Those who are well versed in the command of the English language, may or may not know the meaning of the word “neo”.
Neo, according to the dictionary which I possess describes it as “new”. You can very well describe it as a new invention if you like. Therefore the phrase “new colonialism” would connote a policy or discipline which is a foreign policy that is propagated by strong nation in the world today over smaller and weaker nations, especially the third world countries through economic measures.
When I read the article which appeared in the Star newspaper dated 9th October 2010, it immediately interested me. The fact is, two of my own children, my son and my daughter both owned Satria Neo cars. Satria Neo, for your information are slightly favoured by youngsters of today. To them, these are cars that are a little bit different from other Proton cars such as the Wira, Iswara or Perdana model which are available in the Malaysian market today.
Furthermore, the Satria Neo is a 1600 cc vehicle with power steering. The Neo is marketed at more than RM48,000 and it is a good car. It’s only drawback is that it’s a 2 door car vehicle which some motorists say is cumbersome.
Pertaining to Proton recent recall, it has announced a voluntary recall of all its Gen 2 and Satria Neo cars reportedly manufactured between the years of 2004 and 2008. The recall has been made as it has been reported to have suffered a clock spring safety concerns in the above cars.
According to reports, the above recall is part of Proton Global Quality Assurance scheme. The above is to involve a total of 15,911 vehicles which constitutes 660,000 cars produced and sold within that period.
Proton’s recall is nothing unusual in the vehicle producing arena. Other major manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda have in recent months made similar recalls.
Toyota Motors for instance recalled its popular model Lexus GX 460 SUV for rollover during accidents at the beginning of January 2010. Toyota likewise had been forced to recall also its popular Crown model at the recommendation of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Agency of America (NHTSA). The Crown was recalled due to faulty springs in certain engines which lead to cause the vehicle to cease operation.
In Proton’s case, it is believed that the problem involved clock spring mechanisms which reputedly connect switches and airbags to the radio, horn and cruise control.
When I asked my son and daughter about their Proton car, I was told that their Neo model have no air bags. Air bag Neo had in fact been supplied to higher specs series which are more expensive. This clearly means their Neos are not involved in the recall exercise.
Proton’s latest recall comes after a similar recall involving 3rd seat belts for rear seat passengers. The Malaysian government had passed a law in Parliament making it compulsory for rear passengers of vehicles to don seat belts as of March 2010.
Some Kancil cars, which were produced years ago had 3rd seat belt fixing points at the rear. But it appears Proton had inadvertently neglected to fix the seat belts for some purchasers. Until today, the Kancil which I used to tutor driving students has yet to fix it with the above seat belt. What if in an eventuality I was stopped in a road block exercise and is issued a summons? Who then is responsible? It then becomes an interesting debacle.
To end this short article, it is my opinion, the recall of Proton Satria Neo and Gen 2 are like ripples in the ocean. It has happened before to other car makers thus it is not a big fuss. The Malaysian public should not be unduly worried. Two qualms about it, so they say. Let’s take it in our stride.