Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

Button Start Cars May Mean More Car Safety Checks

There are concerns about the safety of button start cars because of the complicated systems that they use. This may mean federal agencies will be doing car safety checks eventually.

The number of models that are started with a button rather than a key as standard or optional equipment has quadrupled in the last five years. With the numbers of button start cars growing, consumers need to become more educated about how the new technology works.

While the button start cars seem simple enough, the Los Angeles Times reports that most drivers do not fully understand how the push button start systems work. When drivers do not understand how to turn off their car in the middle of an emergency, it can quickly turn into trouble.

While most car keys work the same, the new car push button technology works differently depending on the make and model of the car. Some make and models require the driver to push down the button for one second; others requires a full three. Sometimes pushing down the button does not work. Some cars require the driver to tap the button a few times in order to shut down.

So what can you do as a consumer?

  • Ask the dealer to show you how to use all of the new technology features in your vehicle. That way you know how to turn on and turn off your car, use the power locks, and even work your security system.
  • Take a gander at that User's Manual. It is there to help you learn how to fully utilize your vehicle and help troubleshoot if you run into problems with your vehicle.
  • Understand how to lock your car properly. With the new technology, some cars do not lock if they are in the wrong gear. This means thieves can stroll into the car, push a button, and drive away.

If you have questions about car safety issues, please visit our Related Resources links.

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