It has a slot for the key ring instead of a single hole. As I was driving
along, I gave the key chain a a light tug and the ignition switched off. W
hie the press says you lose steering and brakes, you actually lose power as
sist and air bags, but I can't verify that. Being an experienced driver, I
pushed in the clutch and restarted the engine. Should I write a letter to
GM about this problem?
I decided to check out the 2009 Malibu, not a part of the recall. Even a h
ard tug on the keychain would not turn the ignition switch off. I turned t
he ignition off manually and had steering and brakes, unpowered. I put the
transmission in neutral and restarted the engine. No problem.
According to the published results, all of the fatalities involved young ne
w drivers who believed they couldn't stop or steer and went off the road hi
tting tress without airbag deployment.
As an engineer, I thought about this and wondered why the key slot is not v
ertical on the dash? The recall will simply make it a harder pull to turn
off the ignition. A vertical key would make it impossible. Just sayin' ..
It's amazing to me how many people think you will lose control of a car
simply because the engine dies or you turn the key to shut the engine
down...I had the fuel pump go out on my '87 Vette a couple months ago
and just steered the car onto shoulder out of traffic...at night. No
muss no fuss.
As long as the key isn't pulled into the locking position you can drive
the car. So now I have to wonder if the original recall series and
fatalities included cases where the pulling the key ring put the
ignition switch into the fully off position and also locked the steering
But as to your question, yeah - I'd report what you found. Sounds like
all they need do is tell owners to get a re-designed key.
Why write GM? Go straight to NHTSA and send it to Mr. Packard, I
believe his name was Dan but no longer have the information available.
If you truly have a problem they will pickup your car and test it,
they do not drive it, they trailer it to their lab enclosed and
simulate the issue by computer.
Did you read the report of the accident that started this whole thing?
Amber had put herself at considerable risk on July 29, when her car
hit a tree around 4 a.m. in Dentsville, Md. She was not wearing her
seatbelt, was legally drunk and had reached 69 miles an hour in a 25
m.p.h. zone just before the crash that killed her, according to a
crash report. She was 16................what could GM do to keep her
safe, looks like she had a death wish. The air bags were there because
the automotive industries know that people will do stupid things, like
not wear their seat belts, drink and use drugs, speed and most of all
drive way over their ability.
As an engineer why would you want a metal key sticking out of the dash
inline with your body parts when a collision does/could occur?
With the advent of electric power steering will that add to the
...as an engineer working with modern aircraft, nothing scares me *more*
than the thought of a "fly by wire" car...get ready to pay six figures
to cover the certification costs of insuring that these abominations
aren't impacted by EMI alone.
Grief...it's bad enough that my Z06 has an electric gas pedal.
If that scares you the heart attack of seeing what was controlling the
B58 would have you out of that C5 in a flash. Been there done that,
worked on an extended range modifications for a rickety old thing call
the SR71-c by adding 2 liter of additional oxygen. Which, by the way
they used to set a speed record to France, but broke it coming back.
We built F/V/P oxygen valves by the thousands for WWII and not quite
that many prop hubs, and vacuum pumps. We made the life support
cryogenic systems for the space suites and the quarantine trailers Our
aircraft division in Buffalo was spun off and I missed that part of my
job, love aircraft.
On the Corvette steering, that I believe is electric on the C7, I was
not allowed to do any thing other than push the pedals so I still
don't know how it will feel to steer it with the power off.
Heh...sounds similar to a few things I've done/witnessed. Like dumping
compressor air to gain stall margin on a cat stroke. And I still don't
trust anti-lock brakes much either...even less so on a motorcycle...
Glad my Z06 is an '08...with a real rack and pinion, at least.
Never had to worry about stall margin on a motorcycle but one of our
club members has a '78 jet turbine powered Corvette that may need to
be aware of its importance.
Now tell me again why you would want a metal key sticking out of the
dash waiting on your body parts to come kiss it? I'll take the push
button any day, besides who wants to dig into his pocket/purse for a
key to start a car? Also love to get out and walk away and know that
it is locked but will open when you approach.
I'll wait to see how the electric steering works without power before
I condemn it.
...heh...somebody *did* it! Back in another lifetime when I was working
in the GE ASO at Ontario airport me and the guys in the shop came up
with a way to put a GE T64 in my '82 Firebird...that's 4000+ horses...
...that we couldn't figure out was what to do for brakes...and how to
keep the exhaust from chewing up the pavement.
I'd rather have the key sticking out of the steering column, but that's
...and all you have to do to know how fly by wire steering will work
with the power out is look at the F-16! Hydrazene secondaries, anyone?!
Don't have to look at it, I've flown in it, and that of course, is not
the only plane to fly by wire. Didn't they do that with the Apollo way
back in 1964/5, then the F8 in 1972 with no backup system?
...that wasn't flying...that was falling - with style!
My uncle worked on Apollo...closest I ever got was to have a seat in a
Gemini capsule that had been into space, next to a dummy astronaut. I
must have only been 3 or 4, but I remember it well to this day...right
I'm presently building an F-16 sim, and with some luck I may get a ride
in a Hornet next month...wish me luck...
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