GM Recall Lesson, Push-Button Start/Stop Standard – Ignition Keys Dead
While the GM ignition switch fiasco continues to make news, people are wondering what is the likely outcome of recall? A big fine – yep, $35 million. More congressional hearings – yep. How about no more ignition keys?
The facts are car keys have been getting phased out for years with the new push button start/stop taking over. While, there are those critics who claim the push button is just one more thing to break. The reality is ignition switches are breaking and causing much greater consequences. If automakers learn anything from GM’s fiasco, it is car keys should be finally eliminated.
The Faulty Ignition Switch
Ultimately, the GM fiasco really boils down to one key point – if the cars had push button start/stop technology, there would be no fiasco. The facts are the part used in the ignition switch was faulty. Also, drivers overburdened the switch with janitor-style key chains. Both of these factors are eliminated with push button start/stop.
These days, the ignition switch is a pivotal part to any car. This switch is tied into many systems like air bags, security systems, engine power, power steering, etc… When the ignition switch fails, it creates havoc for the driver. The good ole days of the switch just turning on the vehicle seem to be long gone. As car safety and technology has evolved, the switch development seems to have been stagnant. It is simply being replaced with push button start/stop instead.
You may be wondering how many cars don’t have push button start/stop? According to Edmunds.com, 72 percent of 2014 cars and trucks in the U.S. will have the button. What vehicles make up the last quarter or so? Mostly it is trucks.
All Trucks Need Push-Button Start/Stop
While at the Toyota Tundra unveil last year, I remember several journalists asking Toyota Tundra Chief Engineer Mike Sweers why trucks still have ignition switches? With the growing majority of vehicles offering keyless entry and push-button start/stop, it is a convenience trucks are missing. His reply was that customer demand hadn’t made it a top priority.
If customer demand doesn’t make it a top priority, how about the incentive to avoid a similar fiasco like GM’s and their $35 million fine from the NHTSA?
Ford gets it. The new 2015 Ford F-150 has BOTH keyless entry and push-button start/stop. They obviously see customer demand in the market different than Toyota.
Toyota Needs to Innovate
Toyota’s many truck fans love to point out how innovative they were with the second generation truck. Where has that innovation gone? We aren’t really sure, but it is time to at the very least follow the leader.
With Ford going with a keyless entry, push-button start/stop and, gasp, adding the driver’s side grab handle BACK into their trucks. We would like to see Toyota do the same on all three counts.
Rumors are strong that Toyota is making changes to its 2015/16 model with a larger gas tank and adding in a trailer brake control. Let’s add keyless entry and push-button start/top to that list. They can do it. Lexus and various other Toyota products have the technology already.
In the end, the antiquated key doesn’t serve a real purpose anymore and the long-term problems/issues with an ignition switch are many. The problems should outweigh any cons (we can’t think of any) to the push-button start/stop.
What do you think? Time for the key to go away?
Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com