The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide To Knife Fighting – a complaint on behalf of Prius Owners everywhere

I have just sent the following letter of complaint to ABC-TV.  Since it is riven with left-wing bias and post-modern wankery I don’t expect a reasoned response of even a response.  Therefore I post this to my blog in the hope to raise awareness of this insidious attack on our society.

UPDATE: 9/04/2013 10:51. My complaint has been received by Audience & Consumer Affairs and been allocated a reference number.  “The ABC endeavours to respond to complaints within 30 days of receipt. However, please be aware that due to the large volume of correspondence we receive, and the complex nature of some matters, responses may at times take longer than this.”

Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to register a complaint about “The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide To Knife Fighting” episode 1 as shown on ABC 1 on Wednesday 3 April 2013 (not including subsequent re-broadcasts or iView). While I appreciate that the show does as it says in its promotional material and has saved me the time of watching two separate programs for the guidance of elegant gentlemen and knife fighting, it has failed me terribly in another respect. I refer of course to the recurring sketch of the dinner party guest who owns a Prius.  He is depicted as a sociopath who forces the other guests to live out his sick fantasies, powerless to resist his urges.  He is shown bullying the guests, forcing two females to kiss in a provocatively sexual manner, emasculating the males and humiliating the guests to perform “Scarborough Fair” as various states of undress and bondage.  As a Prius owner myself I must naturally object in the strongest possible terms to a characterisation of a Prius owner as one who is ignorant of the specifications and capabilities of his Prius.

EV Mode or EV mode?

The Prius Owner (PO) arrives unannounced to the surprise of the Dinner Party Guests (DPG) by virtue of running his car silently in EV mode.  However, he wrongly suggests that 24km/h is the maximum speed that can be attained in this mode.  If PO were a real Prius owner he would have known that Stealth Mode can be maintained at 66km/h in the NHW11* (2001 – 2003) and NHW20 (2004 – 04/2009) and 74km/h in the current ZVW30 (05/2009- ).  And even if he meant EV Mode (not EV mode) by pressing the EV button, this Mode is disabled at 40km/h, as long as the car in in Stage 3 or Stage 4.  That is a schoolboy error.

* Note: I’m ignoring the NHW10 Japan-only model (1997-2000) that may have been obtained by grey import for reasons that, if not already obvious, soon will be.

What is the sound of shaking Prius car keys?

Secondly, PO goads the DPG by shaking his car keys.  This is particularly puzzling since neither the NHW20 nor the ZVW30 have keys in the normal sense as all Australian-delivered Prii have the Smart Key System.  Any metal key would have been concealed within the black, plastic keyfob, which was clearly not present. Perhaps he was referring to the NHW11 model, which did have keys but also had a keyfob.  However this is obviously not an explanation as PO declares that he obtains a fuel consumption figure of 3.7 litres per 100km, which corresponds to the ADR 81/02 extra-urban cycle figure for the ZVW30, which busts the myth of the rattling keys.

“Because I get 3.7l/100km.”  Oh really?

Thirdly, PO stated that he gets 3.7l/100km, not merely that its ADR81/02 figure obtained under laboratory conditions is 3.7l/100km.  Here’s where the mystery deepens further.  Under real-world conditions, the average fuel consumption for the ZVW30 Prius is 5.0l/100km when the variety of driving conditions, techniques and climates are taken into account. It should be obvious to the even casual observer that PO must be intimately aware of the capabilities of his Prius and hypermiling techniques such as Stealth, Pulse and Glide, Warp Stealth, Super Highway Mode and Driving Without Brakes (notice that I have not mentioned drafting) to achieve the ADR81/02 figure.  That is not to say that such a feat is impossible; there is a 1000 mile club for Prius drivers, which corresponds to slightly better than 2.8l/100km for some 1609 km.  However, it is clear that PO’s poor knowledge of his own vehicle and, we can safely assume, poor knowledge of driving technique would make his claim of 3.7l/100km impossible to sustain.

Naturally, I can also dismiss the notion that his Prius has a plug-in conversion (See EV Mode or EV mode).    In short, I bet the character doesn’t even own one.

It is just this sort of misrepresentation of the Prius and their owners that I have sadly come to expect.  Should PO be a  regular character I can’t imagine what ignorance he will display next.  ABC has probably bought the series so there’s probably little you could be bothered to do about any future episodes.

BTW, I have owned a Prius for just over 1 year, so I am eminently qualified to comment.

Good day to you… I said GOOD DAY!

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Prius 90,000km service

$187.04.  Actually, $170.04 because my leasing company will be able to claim the GST.  Actually, a bit less, because I’ll pay for that from pre-tax (I think?).  After a servicing few European cars it’s nice to have one that’s cheap to service.

I turned up to pick up my car at 16:30.  There was a waiting room full customers, so I had a quick look at the Prius V i-Tech (finally!) in the showroom.  Walked back to the service reception as several people asked the whereabouts of their cars.  (It had been a busy day and still was.)  Smiling woman told me that mine was the one car that was finished.  Despite the 3 engines, 2 batteries and all those gubbins mine was the only one ready.  Cop that!

The 90,000km / 54 month service is the first one after the first major service, so it would have been a surprise if there was any drama.  I had added a check-list of my own, namely:

  • I would prefer the lightest oil you can reasonably put in.
  • Please check suspension components for wear and recommend.
  • When you rotate the tyres please use 47 psi front, 45 psi rear.
  • Please adjust fog lamps down to correct level.  I fixed them as they were far too low, but I may have gone too high.
  • And  BTW, I fitted a DEFA Engine Block Heater, so don’t panic when you see it.

I should have been more specific about the oil as I was given 10W-30, which is practically treacle.  Sure, 10W-30 has a working range from -18°c to over 38°c and recently we’ve had a lot more of the latter than the former.  But a 0W-20 oil will still work at 38°c but be lighter at normal temperatures.  Why bother?  There are fuel consumption savings in lighter oil.  My old Rover P6B 3500 got better fuel consumption with Penrite 40W-70 than lighter oils but that was because the engine was so worn.  A modern car with 90,000km (much less on the engine, when you think about it) should be just worn-in, not worn-out.

Suspension tested good.  I’m considering some stiffening plates so I wanted to be sure that I wouldn’t make things worse.

I had my good Bridgestone ecopia PZ-X tyres on the front but rotation means that the Ovation ecovision VI-682 get a go.  Fortunately, by the time it gets cold (25 April on the dot) I should have done 5000km and I’ll be able to rotate them back before the tricky road conditions start.  I just noticed that the Chinese tyres have a maximum pressure of 44 psi.  Too bad, there’s 47 psi in there now.  (The ecopias will take 60 psi or more if you’re mad.)

Fog lamps were adjusted down.  You may remember that I adjusted my fog lamps when I fitted the DEFA EBH.  The lamps might have well pointed backwards for all the light they produced.  However, I adjusted them far too high.  Now they seem very low, but better.

I got to talk to the Scottish mechanic when I picked up the car and showed him the DEFA EBH.  He was impressed.

Oh, and it does look like they replaced the air conditioning filter but didn’t charge me for it.  They’re about $50 each.

And special mention to the mechanic who discovered that the left-hand-side rear body support was loose and the bolt was cross-threaded.  Now I don’t hear a rattle when I go over a bump, something I was blaming on the loose rear spoiler.  Nice work!

No doubt I’ll be contacted by Canberra Toyota to see how my service experience was.  I’ll have to tell them about the oil, the rear body support… and the A/C filter.