The dealer would be more than happy to tell you all about reprogramming the door
locks, since you'll be charged for it unless you just bought the car (first time
is free). You can find a car and key memory programming checklist easily enough
by poking around on roadfly.com or by using Google to search. For example, see
But note that the options available change over time as BMW changes the
programming in the DME and other computer modules, so the older the source the
less accurate it is likely to be.
Why would anybody care that the doors lock automatically, they unlock by
pulling the door handle.
I get the general nature of the question, but the specific example of door
locks whizzed right over my head ...
I have this function on my E60. (it's settable trough iDrive). The point is
that no one should be able to get into your car when stopping for a red
light etc. This might not be a big deal in some parts of the world, but in
other parts it's important. This is for example standard in most U.S. cars.
On the other hand, if you have an accident, it is far easier and
quicker for rescuers to get to you if the car is unlocked. (I actually
did come across a crashed VW Beetle once, with dazed occupants - the
doors were locked, but luckily one window was partially open).
If I am driving in a questionable area, I can lock the doors if I want
to. I don't want or need the car to do it for me. Same goes for daytime
running lights, and automatic transmissions.
That's why, in a crash, your BMW will automatically unlock the doors. The
newer ones will even call the emergency services for you if you've ticked
the right options boxes.
Seriously, you don't think BMW (and most other manufacturers) consider
things like this nowadays?
In certain (winter dark) countries, daytime running lights are required by
law - why wouldn't you want to make that automatic?? And some countries are
generally unsafe/questionable (especially when you drive a BMW), so it
think this is a wonderful feature if you decide to activate it. You do it on
your free will in a BMW.
In an accident, the doors unlock themselves automatically. The radio also
turns off, the emergency flashers turn on, and the interior lights come on.
In my accident, the engine also shut off, but that could have been me
mashing the brake pedal to the floor without benefit of also using the
clutch. I can't imagine that it's even possible that I can mash the brake so
hard and NOT use the clutch, but in the fog of screeching rubber and folding
metal, it's hard to remember this detail. I suspect the ignition is disabled
in a wreck, but it could have been me ...
I watched a TV show on PBS or the like the other day on the German Autobahn.
They are down from a height of 25,000 annual deaths a year in the 80's to
about 6000 a year at present.
The only response to accidents are strategically placed helicopter response
sites. They do not run ambulances down the road.
I suspect that some of the choices BMW makes in the car design is based on
If the doors are locked automatically, above a specific speed, when an
accident occurs, people are less likely to be thrown from the wreck into
traffic or other things, than if the doors were not locked. Probably they
have statistically figured out that people do not consciously lock the doors
when they go out driving at high speeds. I see lots of people start their
cars and drive off and never do up the seatbelts.
I can't quite see how whether the door is locked or not would have much
effect on the doors flying open on impact.
I would say that the auto door locking is more to protect the occupants
from being accosted (by pedestrians) at stop lights, etc. I realize it
cannot prevent a car-jacking where the purp waves a gun, but the more
casual criminal types would not be able to just fling open the door and
grab you or your belongings.
This is true, and the auto industry attempted to devise automatic seat
belts, but everybody hated them. The automatic shoulder belts were less safe
than no belt, and the full automatic belt simply doesn't work. So, we are
back to people having to buckle themselves into the car.
Personally, I think auto locking doors are a good thing, especially when
they can be opened easily by pulling the inside handle instead of fussing
around looking for the button.
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