think its a great idea to be armed to the
    teeth and have shoot outs all over the country on a regular basis, if
    you happen to get shot its your fault because you didn't shoot back.
    With ****ed up thinking like that IMO anything is possible with crazy
    ****ing Yanks so after working for a US company I don't find it odd that
    they would chose to spend hundreds of thousands on lawyers instead of a
    few thousand on supplying a new car.
    I prefer the thinking of Mercedes Benz, apparently they try to buy the
    wreck of every one of their cars that has been involved in a fatal
    accident so they can investigate if there is anything they can do to
    prevent any more fatalities, I know its nothing to do with warranty but
    IMO it shows a much better attitude to their customers than any US company.


    --
    Daryl

  16. #16
    Ext User(Noddy) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/13 10:38 PM, Clocky wrote:

    > It makes no sense to draw attention to the fault if indeed there was *one*
    > example of it.
    > Give the man a new car and let engineering loose on his broken wreck to find
    > out what went wrong makes more sense.


    Of course it does, but then not a lot of what goes on at board level
    makes sense. The decision to go to court wasn't theirs, but I'd imagine
    that once they'd been placed in that position they decided the only
    course of action was to discredit and bury the guy.

    > Chances are Holden looked at the car and determined it really wasn't a
    > production fault and they weren't going to wear it.


    It was definitely a fault. Believe me. The photos showed the car looking
    like it had been cut in half along a dotted line right through the rear
    dog leg. What they weren't going to wear was bad press. Regardless of
    the car being at fault or not.

    > Or infact there was no production fault. You are speculating here.


    Well, as I said it wasn't Holden's choice to go to court. That decision
    was taken by the owner. However, once he had Holden was never going to
    lay down and be seen to be guilty.

    The guy had pretty much sealed his own fate in doing so.

    > Obviously not a sound solution if it wasn't a production fault.
    >
    > It's all very speculative.


    Trust me on this. If you had seen the photo of the car you would have
    had no doubt that it was a production fault. It may have simply been a a
    "one-off" case in that the robotic welder failed on the day and that car
    managed to slip through the cracks unnoticed, but it was a production
    fault nonetheless.

    I drove tow trucks part time for a few years and attended more accident
    scenes than I care to remember, and I *never* saw a car come apart as
    cleanly as that one seemed to have.





    --
    --
    Regards,
    Noddy.

  17. #17
    Ext User(Noddy) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/13 10:45 PM, D Walford wrote:

    > Maybe but if it was very new it wasn't on the road long enough for it to
    > show up.


    I can't remember *exactly* when it happened, but it was certainly within
    the life of the thing being a current car. In other words, it wasn't
    very old when it came apart in the accident.

    > That would be unlikely unless it was an older car and the owner
    > deliberately set out to get Holden.


    It'd be next to impossible to un-pick spot welds and make it look as if
    they hadn't been tampered with.

    > Not necessarily, I haven't had any direct dealing with Holden but like
    > Ford they are an American company and they (American companies) have a
    > rather odd attitude to such things, they would rather spend mega bucks
    > on lawyers than admit they made a faulty product which might have
    > something to do with US consumer laws.
    > I know Ford replaced a couple of cars in the late 70's but they did it
    > kicking and screaming and only when their legal team told them they
    > couldn't win in court, the cost of replacing the cars was a fraction of
    > the cost of fighting the customer yet they chose to fight anyway which
    > makes no sense at all to me.


    It happens all the time, and insurance companies rule the roost at it.
    They'll think *nothing* of spending a hundred grand in court to avoid
    paying you 5 thousand bucks if they think you're trying to fleece them.
    It's a mentality that doesn't strike me as particularly smart, but
    that's the way it is.

    As far as this particular case is concerned, I'm pretty sure the story
    made the papers down here just after the case had been finalised with
    the owner having been to court and lost. I don't remember the exact
    wording of the text but the article was clearly not in favour of the
    court decision and looked at the incident from a "little guy getting
    beaten down by the big guy" view. It did however have photos of the
    accident scene and the cars, and it was abundantly clear from both the
    description of the accident and the photos of the two cars at the scene
    that the damage to the Commodore wasn't the result of the collision.

    I also seem to recall one of the people being interviewed in the story
    was a cop who attended the scene at the time of the accident saying he'd
    never seen a car damaged in such a way from such a minor collision, and
    I think he may have even been called to court as a witness.






    --
    --
    Regards,
    Noddy.

  18. #18
    Ext User(Noddy) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/13 10:26 PM, Clocky wrote:

    > Makes perfect sense that they would have done just that.


    Why does it make perfect sense? On how many occasions do you know of, in
    round figures, where Holden has taken a car back after someone has
    claimed it had a fault and given them another one?

    > Noddy's bullshit about panelbeaters means jack shit, they're not structural engineers and
    > they didn't inspect the vehicle first hand.


    They didn't need to be structural engineers and if their eyes worked
    they could see all they needed to from the photos.

    > Perhaps it had been tampered with for all we know.


    Jesus. Give your brain a chance for five minutes......

    > The fact that Holden (if this isn't some urban myth) fought it tooth and
    > nail and won is quite revealing IMO.


    I don't think they fought "tooth and nail", and I don't recall anyone
    saying they did. They just provided better "experts" who were able to
    make a better case. That's all you need to do.

    And it certainly wouldn't be the first time. Just about every car
    manufacturer on the planet has faced legal action for something or other
    at some stage in their respective lives, and like anything whether or
    not you win or lose depends on how good a team you have to represent you
    rather than whether you're right or wrong.




    --
    --
    Regards,
    Noddy.

  19. #19
    Ext User(Clocky) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half


    "Blue Heeler" <woof@bark.org> wrote in message
    news:bbesq5FabivU1@mid.individual.net...
    > Clocky wrote:
    >
    >> > Clocky alluded to a subsequent court case in which the owner did not
    >> > fare well.
    >> >

    >>
    >> Did I?
    >>

    >
    >
    > Apparently not.
    >
    > However i assure you i wasn't planning on taking issue woht you, I am
    > genuinely interested given my own knowledge about the Nth QLD matter.
    >
    >>
    >> I do have a vague recollection of a Commodore breaking in half and
    >> this topic being discussed many years ago I'll see what I can find.

    >
    >
    > Yes, and were it not for the half remembered other matter I would have
    > put it down to pub talk, a transmogrification of the Rekord that bropke
    > in half during testing, thereby proving why testing is necessary.
    >
    > If you do find anything, please post.
    >



    Nothing on a VH, but there was this, but a near new VK...

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/arti...&searchLimits=

    Alludes to a few things being discussed in here at the moment.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/arti...&searchLimits=
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/arti...&searchLimits=

    VL this time.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/arti...&searchLimits=

    I'll have another look tomorrow.











  20. #20
    Ext User(Noddy) Guest

    Re: VH Commodre broke in half

    On 07/10/13 11:21 PM, D Walford wrote:

    > That makes sense to us here but we aren't an American car company, in my
    > experience they do a lot of things that don't make sense.


    They do, but they don't always win.

    There was a celebrated case in the US in the early 1970's where a few
    people got together in a class action against Ford alleging that their
    car's transmissions didn't lock into park properly causing the vehicles
    to become unsafe. There were a number of incidents, but one memorable
    one involved a car parked at the top of a steep driveway slipping out of
    park with it's engine running and careening down the driveway and across
    the road where I think it ran over someone and killed them.

    The argument against Ford was that the gear shifter lock was
    ineffective, and that the lever was easily dislodged. Ford's defence was
    that not only was the lock effective (it was no different to any other
    column change lever of the day) but that the owner's manual supplied
    with every car had clear warnings advising that the park brake should be
    used at all times when the vehicle is left unattended.

    Despite the park brake not being used in a single incident where a car
    was alleged to have fallen out of park and rolled away, the jury found
    against Ford.

    > It may not have been a production fault but IMO any car that breaks in
    > half without having had an enormous impact has a design fault which is
    > even worse.


    I never heard of another one like it, and I would think that it was a
    one off in terms of production failure. Still, Healer's comments earlier
    were interesting, and perhaps Holden learned something about their
    design after the event.

    > It is and without the facts which I doubt we will ever know its all just
    > guesswork.


    If we ever get a copy of the newspaper article showing the photos, it
    will remove anyone's doubts :)

    > IMO Americans have some weird ideas which show up in many aspects of the
    > way they do things, most civilised people think that providing their
    > citizens with affordable health care is normal but the Yanks think its a
    > communist plot, they also think its a great idea to be armed to the
    > teeth and have shoot outs all over the country on a regular basis, if
    > you happen to get shot its your fault because you didn't shoot back.
    > With ****ed up thinking like that IMO anything is possible with crazy
    > ****ing Yanks so after working for a US company I don't find it odd that
    > they would chose to spend hundreds of thousands on lawyers instead of a
    > few thousand on supplying a new car.
    > I prefer the thinking of Mercedes Benz, apparently they try to buy the
    > wreck of every one of their cars that has been involved in a fatal
    > accident so they can investigate if there is anything they can do to
    > prevent any more fatalities, I know its nothing to do with warranty but
    > IMO it shows a much better attitude to their customers than any US company.


    Yeah, well, Americans being Americans and all it's hardly surprising
    that they act the way they do.

    You have to bear in mind that you're talking about a country where one
    of it's major corporations (Ford Motor Company) knew it had a product on
    the market that was prone to catching fire in a collision, and instead
    of automatically fixing that problem and removing the danger they
    conducted a study to see how much fixing the problem would cost over an
    expected number of vehicles produced versus the cost of compensation
    courts would be likely to award for the number of deaths that could be
    expected as a result of leaving the defective product as it was.

    Essentially Ford put a monetary value on a human life, and decided that
    it was cheaper to let people burn and argue about the compensation for
    their families in court afterwards.

    And they did. A number of people died and many more were horribly maimed
    and it wasn't long before court cases ensued and Ford totally
    underestimated the strength of the argument against them. In the end
    they had to pay compensation in the millions, and were ordered to fix
    their cars.

    When they did, the total cost for the fix was found to be just under 12
    dollars per vehicle.








    --
    --
    Regards,
    Noddy.

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