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2CVGB News article – SPOG September 2017

Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather after one particular email recently appeared in my Inbox. Fellow 2cvGB Member Rob informed me that the fitting of LED bulbs to our cars is allegedly illegal with potential liability issues, something of which I was not fully aware.  Alas I have a habit of checking my Inbox before bedtime with a view to planning my next day’s activities whilst I drift off to the land of nod. Didn’t sleep well that night, indeed as they say in Yorkshire “that’ll learn ya”.

So what’s this all about? Yes, my research has suggested that fitting LED bulbs to the exterior sockets anywhere on our cars is problematical although which motoring law one is actually breaking is difficult to identify. Thumbing through various Electrical Suppliers Catalogues I noticed the phrase “Off road use only” aside the heading detailing LED bulbs for sale, one way of avoiding the question. However wading through the online auction sites, this matter can appear (if at all) lower down amid the product’s description thereby reducing its impact on the buyer.

If modern vehicles are fitted with LED bulbs, what’s the problem with doing the same for our cars? Basically it would appear to come down to the validity of car insurance besides upsetting “the boys in blue”. If one fits LED bulbs (e.g. headlight examples) which dazzle fellow motorists causing an accident, then I’m told Insurance Companies may well not fulfil their indemnity commitment.

In my previous SPOG Articles I have never advised or recommended the fitting of LED bulbs, only describing what I have personally done to my cars. Or would you prefer I rambled on about our recent 2cv holiday in Northern Ireland courtesy of the NITS? What a wonderful time we had (thanks Andy for the organisation) amid the stunning countryside and coastline. The “Dark Hedges”, known to those of you who watch “Game of Thrones” on the TV, was particularly enchanting.

Sadly the ferry from Liverpool to Belfast is like the “Slow Boat to China” and one can get a tad bored watching the Isle of Man slowly pass by. Although on the return trip no such problem. Four ardent 2cvers played Ludo (a game borrowed from the Ship’s Entertainer) for over two hours as if their lives depended on who was the winner. Well done Pam! When is the return match? Onboard we even gained an audience of children bemused by our fervour in shaking the dice to get our counters home.  Would you believe Gill has recently bought the same game ourselves for the next battle? Bring it on!!

Back to reality … every month within 2cvGB News there is printed a Disclaimer against personal/club liability regarding the various articles and their authors within our Magazine.  However I’ve earlier been told that this might not possibly be adequate protection for my stuff.  Indeed when I removed the front brake drums on my 1981 2cv showing how I used R clips rather than split pins to secure the brake eccentric lock nuts, it was suggested that I should have added the warning “Brake dust is harmful to health, please take adequate measures to avoid inhalation etc.” You can see why I don’t sleep well at night on certain occasions. Oh dear … such is life.

The LED headlight bulbs I bought and fitted to my square headlight drummer were purchased from a recognised seller on a well known online auction site. The bulbs are advertised as not to cause dazzle to fellow road users. They come in packets with a CE Stamp and have been fitted to both an 81 2cv and lately an 82 Dyane, both vehicles passing the MOT, being examined by different testers and found to have normal headlight beam patterns.  Similarly these cars have been driven at night (where there is no street lighting) with no untoward response from other motorists.

I can do no more for my own safety. However whatever you do to your cars is your, and yours alone responsibility. We all know the risks of drinking alcohol to excess, running around bare-fleshed in the sunshine without adequate skin protection, smoking, over-eating to obesity levels, jumping out of an aeroplane without wearing a parachute etc. Need I say anymore?

Lastly though, please do continue with feedback to my SPOG Articles with me now opening my Inbox during daylight hours. That’s the way I learn and am able to pass on such information. Thanks to all of you who have done so of late.

David Eden SPOGman