By on May 23, 2016

Mustang Toggle Switches with Hazard Light Switch, Image: © 2016 Jack Baruth/The Truth About Cars

Long-time TTAC readers will recall an occasional contributor to these pages who was kind of the Dave Barry of auto writing. He wrote articles with titles like “Has BMW Lost Its Mojo?” and “Has Audi Lost The Plot?” and “Has CarMax Lost The Invoice I Sent Them?” Unfortunately for him, however, there is a limited number of automakers in the North American market about which to generically speculate, so he eventually turned to a series of articles about “This Is The Worst Button On A Car Ever” and “This Is The Worst Warning Light On A Car Ever” and, just possibly, “This Is The Worst Turn Signal Lever Since The Dawn Of Time.” Articles like that are popular because they invoke a sort of Pavlovian response in readers. “Wait … that son of a bitch says the BMW temperature control blend knob is hard to understand? I’LL SHOW HIM!”

I tried to do something similar to get my clicks up and convince our august Managing Editor to pay for my next Kiton sportcoat, but he rejected my take on the formula, which was tentatively titled “How Can The New Camaro Ask The Mustang To ‘Step Outside’ When Cars Can’t Even Fuckin’ Talk Most Of The Time, Except For The Nissan Maxima, And Maybe The Frank Sinatra Imperial, And In Those Cases Weren’t The Cars In Question Restricted To A Fairly Basic Set Of Phrases,” calling it “thoroughly asinine and far too recherche for all but the most tasteful of search-engine spiders.”

That was the end of my career as a pure clickbait writer. Until this morning, when I looked down at the console of the Ecoboost Mustang I was renting in San José and realized I’d finally found the worst button ever!

There are four reasons why … and Number Three Will Blow Your Mind!

The button in question is actually a toggle switch. It activates the hazard lights and it’s all the way to the left in the photograph above. As you can see, it looks just like all the other toggles on that row. You’ve probably noticed lately that more and more cars are doing something similar with secondary-function switches. There’s nothing new about the idea of having a group of essentially identical buttons that perform widely divergent functions; the German automakers started the practice in the ’70s. It allows an automaker to offer a variety of optional extras at the lowest possible expenditure in both cost and assembly time. Not incidentally, it also made it absolutely plain to customers, and their passengers, when said customers hadn’t bought all the available options. Some manufacturers took this too far — for example, a fully loaded Mercedes W140 600SEL still had two empty blanks in the center console — but the advantages were too compelling for it not to become industry practice. Everything from a Mirage to a Wraith has a modular dashboard now as a result.

When the first-generation New Mini arrived, it had a line of identical toggle switches in a row on the console. This feature was meant to recall the great British cars of the ’60, which frequently had something similar. The reason behind that was because their makers couldn’t afford to tool up for a variety of switches, so they bought generic components from Lucas. The minute it became practical to have unique buttons for everything, every British car from the MG Midget to the Jaguar XJ6 promptly did so. Insofar as that was far from the least objectionable aspect of a “Mini” that was massively larger than the original and seemed to have no additional space, the critics gave BMW a pass on the matter. Before you knew it, the row-o’-toggles was once again fashionable.

This time, of course, the toggle switches all connect to a CANBUS, so it’s entirely an affectation. Yet there’s something genuinely satisfying about them. Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s race-car chic — although, as a racer, I completely despise toggle-switch dashboards and would give the proverbial left nut for unique switches that make it easy for me to distinguish between flipping on a cooling fan and switching off the fuel pump. Whatever the reason, toggle switches are fun and cool and the worst thing you can say about them is that they are a small distraction from the road for most drivers. At worst, you’ll have to look away from the road to distinguish between the seat heater and the rear defroster until you’ve owned a car for some time.

The problem with the recently redesigned Mustang is that it puts the hazard switch in this same line of identical switches. It’s a serious no-no and it’s enough to give me reservations about recommending a vehicle that I think is otherwise best-in-class by a margin that borders on the intergalactic. While it’s certainly true that the most frequent use of the hazard flasher is directly related to double-parking somewhere, there are several serious uses for the function that require rapid selection and activation.

I’ve used flashers for a variety of reasons: making my car visible in fog, warning drivers behind me of a sudden lane stoppage ahead, dealing with a sudden failure of the engine or transmission, and a few others. And that’s just on the public road. During open track days, quick use of the hazard flasher serves as a poor man’s yellow flag. It can also help protect you from being hit by much faster traffic coming up behind you.

Incidentally, this is one of the few things that General Motors got right from an interior ergonomics perspective. Nearly every GM car since the Sixties has offered hazard-light activation right on the steering column. I prefer the Mercedes design, which puts the hazard flasher in plain sight as high on the dashboard as possible, but there’s something to be said for the steering-column location as well. In either case, you can activate the function quickly with a minimum of searching around.

I’d defy anybody who wasn’t intimately familiar with the current Mustang to quickly activate the flasher in an emergency. I’m not sure you could do it without really searching for it, even if you knew exactly where it was. Ford knows better than this, particularly given the Mustang convertible is hugely popular with rental fleets. There’s just no excuse for putting aesthetics this far above function, even in a car that isn’t necessarily intended for workaday use.

Worse yet, this sort of silliness encourages the Ralph Naders of the world to get involved. Somebody, somewhere, someday is going to be injured by the side of the road because they can’t find their hazard flasher in a new Mustang, and that will lead to somebody demanding a law. Before you know it, the hazard button will be the size of the Staples Easy Button and it’ll be mounted on the top of your dashboard. This is how we got the annoying CHMSL regulation of the ’80s; everybody knew the government was going to get involved but only GM bothered to try offering the customer a relatively decent-looking solution. As a result, when the law was written, we got CHMSLs that blocked rear vision, burned out easily, and ended up being a single point of failure that led to more rear-end collisions.

You can argue that we should have far greater mandatory standardization across secondary controls than we have today. Why does the law prevent manufacturers from putting the clutch to the right of the accelerator but let them to put the cruise-control stalk where most people expect to find the turn signal? But that’s a discussion for another time. So feel free to tune in again next week, when I ask: “What’s The Deal With Headlights, Anyway?”

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164 Comments on “No, Really, This Is The Worst Button Of All Time...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I thank CHMSL regulations every time I’m behind a VW, and it’s the only working light on the back of the car.

    My favorite flasher switch was on the ’97 Impreza I had, and it was a big toggle switch on top of the steering column that had a very nice feedback feel. That was the nicest switch in the whole car.

    The ’90s GM button on the lower left side of the column feels a bit flimsy, and the pull out plastic surround to deactivate it feels break-prone. It doesn’t feel like there’s anything stopping me from yanking it clean off.

    Agree this Mustang hazard toggle is very bad placement, too low on the dash, and right next to the engine kill switch should you try and slap at it in a hurry.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I agree.

      Hazard switches were placed atop the steering column—or, in even older GM cars with the round steering column, beneath the ignition switch—because they were part of the mechanical indicator stalk assembly, and the switch physically controlled the indicator lights. Plus, it was a literal switch, with on/off modes. Now, like Jack said, it’s all tied to a CANBUS, and hitting the hazard switch is merely pressing a soft button that sends a signal to a computer, which works out the logic and determines what to do. Any car that still places the hazard button on the steering column (I believe GM’s full-sized BOF vehicles still do) does so for skeuomorphism or familiarity, but it can really go anywhere. That doesn’t mean that it should go along a row of completely unrelated toggle switches, and with a very small label, as in the Mustang.

      It’s interesting how modern switches are merely inputs. And hell, even the turn signal “tick tock” and the warning chimes are played through the radio on many cars, including Ford and GM models.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      I’m pretty sure that VW sources its CHMSL lamps right alongside the rest of rest of the exterior lights.

      Humor works best when the scenario you’re basing the joke upon actually makes sense.

      • 0 avatar
        Audiofyl

        That may be true, however they’re typically led in the chmsl and incandescent in the tail lights. Those tend to burn out and leave only the longer lasting led as functional. As we know the general public doesn’t have the wherewithal to regularly check up on important life saving safety items related to their automobiles.

        I don’t believe the aforementioned led vs incandescent issue is specifically vw related, however, but it does exist in those cars.

        Source : mkiv golf owner

      • 0 avatar
        cwa107

        Ever change a tail light in a modern VW? If not, you’re in for a revelation.

        First, don’t look for instructions in the manual… you’ll be referred to your dealer. Second, it’s not just a twist and pull – usually there’s an overly complicated procedure for removing a trim cover and freeing up backplane, followed by looking for the release mechanism, and if you’re lucky, it’s actually using a standard bulb type.

        I think he was just implying that VW owners don’t go to the trouble to change lights out because it’s such a hateful task.

        • 0 avatar
          XYGTHO Phase3

          Really? Not sure what you consider a modern VW, but I wish my current car (CX-7) was as easy to change bulbs in as my previous MK5 Golf.

          I could change a headlight or tail-light in about 2 minutes in the Golf. Headlight was twist, remove, replace bulb and put it back. Rear was unclip a bit of trim, twist and replace.

          In the Mazda, you have to remove the front wheel cladding to even get to the headlight.

          I haven’t seen what the MK7 is like, but would assume it’s the same unless they messed things up big time.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Seriously, what is it with VW tail lights? Are the rest run through a separate improperly secured harness section that has no strain relief for a connection, or is it bulb death?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I think the CHMSL is with the sunroof fuse/relay. That’s why it works after the tail lamps crap out due to electrical infidelity. Fordson doesn’t consider this an issue, apparently.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        probably just bulb death. There seem to be some cars which just eat tail light bulbs like popcorn. Might be excessive vibration. It’s rare for me to see a 2005-2009 Mustang with all of the tail light bulbs working.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          More likely slightly too high voltage. Saab had issues with this in the NG9-3s (fixed with a software update, in the modern manner). Many European cars have temp-compensating circuits in their voltage regulation. That can cause too high voltage when it fails. Too high means bright but short-lived bulbs.

          I generally find European cars to be extremely easy to change bulbs in. There are a few exceptions, the much maligned MKIV VWs did require removing the bumper cover to change the headlight bulbs, but that was a 5 minute and 5 torx screw task. Nothing to it.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            My beloved 05 Scoobie Doo needed the driver side headlight bulb replaced last weekend. I bought 2. After doing the pull the battery out of the car and loosen the washer tank fill neck by busting a crispy Zeus fastener driver side bulb I decided to keep the pull the airbox with *several* Zeus fasteners side passenger bulb in reserve for a day when I was changing the air filter anyway. Japanese design with US assembly and GM parts bin selection. It’s easier to change the alternator than both headlights. And I’m home with 10k in tools, 10k hours experience wrenching, and I’ve done the job before. (Just out of spare fasteners, damnit.)

  • avatar
    sirwired

    As long as it’s huge, identical buttons/switches are okay in my book. I don’t want to accidentally activate it when I’m trying to change the radio station, and beyond that I’m not picky. My wife’s Solara puts it between the dash vents and my Passat puts it beside the radio (where it’s about 1″x2″).

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Yep, The one in my Golf SportWagen is right between the vents, and that’s pretty standard practice for German cars. It really stopped being such an eyesore when they made the label on the button itself red, rather than the entire button (although Mercedes-Benz still seems to use red buttons)

  • avatar
    redliner

    In my household, this is what we affectionately refer to as an OMR… An old man rant.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    It’s logical that hazard lights should be placed in accordance with the likelihood of using them.

    For example, FCA vehicles should equip the hazards in the middle of the steering wheel. Horns only matter when the car is moving, which won’t be a serious concern for those cars.

    Ditto German vehicles.One day ,they’ll get past 40,000 miles. A big red triangle next to the Audi/BMW/VW roundel on the steering wheel acts as a daily reminder to check the warranty status.

    As for the Mustang? The control is properly placed. It’s for the Mustang Week type poseurs who wreck after turning off the traction control for the first time. The toggle is easier to find while upside down in a ditch.

  • avatar
    18 wheels 13 gears

    Huh. Seems to me that the other writer ( Hi Doug !) is enjoyable to read and successful. But you just sound pissy and envious.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    What does this switch do? The answer will SHOCK YOU!

    99% of drivers don’t know doing this one simple thing will CURE CANCER!

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    I think an ignition button placed next to the cup holders between the seats is even worse than this. Spill liquids on it and that is the end of that.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Who does that? Don’t make no Saabs no more.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        My Golf SportWagen has it near the gear selector, so in the center console area, but not necessarily next to the cupholders.

        I do remember an early-aughts Audi product (might have been the A6) that had the earliest version of MMI, with the controls in the same valley as the cupholder. That was sure to be an expensive repair for owners.

        As far as Saab’s placement of the key slot (and later the start button) by the gear selector and often between the cupholders, that’s another example of skeuomorphism. Early Saabs did it because the ignition lock was tied to the manual gear selector. You had to have the gear selector in reverse, or you couldn’t remove the key. Later, it was just something Saab did out of heritage and a desire to preserve a unique quirk. Similarly, Porsche put the ignition switch on the left due to the brand’s involvement in LeMans, but it is arguably less useful in a V6 Cayenne, yet they do it anyway. Little model or brand-specific traits like that are gold in the automotive world.

        http://picolio.auto123.com/auto123tv/images/rz/zl/Volkswagen-Golf-GTI-2015_038.jpg?scale=980

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          That isn’t why Saab did it. They tied the gearshift to the ignition as a secondary benefit, and because pre-electric everything it wasn’t practical to lock the steering column with the switch on the floor. The real benefit was that their safety research showed that people were getting knee injuries from steering column and dash mounted switches. So they put it on the floor starting in the 99 to get it out of the way.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Kyree can’t have an early A6 because of root beer spills. Film at 11!

          Also, hilarious the effort GM had to put into getting the Saab 9-7X to have an ignition key down there. While most of the rest of the interior components were shamelessly Chevrolet/Buick items.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            @krhodes — I stand corrected. Thanks. That makes sense. Some other cars had the ignition in the center console, too, like the early (2003-2006) L322 Range Rover.

            @CoreyDL — I know, right? Plus, they literally took the standard GM key fob and kept the buttons and circuitry, but gave it a custom shell so that it was an all-in-one with the key blade, like other Saabs.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Bahahahaha!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Carfan94

            I always thought the keys for those 9-7Xs looked so ugly, because they were designed by GM. Plus the buttons are upside down.

            http://www.keylessentryremotefob.com/v/vspfiles/photos/15118173%203BTN-2.jpg

            On most in key remotes the buttons are facing up when the key is pointed away from you.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I agree, that does look backwards. And ugly.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Saab solved that by having complex cup holders in the dash.

        Besides, Saab owners aren’t the type that has to be on an HFCS drip while driving. Worse case, they will drop a few milliliters of iceberg water, which won’t gum-up the ignition switch.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Did the Doug Bot get kicked off TTAC or did he leave on his own?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Once again, motorcycles get right what cars get wrong. The first time I rode a Ducati I was almost disappointed with how similar the controls were laid out. But then, that is as it should be, when controls are designed for easy usage, rather than showroom dazzling.

  • avatar

    I don’t consider this clickbait.

    4-way flashers are a (hopefully) seldom used component of a vehicle.

    If it’s seldom used, it may be easy to forget where to find them if they’re not somewhere obvious…like atop the steering column as GM has placed it since the 60’s!

    I don’t want to see move government meddling in such minutae of automotive design, but an arrangement like the one above reeks of the proverbial echo chamber, where it LOOKS good…and everyone around you in your portion of the design department concurs…but nobody ever actually considers how it’ll work out there in realityland. Until it’s too late.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      As a UI / UX developer, I try to look out for such things. It’s tough to blend form with function (especially in cars, where the overuse of touch screens must be awfully tempting). But you’d be surprised. A lot of times—and I bet this is the case here with the Mustang—functionality is absolutely considered, but is conceded to design, since this honestly wouldn’t bother 95% of people.

      Meanwhile, the things that bother me, specifically with my Golf SportWagen, are a little more nuanced:

      a) When I start my car and don’t put my seatbelt on immediately, sometimes the seatbelt minder chimes five times and sometimes it chimes six times. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why it behaves two different ways. But it’s annoying.

      b) The steering-column-lock indicator light in my instrument panel shows a four-spoke wheel, not dissimilar to the one on the early B6 Passat. However, with the demise of the Phaeton, Volkswagen doesn’t sell any cars with four-spoke steering wheels, to my knowledge.

      Little silly things like that.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I think the standard for a steering wheel indicator light is either a four-spoke or a three-spoke (two horiz, one vert) wheel, regardless of what the actual wheel looks like, because it’s instantly recognizable as such. Much like the check engine light appears (to me) to be a straight-six or V8 with a carb and air cleaner, when most engines on the road are the opposite.

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          “Much like the check engine light appears (to me) to be a straight-six or V8 with a carb and air cleaner, when most engines on the road are the opposite.”

          This anecdote was likely fabricated for effect but – a few months back I read a Bryan Singer/Singer Porsche profile in one of the magazines. The angle was how OCD Singer is about getting every detail perfect, but the author’s eagle eye noticed the universal check engine light indicated something other than the flat six and said so to someone at Singer. The conclusion being that now Singer would have to fabricate or source “correct” check engine lights for future builds because they’re so detail-obsessed. Obviously people with Singer Porsche cash don’t need this kind of sales BS, but idiots like us that read the magazines apparently gobble it up in between wiping drool from our mouths and indiscriminately flatulating. I’m angry at myself for writing this and posting it, but I can’t help myself.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            “It’s an ICON. It represents the concept of “engine”, not Your Specific Power Plant.

            Put in a flat four in a Subaru and nobody will know WTF they’re looking at.”

            (It’s also an ISO standard [https://www.iso.org/obp/ui#iso:grs:7000:4:2423], though from what I can find the EPA regs simply say that one will be automatically approved, not that it’s required.

            But “ISO standard and guaranteed approval” tends to give a design a boost, eh?)

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        I thought only my wife had that level of OCD.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “When I start my car and don’t put my seatbelt on immediately, sometimes the seatbelt minder chimes five times and sometimes it chimes six times. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why it behaves two different ways. But it’s annoying.”

        Something as stupid as fractional time math sometimes working out to six ticks in the interval and sometimes five?

        I don’t know *why* anyone would implement it that way rather than a counter and timer, but … well, that’s never stopped anyone.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Whenever my keys-in-ignition or headlights-on chime sounds, I always have to let it ding 4(n)+1 times–5, 9, 13, 17, etc. It’s like my mind is in 4/4 time and I can’t let the chime stop until beat 1 of the next measure.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I thought the start stop button was the worst of all time. I’m very happy with keys.

    • 0 avatar
      06V66speed

      “I thought the start stop button was the worst of all time.”

      You’ve read my mind. Just makes things more complicated.

      Enter my 2010 Maxima (keyless ignition). It is now having bouts of “OMG! NO KEY! NO KEY!”. Which, will driving down the interstate, is somewhat terrifying. Where in the Hell does it think the key is? Is it just going to shut off while driving?? So far, it’s coming to its senses and sensing the key after about 15 or so seconds. But this problem is just starting, and something tells me that this isn’t going to turn out particularly well… :/

      Or, more amusing… those start/stop buttons that people actually *install* in addition to requiring a key for their ignition. Because “race car”, donchaknow. Congrats. You’ve succeeded in adding an extra step in the start process. Kudos.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I’m certain there’s a subset of “enthusiasts” who would gladly turn their “ignition sequence” into an ordeal worthy of the pre-flight checklist of a Space Shuttle.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Let me say this once for everyone: Your car will NEVER shut off on you because there’s no proximity key in the vehicle or it can’t detect the key. It will chime at you relentlessly, and it will refuse to restart if you turn it off. But in a world where GM got sued for cars that shut off unexpectedly (and BMW is getting sued for the i3’s tendency to kick down to 45 MPH if the range extender can’t support the battery at the current speed), no automaker would deliberately build a car that just shut off while you were driving. Even that OnStar thing that lets them disable your car if it’s stolen requires OnStar to have live communication with the police and make sure it’s completely safe before OnStar disables the throttle and slowly decelerates the car. Automakers are generally quite careful about that sort of thing.

        You probably just need to change the key battery in your Maxima. But if the key battery dies completely or you don’t want to deal with the keyless go, you can just take the key and stick it in that slot on the left lower portion of your dash, and it will read the key via induction.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Our Altima recently gave the no-key-detected message on the dash, but I’ve been ignoring the low key battery warning for about a year and a half now.

        If you are fearing for your life, it might be time for new key fob batteries.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Senor Maxima,

        You can put the key physically into the slot to make it stop doing that. Also, suspect you’ve got a low battery in the remote and need to change it.

        One time I decided to put my Infiniti key into my cousin’s Altima key slot when they were visiting, to see what would happen. I expected a “WRONG KEY” or something on the dash, or perhaps a beep.

        Nope, it just went “BLECH” and spit it back out. Wouldn’t accept it.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          My X5 did the same when I stuck my friend’s key in (he had an E60 M5).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            How do they to do it, when it’s the same shape key?! Just because the circuits don’t match, it’s enough to cause it not to “stick” in there, I suppose? It didn’t feel like an ejection type sequence, just a flat out rejection.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I think the mechanism has to accept the key in the first place electronically.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @PrincipalDan, I agree 100% with you. Recently rented a vehicle with an on/off switch and detested it, thoroughly.

      As for emergency flasher activators the first vehicle I remember with one was our Type III squareback. None of the D3 (or D4 then) vehicles of that era that I can remember had them.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      This was what I expected, then Jack hit me with the twist. Tilting at windmills…

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Reading the headline, I didn’t guess what button Baruth was going to single out but, on reflection, this is a good article about something that’s overlooked but important. I use the hazard lights in a similar fashion and it’s really essential that it’s a) big and b) easy to locate and operate without taking eyes from the road.

  • avatar
    ajla

    That was the end of my career as a pure clickbait writer.

    “How Obama, SJWs, and other effeminate Safety Elite Muslims from San Francisco want to control the future layout of your dashboard”

    “It’s 2016: How the continued use of assault rifle trigger-style switches in the new Mustang prove that rape culture, white privilege, and gun fetishism is still an issue”

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I thought this was going to be about the engine ignition button. I’m ambivalent about that one.

    DeMuro is not missed.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Me too….I own a 2015 EcoBoost Mustang . First off , I’m not too crazy about the whole “push button start” concept . The first weeks i owned it , I hit the kill switch twice, while driving ! I now keep my keys, and cell phone in the cup holder. That useless little tray thingy, is just too close to the kill switch.

      As far as the 4 way hazard switch goes ? I never really gave it much thought. I guess i could find it, if i had to

      Ive had the Mustang for 7 months now. Apart from being a little hairy , in the snow??? ….{ Ill fix that next year, with a set of Michelin winter tires. }…I love the car. Now i will go practice turning the 4-ways on and off .

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I thought mine was in a really stupid location on the VW, but I’ve never been in danger of accidentally pressing it. I was curious about what would happen if I hit it while driving, so I tried it out. First of all, if the car is on and moving, you have to push and hold for at least 5 seconds for anything at all to happen. If you’re below 35 MPH, it will chime and the IP LCD will read “Pushing the start button again turns off the engine”. And if you push it again, it does indeed cut off. Above 35 MPH, I’ve never gotten it to do anything at all, but I’m sure that if I held it long enough, it would cut off,

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Putting the start/stop switch right in a row with other switches is almost as dumb as Chrysler putting the tranny selector knob right up there with the stereo and climate knobs.

        So many cars ergonomics make me scratch my head. But then again, the stuff that people complain about in BMWs (non-modal stalks, no temp gauge or dipstick) makes perfect logical sense to me, so maybe I am weird. Or have German ancestry I just don’t know about.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          The BMW gear selector was remarkably easy for me to use. So was the FCA “paddle” that everybody complained about. I didn’t have issues. And I’m not German, to my knowledge.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I do hate the BMW auto trans selector. I find it counter-intuitive. But I won’t buy one with an automatic, so a bit of a moot point.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yeah, but you’re a car guy. we take the time to learn about anything that’s different in a new car. the average car buyer will just expect their new car to work the same as the old one.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I loathe a hazard switch that’s like a push down pull up peg on the top of the steering column. You see them more on commercial vehicles where they’ve acquired a healthy coat of grime to get on your finger tips and under the nails.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I had one such peg on the ’84 F-350 I drove during my one-summer stint at the Highway Department. After the gravel road on which I was driving collapsed and I dropped 5 feet into the ditch, it was reassuring to be able to reach through the steering wheel and warn the legion of drivers behind me on that one-lane road.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I don’t want to have to reach through the steering wheel to do anything while I am driving, seems like a terrible idea.

      The only proper place for a hazard switch is high on the center dash, big and bold, where the passenger can hit it in an emergency as well.

      I use them all the time when traffic suddenly slows on the highway. Given how many idiots are paying attention to anything but what they are doing behind the wheel, the more flashing lights in front of them the better! I also have my cars dynamic brake lights set to strobe under very heavy braking and auto hazard lights as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Carfan94

        @krhodes1
        I came here to say the same thing, The passenger should be able to easily locate and push the hazard button in case something happens to the driver, and they are not able to turn them on. That is why I strongly dislike the steering column mounted switch/buttons on the old American cars(I think some still have them there?).

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Bring on the switches and buttons. I want my car to look like the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. We’re already halfway there with all the aftermarket monitors and banks of switches in our 8300.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    I don’t know Jack; GM jumped a bit early with the CHMSL on certain models and they looked okay, but their douche-tastic slap-it-on-the-glass implementation on the ’86 Camaro/Firebird (and Chevette!) was the definition of phoning it in. It only looked alright with the Iron Maiden t-shirt and mullet crowd aftermarket horizontal louver treatment.

  • avatar
    ixim

    4-way flashers. A real safety improvement. Black button with a red triangle at the top of the center stack? Like my new Chevy? Works great! Big key-sensing start/stop button? Another answer to an unasked question with plenty of ways for it to fail, compared to simply twisting a key. Now, my 1953 Lincoln, with dash-mounted ignition key plus starter button on the left side of the steering column? Vintage!

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The L700 grain truck has a left-side ignition, as well as a left-side handbrake. The former is infuriating; the latter, actually kinda handy (no pun intended).

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s not always the car’s owner/driver that needs to find the hazard switch fast. A first responder, passenger and the like. The dash/console may be cracked up with coffee splashed all over, plus glass powder.

    But the “push button start” is a really stupid one. Every car commercial and goofy car journalist was pushing this feature as some kind of high tech advancement from the racing world. Really it was just car makers looking to streamline assembly and less moving parts. It’s a more profits, cost cutting measure.

    I want back my key/cylinder ignition, throttle cable, shift-linkage transfer case/auto trans, passenger door lock-cylinder, etc. And keep the magic fob.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The last thing I want to screw around with anymore is the key. I want it in my pocket. I walk up to the car, grab the handle and it unlocks, get in, push the button and it starts. When I am done, push the button, get out, touch the door handle and it locks. Perfect. Juggling keys is SOO annoying once you get used to this.

      The only things that would make it better would be if the car would just unlock when I walk up to it and lock when I walk away. And if I could have both of my cars with this setup share the same key fob.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        “And if I could have both of my cars with this setup share the same key fob.”

        Could do this with phone perhaps now or in near future?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The last thing I want to do is simplify by complicated. I wont wait around for some chipped gizmo to decide when my car gets to not start or if I’m left outside.

        My stuff is’t leased, I’m keeping them till after the latest gadgetry stops working. With mechanical stuff, 20 years down the road, I can limp it to the hardware store and fix in the parking lot.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “I wont wait around for some chipped gizmo to decide when my car gets to not start or if I’m left outside”

          In any car built after about the early ’90s, when you turn an ignition key you are just sending a signal to “some chipped gizmo” (i.e., the engine computer), the exact same way you would be doing it by pressing a start button.

          Count me among the people who love proximity keys. No more digging around in my pockets all the time. Just pull the handle, push the button, and go.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            When it’s cold, I wear gloves.
            Gloved hand don’t fit in pocket.
            Freezing hand not pleasant.
            Proximity key is winning.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s stuff that’s automatic, but OK, your enter/start/stop/exit ‘life’ just got 3% simpler, for 1,000% more circuitry, guaranteed to fail 1,000% more often than easily fixed, cheap to fix mechanicals.

            Just add this to all the other crap, ‘planned obsolescence’, directly engineered into your disposable car. Enjoy those.

            But this nonsense goes way beyond “chipped keys” from the 90s. Flintstones to Jetsons. I bypass “chipped keys” and just use regular, hardware store ‘blanks’.
            You’ll think of me when your proximity fob, push-button ‘start’ lets you down.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Is it guaranteed to fail “1000% more,” though? Are there numbers to show this? You say it with such certainty, yet have no proof.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Are you saying, you, (or following/current owners), from new, haven’t gotten 20+ years or 250K+ miles out of normal keys/cylinders? If not, what the heck are you driving?

            Then think about how many diodes, microchips, sensors, relays, fuses, modules/processors, electrical plugs/connectors, etc, are involved in simply opening and starting the automated fob/keyless/push-button-start/stop cars?

            Many look at the no-key, no-touch fob and say, “Hey, simpler!!!”.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            That’s not what I’m saying–way to avoid the question. You claimed a guaranteed fail rate of “1000%”. Again, where is your data to back up this claim?

            You are correct that a non-electronic key is simpler. But an argument for simplicity is irrelevant unless you’re riding a horse everywhere.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            No, you answer my question 1st..

            You know my statement isn’t *provable*, but commonsense based, not exactly “courtroom evidence” worthy, but for this forum, who cares?

            Hey, it may be WAY MORE than 1,000% (100 X) over.

            So what evidence do YOU have to ‘counter’, counselor??

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Why should I (or anyone) answer your question first? The burden of proof is on you. “For this forum, who cares?” Anyone who wants numbers cares. That might be a bunch of people, or it might be just me. I just want numbers; I have no personal stake in the matter. Please present the data.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You must be lots of fun at dinner parties.. We can’t have a casual conversation without someone jumping up and requiring “PROOF PLEASE”??

            Wtf, you’re like my 17 year old niece. We can’t have a normal conversation involving history/life/stats/trivia/US/politics/movies/stars/music/interesting/world events without her constantly checking/verifying everything on her darn phone as I talk! Frackin’ annoying!!

            Is this what we’ve come down to ???

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @DenverMike

            Assuming you pull as much crap out of your @ss at the dinner table as you do around here, your niece is probably on to something.

            Much harder to get away with BS these days.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Wow, insulting the opponent, avoiding the issue, and a strawman argument in two sentences! Since when were we having a “casual conversation,” and since when does that mean we can leave verifiability, proof, or facts at the door? If you had just backed up your original claim with some kind of data, you wouldn’t be in this mess. Or are you afraid there is none?

            If you are against hyperbolic or otherwise unverifiable claims being investigated, it may be helpful in the future to not make them.

            What is a “normal conversation” anyway, and why does it bother you so much that your niece should want to verify things?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Regardless of who’s got what stick up their butt, this is a causal forum, often while we’re stuck in line somewhere, heavy traffic, job’s at a standstill, in a drive-thru, etc.

            If you really, TRULY have a problem with mine or anyone’s laid back “facts”, look them up and PROVE to the EXACT contrary/falsehood or stfu.

            Ballz in your court..(room)…

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I can say this: I’ve had more failures of traditional ignition cylinders (2) than of proximity key systems (0). One failed gracefully (could just turn the keyhole whether or not a key was inserted) and one failed in a way that required a replacement.

            But of course that’s apples and oranges. Both failed ignition cylinders were in crappy old ’80s Fords with 100k+ miles, while the two cars I’ve owned with proximity systems are a low-mile Lexus and a brand-new Ford.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I really don’t have a problem with the facts, be they true or not, just with your continued dedication to not provide any proof, and your continued insistence that you don’t have to. Where, if I may ask, did you get the idea that it’s not your job to prove, but others’ to disprove?

            BTW, I’m not sure you know what “causal” means. “Causal” means everything has an effect, which is partially true of TTAC, but I think you may have meant to say “casual,” which would be more apropos.

            Also, not sure what you meant by the “stuck up their butt” comment, or what precipitated it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I won’t even ask for “proof”, when something looks “off” or wrong, I give a link, state the true/truer facts, and the ball’s in their court. Usually they slither away.

            You’re not even trying. That proves (more or less) I’m at least 75% right, or greater, but you just don’t like the way I said it. Or take offence to the greater message.

            Which is you???

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I don’t know if you’re right or wrong, and really, it would be just fine with me if you were correct. As I said before, I have no personal stake in the matter. But you haven’t even given a link yet. Why are you so insistent on not doing so? If you had, we could’ve ended this quite some time ago. You can’t say the ball’s in my court if you haven’t served yet. I notice you have yet to answer my other question as to where you got the notion that the burden of proof was not on you in the beginning.

            Also, why’d you put proof in quotes?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            There’s some observed realities that are indisputable, no link necessary nor available. Commonsense is all that’s necessary here. True or not true??

            Maybe someone’s done a *paper* or study on it, perhaps not. Who cares? OK,look into it, I’ll wait here..

            At least give half an argument that makes any kind of sense to the contrary. You can’t even summons that.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I’ve seen far, far more mechanical lock cylinders wear out than I have electronic modules fail.

            Today I Learned that someone actually believes dragging one piece of metal across several other pieces of metal will somehow last longer than an integrated circuit which is under practically no electrical or thermal stress.

            “Commonsense is all that’s necessary here. True or not true??”

            Not true. Because you clearly think “common sense” is “what you think is the truth.”

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “There’s some observed realities that are indisputable, no link necessary nor available. Commonsense is all that’s necessary here.”

            True! I’ve correlated my increasing awareness of such glaring verities with the onset of craving veggies that’ve been boiled to a moosh.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Obviously keys and lock cylinders wear out, break, what ever, except we’re talking a decade or two of reliable service. Yeah YMMV, especially with VWs and other German, Euro, etc.

            Then remind yourself of all the electrical bits, bites and whole symphony of other stuff to make it all work, just for the “simple” tasks of fob/keyless/remote, start/stop/lock/unlock.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I think you are being intentionally thick. Virtually every car made since the mid-90s has an RFID chip in the key. Once you have that, the rest is trivial. And irrelevant, because the metal emergency key in the fob will get you into the car, which will then passively read the RFID chip and start, even if the keyless entry and go part fails. If the RFID reader or chip fails, you are screwed whether it is an old fashioned ignition switch or a keyless button.

            Despite increasing complexity, cars keep getting more reliable per every survey out there. Funny that. Could it be electronics ARE more reliable than mechanical mechanisms?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            so to sum it up, you want us to admit you’re right solely because you say you’re right.

            Got it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Theft deterrent, RFID chipped keys, going back to GM, late ’80s are a different topic. Obviously they didn’t have remote start, ‘leave the fob in your pocket/purse’ *proximity* lock/unlock nor push-button-on-start-kill.

            I hate to repeat myself, but you aren’t reading before responding. Whole other ballgame here.

            I do love the trivial stuff that’s very tough to believe. The junk that goes against common beliefs, I especially love.

            So yeah they have do have to look it up, my niece and her parents especially, but I alway remind them “I’m not smart enough to make this stuff up!”

            It’s more of a pat on the back, than an insult.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            They are not different. The proximity feature is just a superset of the RFID key.

            But keep on digging, son. See here for how to start an Altima with a dead fob:

            link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD6sPH2GyB8

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            That’s a really neat trick, Dad!! It’s not in Altima Owner’s Manuals though. It obviously has a battery, so dunking in water will leave you stranded and calling AAA.

            So it’s the same late ’80s RFID “tech”, I agree, but carried several steps further, with advancements more like Science Fiction, back then.

            Maybe it is the same “ballgame”, but like Little League to Baseball All Stars.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Again, you are being thick. As the video shows, the presence or absence of the battery has nothing to do with the ability to start the car. An RFID chip is a *PASSIVE* device. Dunking it in water makes no difference what-so-ever. All it will kill is the ability to open the doors remotely, and make it so that you need the fob REALLY close to the reader – evidently touching in this case.

            But please, by all means don’t let the facts get in the way.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            For the most part, when car electrical systems fail, fixing them is a matter of replacing a part. Very rarely do you have to do actual electronic surgery. And, from the better OEMs, they really don’t fail very often.

            In most cases I’d rather diagnose and fix an electrical issue than a mechanical one.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            If you have an old VAG vehicle, then you really do have to do electrical surgery. And witchcraft.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Right, you wouldn’t dissect a burnt diode, capacitor, microchip, etc, but never mind the expense (once you diagnose the bad part or parts), but will the aftermarket support all these processors, sensors, wire looms, plugs/connectors and modules, once the factory (suppliers) abandon you, 10 years in? Or should you abandon all these on-board ticking time bombs and trade it in, long before then?

            Planned obsolescence or what?? Cars are getting more disposable for a reason..

            If your car of choice has the same (as everyone else’s) electronic/tech parts repeatedly going bad, good luck finding them in the junk yards.

            A bad “traditional” ignition key/cylinder setup can easily be bypassed with your own “race car, push button start”, like we did way back when, when we were too poor to replace the bad parts on our hoopties.

            And it was the electrical part of the ignition setup that usually took a dive on old cars, not so much the hard parts.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @krhodes1 I pulled the battery from a Nissan Leaf proximity Fob and following the dead fob battery procedure was able to start the car. Actually, if your fob battery is getting low, the car warns you, so you have time to replace it.

            Have other push-button start cars of different makes in the fleet and they have procedures as well.

            I love proximity keys too. Less hassle. The oldest in the fleet with a proximity key is now 8 years old without a problem.

            When I get my hands on a prototype of the Google modular phone, I’m thinking about hacking a Nissan FOB into a module for the phone. I’ve been looking at the fob circuitry and I think I might be able to pull it off.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I don’t want cables and moving complex parts, because they break.

      Keys are bullshit, in other words – and I like programmable throttle response, and no cable to bind or slip*.

      (* Says the guy who’s had to adjust linkages re. same more than once, on his old Mercedes.

      And who’s had locks ice up, ignitions get worn and bind, etc.)

  • avatar
    itsgotahemi

    Meanings of “flashers’ south of I-10
    1) Towing broken Saturn (usually with rope)
    2) It is raining or may rain
    3) Foggy, smokey, or flames present
    4) I am driving slowly in left lane (anti-destination league member)
    5) Pickup or trailer I am towing is overloaded
    6) I am driving impaired or have sub-standard vehicle that cannot maintain Interstate speed

  • avatar
    gsnfan

    That stop/start button is too low and too close to other switches. Every other car I’ve driven/been in with such a button has it far away from all other buttons close to the steering wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      That was my reaction to said location as well. Start/Stop should be located where the key position used to be, IE: on the steering column or very much near by. Some of migrated to the dash but they still close to the column which makes sense. However they should be far away from any other switch.

      As for the hazard switch: my Z has it just behind the gear shift but in front of the center console latch. Occasional my elbow finds both of these items and its rather embarrassing. The switch is slightly off to the passenger side which makes me wonder if the JDM version is closer to the driver. The day I got my Z the wife found great delight and flipping the hazards on and off while I frantically attempted to find the switch. She just laid her on hand on the console very causally to cover it up.

      Driving with the hazards on in the rain is actually ILLEGAL in Florida which is ironic given the tropical levels of rain we get in the summer. Flashers (as some call them) should only be used when the vehicle is pulled off to the side of the road and stopped or has some other problem. Rain is NOT a car problem… well unless your wipers have stopped working.

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    I’m pretty partial to the switch being on top of the steering column. It may not be aesthetically the most pleasing, but it takes no thought to reach around the wheel and hit the switch. If not that at least at the near top of the dash, preferably in the center. Then again it also sort of depends on the application IMO. When I had my truck or when I’m driving one, I end up turning my hazards fairly often, relatively. In 8 months I haven’t even touched the switch on my Jeep. I know where it is, but that’s it. I’ve never seen anyone use the hazards in the fog or warn of stoppages ahead.. although those aren’t a bad idea.

    I do think Ford could’ve done a better job, when I first saw that the hazard light switch was on that row of toggles I immediately thought that the switch and the logo on the switch were way too small. Although it would’ve ruined the row of switches they could’ve at least made the switch red or something to help it stick out. The only thing it has going for it, is that at least it’s placed right next to the big red start/stop switch so in a hurry your eyes would be drawn to it’s location. As long as you could see the small little hazard triangle on the switch you could find it.

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    “this is one of the few things that General Motors got right … Nearly every GM car since the Sixties has offered hazard-light activation right on the steering column.”

    The location was fine. The switch itself, not so much.

    Until the mid-80s IIRC, GM used a cylindrical switch with a collar. It was unreasonably stiff, and very difficult to engage and disengage–certainly not something I would want to mess with during hazardous driving.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yes, little circle with collar. All the way through to mid ’90s, it’s quite hard to use.

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      I think that an important feature of the hazard switch is that it can be reached easily by both the driver and front-seat passenger. Mounting on the steering column might work for the driver (maybe, depending on hands flailing at the wheel in an emergency) but certainly doesn’t work for the passenger.

      Near the shifter between the seats isn’t so good either. I vaguely remember resting my hand one the push-button of an E36 M3 after taking my hand off the shifter.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Push On Push Off is the worst button of all time.

    Switch should be designed to resemble a Katco disconnect switch. Suggest 1/2 of the switch be colored green on the start side and colored red on the stop side.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Does green mean it’s on, or that everything’s good and it’s not on?

      On/Off is LESS confusing than a “green/red” color code for something that’s only meant to be on when something hazardous is going on.

      Plus red/green color-blindness.

      (If we want feedback, how about lights in it that illuminate the word “ON”, or the triangle itself, in time with the exterior lights?)

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I HATED that GM hazard switch. HATED it. Maybe it’s because there have been a lot of Japanese and a few German cars in my history, but I expect the hazard switch to be on the dash, not the steering column. I was able to adjust to Ford’s old push toggle on the top of the column, but I always have to fumble with the old GM switch for a bit — not what you want from a hazard switch.

    All three of my cars now (and the last two before them) have the switch high on the dash. It’s very visible to a panicky driver in the LS and the Legend; less so in the C-Max, where it’s off to the side of the main radio control. But I’d rather have any of those switches than one on the column.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I don’t rent many cars, but one of the things I do before putting one in gear is find the hazard switch. I’ve never found one this poorly UI’d. If it were my car I’d eventually get eyes free with it, but… in a rental this is truly a hazard switch.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Coming from Europe and being used to European cars, I’m used to seing this in the middle of the dashboard, or on top of the steering column. Always easy to spot, but I don’t know if there are regulations enforcing it.
    I haven’t owned as many of the typical german brands myself though, so I’ve mostly used it to check if my indicators are working, or more specifically, to check if the indocators on a borrowed trailer works.
    It seems that a lot of the reasons they (hazards) are used in the US are made unnecessary through driving with your lights on, like we usually have to do in Europe, at least in Norway where it has been mandatory 24/7/52 for at least 20 years now.

  • avatar
    maserchist

    The best part about a daily driver Maserati is; none of these stupid switches or buttons. Always fun. Yes I am a Luddite.

  • avatar
    Hank

    “Incidentally, this is one of the few things that General Motors got right from an interior ergonomics perspective. Nearly every GM car since the Sixties has offered hazard-light activation right on the steering column.”

    I haaaate this location. it’s the one control in my Silverado that I look at and wonder how GM has never found a better location with over a century of experience. There are times when the hazard light is needed and one cannot safely reach around or through the wheel to activate it.

  • avatar
    Boff

    In Ford’s defense, the hazard IS on the far left and so is the easiest to locate by feel and in haste.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Funny story though, at a burger joint last week, a chick comes out of the women’s restroom, screaming “AAARGH!!!”, just out of her mind! We were like, wtf??

    She had set her purse in the sink, did her business while the automated/sensor faucet filled her purse. Her smartphone was dead and car’s keyless fob, F’d.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Even a dead fob will still start the car – the actual RFID chip is a passive device. And they all have an emergency physical key in them to get you into the car.

      But nice try.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It was an Altima. She used my phone to call AAA, we kept trying, but nope it refused to start.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Then either you were doing something wrong, or Nissan has dumb engineers. I can take the batteries out of either of my BMW’s keyless fob and still start the car without a problem. The new one doesn’t even have a slot for it, you just hold it next to the steering column in an emergency. Water will not hurt an RFID chip.

          Or, you are full of crap and pulling this out of your @ss. I vote for option #3.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Why would I lie to ya? We’re not even dating!!

            justanswer.com/nissan/6hd6m-nissan-datsun-altima-altima-key-fob-wet-car.html

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The Ford dealer made a point of telling us during the C-Max delivery ritual that the fob would start the car with a dead battery if you hold it near the steering column.

            And how often do fob batteries die? My eight-year-old Lexus has the original batteries in both fobs and they work from 100 feet away.

  • avatar
    LBJs Love Child

    I am reminded that the first car I ever saw with ’emergency flashers’ (pre-mandate) was my grandmother’s 1964 Ford Thunderbird.

    It was on a row of toggle switches on the center stack (IIRC), similar to the Mustang’s.

    My first car had the mandated ’emergency flashers’. It was a 1969 BMW 2002, and it had a fairly large (1.5″ tall?) red ‘mushroom’ to the left of the speedo/tach pod.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    People have always wondered why I preferred Ford and GM rentals. Having driven late ’50s to early ’60s cars, I’m very familiar with the layout and operation of GM controls, since they were the last car company to start screwing with buttons and knobs. Their parts bin was DEEP and they wouldn’t join the party until it was empty.

    Now they’re all playing games, so look forward to Jack’s future articles. He wasn’t kidding with that last sentence! And Jack: each article could constitute a chapter in a book (HINT). Look what just one car book did for Ralph Nader!

  • avatar
    Carfan94

    “Before you know it, the hazard button will be the size of the Staples Easy Button and it’ll be mounted on the top of your dashboard.” Well the early 2000’s Montero had an unusually large hazards button.

    http://gtcarlot.com/colors/car/35177383-19.html

    also gotta love that weird multi information display that’s displaying the wrong time, it’s stuck in 2002!

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    To comment on another bit of Jack’s rant, the excess button blanks – BMW has REALLY gone away from this. My fairly lightly optioned 328i has only one, where the rear fog light switch would be. And technically, not even really a blank, as it actually IS the switch with a plastic bit keeping it from working in the US cars. Replaced with the proper Euro Switch with the button labeled and the wheel for headlight aim on my car.

    My M235i has only one as well, where the sunroof switch would be if I had a sunroof.

    It’s amazing to look at their parts catalog and see how many variations of various interior bits there are because of this.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    This is far better placement than the previous generation car, which located the hazards on the console next to the trunk release.

    And coming from the company that thought moving the horn to the turn signal stalk was a “better idea,” this is ergonomic brilliance by comparison.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    Demuro is so annoying in his youtube viseos. That big fat tongue hangs out of his mouth like he’s a rabid dog. And his voice and general demeaner are so hard to take. Baruth at least has some charm and wit.

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