It was well into the ’90s that GM cars used to come with two keys – one for starting, and one for locking the bad boy up. Long before that both Ford and Chrysler had switched over to what my friends and I used to uncharitably call drunk keys because of their ability to work no matter which way they were inserted. These days, the car key – after undergoing an evolutionary spurt of sorts resulting in switchblade (VW) snail trail (Porsche and others), and futuristic skeleton (Ford, Jag and others) form – is now facing possible extinction.
One of Porsche’s key features – no pun intended – was a left-hand key start, while Saab in the seventies started positioning the switch down between the seats. These days, even cheap wheels are coming sans keys but with instead an RF fob that acts like speakeasy password allowing access not only to the car but to the button that gets the party started. This results in you no longer fumbling in your pocket to fish the key and fob out – meaning that should you be doing so, it’s for your own pleasure exclusively. The present Ford Escape takes this one step further, allowing its owner, when bringing the paired fob within proximity, to open the rear liftgate with but a wave of the loafer under the car’s bumper. Pretty sweet, right?
Well, let’s go back to Saab. It seems that now, with the company pushing up daisies, it’s getting next to impossible to find anyone who can program a new set of electronic access fobs, meaning should you lose, or lose the functionality through wear and tear of the existing ones, the car won’t start – ever again. Now let’s extrapolate that across the modern era’s plethora of cars that start with a push of the button – as long as the approving fob happens to be along for the ride. How long before their manufacturers change codes or connection formats and suddenly you’re stuck with a car that can’t be started? Okay, maybe that’s a worse case scenario, but there are other aspects of keyless cars – rapid engine kill, etc – that make their advent of questionable attraction. What do you think about keyless cars, are they Brah! or Blah?
Image source: [Wikipedia]