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A Spoonful Of Sugar: Dear Sir Alan.

Byline: Alan Sugar

I'M trying again to get your views on the Brakelock, a device designed to reduce car crime. It would help me enormously if you could give me some feedback on this product and whether you think it would sell.

Jonathan Lloyd-Gane, Essex

Sir Alan says

I KNOW you wrote to me once before about your car anti-theft device. You will appreciate I receive so many letters it's impossible to reply to every one, but as you have been persistent I will explain to you why I feel your device is not a viable proposition.

From what I understand, the device prevents removal of a car because it locks the brake pedal. On the face of it this sounds a good idea, but from a practical point of view I think you have forgotten that cars are all different sizes and shapes.

Your device relies on an anchor point on the car chassis to which you attach the locking mechanism to the pedal. The anchor position will be in a different place for every single car. As such, the device that connects the anchor to the pedal would be of a variable length and shape.

The point I am making is that your idea is totally inflexible and impractical for manufacturers to even consider incorporating.

It is also impractical for the product to be sold as an accessory, because it would require retro-fitting of the anchor point to each customer's car.

Finally, and perhaps more important, I am sure you will remember those devices that have been on the market for years, which are basically a lockable, adjustable metal hook which wraps around the brake pedal and steering wheel.

This performs the same task as your idea. These items were moderately successful when first introduced in the early 80s but, in reality, drivers can't be bothered to use these things. If they did, I am sure car theft would be reduced dramatically.

I am sorry to be so negative but from time to time I feel it is necessary to publish a story like yours in order for readers to realise that sometimes an idea or concept has either been thought of already or is totally impractical.

Don't spend any more money trying to publicise or formalise the manufacture of this product, because I sincerely believe it has no chance of being successful.

CAPTION(S):

MENACE: Car thief at work
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 22, 2001
Words:402
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