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somebody got paid for that

Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 5 years, 6 months ago

VW towing kit

For some years I owned a VW Jetta turbo diesel. Lovely car, too.


(It did have the cheating engine management software, but that's another story. I and most Australian VW owners with those engines decided not to have the performance, economy and possibly even engine life of our vehicles compromised by the "upgrade" we were offered to make our vehicles comply with emission standards which didn't even apply to them.) 


It had been owned by my late father since new. And in good faith, he had bought, new out of the showroom, the medium-duty towbar complete with the Bosch computer interface.


It's a brilliant bit of kit... and so it should be for $400. It speaks to the car's computers. And if your left-hand brake light on the trailer is blown, you get a message in the VW Information System telling you exactly which globe is blown, and which filament of it. Nice.




I bought a trailer with LED tail lights, turn indicators, the lot. Now, as LED lights had been out for some years, and this was a state-of-the-art towing kit, you'd expect it to be able to tow a trailer with LED lights, would you not?


And you'd be wrong. The trailer lights all just strobe (that's how it tells whether it's right or left tail or brake lamp that is blown... it sends a pulse down the circuit and sees which turn indicator circuit is closer to the fault). 


The car is registered and legal. The trailer is registered and legal. That's another interesting thing... somebody got paid to write the design rules that allowed these incompatible vehicles to be approved. Somebody also gets paid to keep them up to date. I guess that means they take care of the colour of the printed rules, make them nice and pretty, because nobody seems to care much about the content. This problem has been documented on the Internet for many years now. 


But the primary responsibility is with the manufacturers who produced such a ridiculously flawed vehicle. Somebody got paid to design that computer interface. Whether they even looked at the car is doubtful. The car itself has LED tail lights, brake lights, and turn indicators.


Towing safety - if you have such a vehicle, please read this.   






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