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A better idea that simply isn't better

8 posts in this topic

A better idea that simply isn't better

Automotive News -- August 2, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

My son from New York was spending time with his family in northern Michigan. On Sunday afternoon, his wife took him to an airport some 90 miles away to catch a plane back to work in New York while she stayed on with the family.

Everything was great with their new Mercedes. He hopped out of the car and headed for the plane, and she headed back to their summer place -- except he had the key in his pocket, heading for New York.

Late on that Sunday afternoon, when she stopped far short of her destination, the car wouldn't restart. While you don't need the key to start the car, you need to have the key with you.

Keyless ignition has become the hottest feature today on any number of luxury and not-so-luxury cars, but I don't have the slightest idea why.

Were consumers clamoring for this feature? I don't think so. I figure some very good salesman for a supplier sold it to one car company, and it spread like wildfire -- but for no good reason.

Mercedes even has a feature that allows you to pull the key out of the key fob, pop off the start button, put in the key and turn it to start the engine. What a novel idea.

Some systems tell you not to leave the key anywhere near the car or it will run down the battery in the key fob. Huh?

I don't know who thinks up some of these features, but they should do a little more real-world research before they foist them on unsuspecting customers.

I'm not against new features. I really like most of them, but this one is a dud. I've heard more stories about someone leaving a car running or not, going into a hotel or restaurant and having the car stuck for hours because the valet didn't have the key.

There may be a lot of value to this feature, but I can't think of any.

And, sadly, if you lose the key on a weekend, you may be stuck until the dealership opens on Monday when you can reprogram the car.

Maybe the car companies can find that lady who used to tell us, "The door is ajar." Now, she can yell out that you forgot to leave your key fob in the car. Only no one can figure out where to put it.

Too bad they don't have a slot for the ignition/starter switch where you might be able to put the key. Oh, well, ain't progress wonderful?

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100802/OEM06/308029973/1126#ixzz0vUThUVhb

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Pointless, stupid feature. I see no point for any ignition system that doesn't use a normal twist start/stop key.

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balthazar    2,004

There are a LOT of modern features that are completely unnecessary... but call it 'tech', esp 'new tech' and there will always be those who believe their life will be made 'better' by having it.

  • Upvote 3

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

It's like surround sound digital auto systems in cars. You can buy like 10 CDs for them (Oooo thunderstorm in surround sound..just what I need for my 5-series)

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Intrepidation    848

I like a good sound system in my car, since that's the one place I actually play music through speakers and not headphones.

And while I do like tech stuff, some of it is getting ridiculous. All of these driver aids aimed at making the dumb, inattentive driver even dumber and less attentive.

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PurdueGuy    72

I don't mind the idea, but there does need to be some kind of warning if the key leaves the range of the car. I have more issue with features that result in people losing or not developing driving skills, like automated parallel parking. If someone can't parallel park, they shouldn't be driving.

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