Vorsprung . . .

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Sir,

Recently I had occasion to return to Spain in my BMW motor-car and accompanied by my godson. We took the Channel packet, an excellent new vessel called the SeaCat, and in due course were approaching Bordeaux, in somewhat inclement weather.

As is my wont when touring on the Continent, at about 6pm we left the high road in order to seek out a hostelry to which we could then repair for the night. Passing through a bleak and hostile environment in heavy rain, the engine stopped and the automobile came to rest outside a large barn, the only building in sight. I approached this refuge and inside found, to my delight, a fully equipped workshop and a French mechanic who specialised in rally and BMW motor cars. This splendid fellow soon found the trouble and replaced the “fuel pump relay”, whatever that may be.

BMW advertises that their engines are organised by computers in some way. It is indeed reassuring to know that they are now so arranged that when they sense a breakdown is imminent the actual event is postponed until the vehicle is immediately outside a suitable repair agent. I have owned only BMW motor cars since 1968 with no prior breakdowns. This most ingenious safeguard could perhaps be adopted by other automobile manufacturers?

G B Gibbon (Major, ret),

Malaga.