Questions You Need to Ask When Buying a New Vehicle
August 6, 2017
Nearly 700,000 Chevy, GMC trucks recalled - because a SOFTWARE problem can cause loss of steering! Link
Here's a new one - The ELECTRIC steering on these vehicles can "spontaneously lose their electric power steering assistance for about one second".
So, aside form having this happen SPONTANEOUSLY - if your battery dies - you can't STEER!???
For more than 100 years we've had cars that had manual or hydraulic assisted power steering, and now we've got vehicles where a COMPUTER PROGRAM determines whether you can steer or not?!! When is this stupidity going to stop?
Three things to question when buying any new vehicle.
1. Door lock test.
These drivers were NOT stupid - they COULD NOT open the doors from inside their burning vehicles.
2. Steering and brake test
WTF?Car manufacturers are replacing direct mechanical control of vehicles with "computerized features" that actually do what a human should be able to do.
actually put his vehicle in "Park" - but no - the supposed "shift lever" was just a "joystick switch"
that was read by the computer and the computer decided he did not click it enough times for "Park",
just for "Neutral". Result - he got out to get his mail and the vehicle rolled down his driveway and killed him.
I have a friend that has a car with automatic "lane wander" correction. If he is not paying attention, the car will automatically put him back in his lane if it wanders. Great. - So I asked him what will happen if he begins to rely on this "feature" and one day the CAR can't see the road markings (new road, snow, fog, dirt on the camera, heavy rain, etc.). He did not know what the car would do in that situation. Let me repeat that - He DID NOT KNOW what the computer THAT CONTROLS HIS STEERING would do in a situation. (BTW - His car also had interior door lock "pulls" that cannot be gripped by your fingers to unlock a door in an emergency. See point 2 above.)
When are car manufacturers going to stop saving a few dollars per car (and maybe a few pounds of weight) so they can make more profit by eliminating direct human control of a vehicle then which fails in an emergency?
3. Can the vehicle be hacked while driving?If the car's major systems are controlled by a computer, AND the computer software can be changed WITHOUT YOU KNOWING (i.e. automatically download either during service or "pushed out" by the manufacturer or a hacker) then THEY can change YOUR vehicle's behavior and you may not be aware of this new "feature". Imagine if the new software contains a bug that affects braking, or steering, or accelerating... or whatever.
So, ask them how to disable this capability so it cannot be done on-the-fly i.e. WITHOUT YOUR WRITTEN PERMISSION.