If ever proof were needed that the Tinfamily are modest, humble folk, I offer in evidence the fact that our car is a Seat Ibiza.
It is known in these annals as the Tincar, and seldom can a nickname have been as appropriate. Going uphill seems to tire it out, mere falling birdshit leaves dents in its bonnet and driving over cobbles has the same effect on your bum as accidentally sitting on the jet in a jacuzzi.
In fairness it is nine years old, which is almost two million in car years. Other car-makes have come, had girls sit in bikinis on them at Motor Shows, won Car of the Year, fallen out of favour and vanished forever from the production lines while the Tincar has been doggedly chugging along. I described it here once as a VW Golf in casual clothes, and that pretty well sums it up – unremarkable, functional and safe.
Or not. Today we got a letter from SEAT concerning the brakes. Concern is the important part of that sentence, as apparently “the brake servo pipes may be prone to cracks, in which event the vacuum assistance for the power brake system may be affected”.
I’m not a mechanic, but I believe this is the technical way of saying “for fuck’s sake don’t drive down any steep hills”.
Recently Toyota discovered that a piece of metal the size of a tooth-filling was missing from its brake-pedal, and launched a worldwide media campaign recalling millions (thousands? hundreds? wasn’t really listening) of its cars. It is a measure of how highly Seat drivers are regarded that our risk of a high-speed brush with doom was notified to us by ordinary post, via a letter that took three days to get here.
It asks us to drive to our nearest Seat garage as quickly as possible. That, of course, is the problem. We may have no choice about that.