The all-new "please rob me" system for your 1999 car
Convenience is important these days, and now Detroit automakers have come up with a system that not only helps you to lock your keys in the car, it also tells thieves the best time to rob you. Here's how the system works...
When you start the car and shift into "drive" all the doors automatically lock for you. Not a bad idea for security I must admit, I frequently forget to do this myself. When you shift the car into "park" the opposite happens, all the doors unlock automatically. At night, when you remove the key from the ignition, the dome light comes on automatically as well.
At first glance, this may not seem dangerous, but it's actually a classic example of an engineer thinking up an idea without bothering to consider the possible dangers of what they were building. Imagine you just pulled up outside your apartment or in someplace else at night, you park your car, pull the key out of the ignition and start gathering up your stuff inside the car. Unknowingly, you've just signaled every thief in the neighborhood that you are at your most vulnerable. When they see the dome light come on, they will know that ALL FOUR of your doors are now unlocked and you probably aren't paying too close attention to what's going on outside the car. The thief can run up, yank open any of your doors and catch you still inside your car where it will be hard for passer-bys to hear you yelling for help (much better for the thief than catching you out in the open where you could yell and run away). This setup can also leave you sitting there with your doors unlocked and ready for a carjacking should you happen to shift into park while waiting for a long light, stopped in a traffic jam or while waiting for some other delay like a drawbridge.
In addition, this car also features a wonderful system designed to help you lock your keys in the car. For some reason, the designers decided that turning the key in the drivers door-lock would NOT lock all the car's doors. The drill for getting out of this car and locking the doors is to open the driver's door, press the "lock all" button and then close the door. Because the car automatically unlocks all of it's doors when you shift into "park" this is the ONLY way to lock all the car doors. The problem, of course, is that once you get in the habit of pushing the button, getting out of the car and closing the door, it's terribly easy to lock your keys in the car. It's also kind of inconvenient for the driver who has to stand there (possibly in traffic) and wait for everyone else to get out of the car so he can push the lock button before closing his door.
Oh, and just for good measure, the people who designed this car also placed the cup holders in precisely the right position to make it almost impossible to shift gears without sticking your elbow into your drink.
You'd think these things would be obvious enough to have been caught during the design process, but given the large number of cars that have these "mis-features" someone was asleep at the switch. The Nexialist solution, based on a combination of convenience, psychology and common sense safety is a fairly simple one. It's ok to lock the car doors when you shift into "drive", but don't UNLOCK the doors unless someone presses the unlock button. This insures your car doors will not be unlocked till you've had the chance to collect your stuff from the car and have a look around the area for prowlers. To avoid the possibility of locking your keys in the car, you make it so the driver's door is intentionally hard to lock without using the key (or a remote control). This means you MUST have the keys in your hand to lock the door, so you CAN'T lock yourself out. Just for good measure, locking the driver's door should lock all the other doors as well.
Variations of this simple system have been on many Japanese, European and some American cars for years...but some manufacturers still don't get it.
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