The same antigun politicians who want to sue members of the firearm industry for crimes they didn’t commit are now trying to blame automakers when the cars they make are stolen.
Welcome to bizarro-land, where commonsense and logic don’t apply. In the inverted world these politicians concoct, criminals aren’t responsible for their crimes. Gun makers should have predicted that the firearms they produced would be stolen, illegally sold on the black market, traded among convicted felons and used in subsequent crimes. Now, these same politicians say automakers should have expected their cars would be stolen by criminals and that’s the fault of the automakers.
Not the criminals. Not those who actually steal the property of others and victimize innocent people. Those individuals couldn’t possibly be at fault. Just ask Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
AG Ellison blamed Kia and Hyundai for a spike in car thefts and even opened an investigation to determine if those companies didn’t include “industry-standard, anti-theft technology” in their cars’ designs.
“Kia and Hyundai vehicles might as well have a giant bumper sticker that says ‘steal me’ on them,” AG Ellison said in early March.
Alliance for Automotive Innovation is the automaker trade association and to them, all we can say is welcome to our world, where politicians blame you for the crimes committed by others, seek to destroy your industry through frivolous litigation and oh yeah… their rules are all made up.
Been There, Done That
Unfortunately, this is nothing new for the firearm industry. Politicians refusing to hold criminals accountable for their crimes have been hellbent on blaming the firearm industry instead. It started back in the mid-1990s when gun control politicians thought that abusing the courts would be a way to impose gun control they wanted.
Former Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich infamously called this “regulation through litigation” and said these frivolous lawsuits sacrifice democracy by using the courts as an end-around legislative bodies like Congress to force a special-interest agenda.
Professor Victor Schwartz, the nation’s leading scholar on tort law and a former law school dean, wrote in The Washington Examiner, the idea then – as it is now – is to sue a politically-disfavored industry out of existence because someone else committed a crime or force them to settle and accept gun control regulations in the form of a consent order.
States are now trying to resurrect these lawsuits by passing laws encouraging them. So far, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, California and Washington have passed public nuisance laws within the past year. NSSF is challenging those laws. Michigan is considering its own law. Don’t forget the government of Mexico. They’re trying it too.
Automakers need to be wary. The attacks against the industry start as passing swipes but soon turn damaging. Before long, these same politicians that refuse to hold criminals accountable are dragging down an entire industry to grind it out of existence with frivolous lawsuits. AG Ellison will point out that Kia and Hyundai thefts skyrocketed 840 percent in Minneapolis from 2022 and 600 percent in St. Paul in the same timeframe.
The Washington Times noted that those stolen cars were used in other crimes, including five murders, more than a dozen criminal shootings, 35 robberies and 265 car accidents.
Based on the logic politicians use to sue firearm manufacturers for the criminal misuse of lawfully sold firearms, Kia and Hyundai could be facing their own public nuisance lawsuits.
That would be a ridiculous notion, except for those like AG Ellison and California Attorney General Rob Bonta who led a letter with 22 other attorneys general that warned Kia and Hyundai for not installing “anti-theft immobilizers,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
“Your companies’ decisions not to install anti-theft immobilizers as standard equipment on certain vehicles sold in the United States has caused ongoing consumer harm and undermined public safety in communities across the country,” they wrote. “It is well past time that you acknowledge your companies’ role and take swift and comprehensive action to remedy it.”
That sounds strangely like a veiled threat of legal action.
If that wasn’t enough, AG Bonta and 17 other attorneys general sent a letter to the federal government demanding it issue a recall of millions of vehicles. That’s a similar tactic AG Bonta, AG Ellison and others have taken with the firearm industry. Knuckle under or we’ll bring the weight of the federal government down on you.
“Hyundai and Kia’s failure to meet federal safety standards for theft protection, or to install simple, commonsense antitheft features on their vehicles have made these vehicles disproportionately targeted for theft,” an AG Bonta spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
Still, Just Consider…
Here’s another thought. Maybe the automakers could insist that these attorneys general and their district attorneys actually lock up the car thieves.
That’s the same thing the firearm industry has been saying all along to politicians who want to sue firearm manufacturers for the criminal misuse of guns. Lock up the criminal.
In bizarro-land, where commonsense and logic don’t apply, the inmates are running the asylum. They will carjack the law and run over commonsense and personal responsibility to advance their political agenda.
The utter moronic mental gymnastics it takes to rationalize this type of thinking needs to be classified as a mental illness.
You have it precisely, Scott C.
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Since our CA overlords (Newsom, Bonta, et al) are clearly aware of our State’s crime, can I use their logic and sue them for their lack of action regarding *my* safety? After all, they know we have murders, robberies, assaults, and more, so they should have foreseen the need to assign to me my very own personal police officer to follow me around anywhere I choose to go.
Or, at the very least, not infringe in any way possible your right to accept that duty for yourself and your loved ones and friends around you.
Something like, I dunno,…
“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”?
Could the answer be that simple, so simple anyone is capable of understanding it?
2 words…Qualified Immunity.
Possibly an Olympic Sport!
I seem to recall a decade ago at least articles touted the wondrous keyless entry and fob proximity ignition as the end of auto theft.
Seems reality didn’t agree.
If people would bypass the keyless entry and fob proximity ignition and went back to the old fashioned “use a key to unlock the door and another to start the car”, maybe the thieves would go after a more expensive car.
I remember the best anti-theft was a stick-shift.
But even then my car was stolen.
The next car had an alarm and immobilizer kit installed.
Change your address.
they trying a back door way to establish precedent to make it easier to get around the law that keeps them from suing gun manufacturers for guns being used in crimes.
Crashing the economy is high on their agenda. Desperate people will surrender their rights for food.
In 1940 goebbels declared that capitalism had been destroyed, along with democracy in Germany. We see how well that worked out.
Yup , crashing the economy.
jethro the janitor,
It is becoming readily apparent now that a significant percentage (most?) of the Ruling Class has two objectives:
Wreck our nation in order to increase their wealth, power, and control.
Wreck our nation because they delight in humiliating the masses and instigating pain-and-suffering upon the masses.
Regarding that percentage of the Ruling Class:
We could almost give them a pass for trying to increase their wealth and influence. (That’s Capitalism at work!)
We cannot ever excuse them for intentionally humiliating us and instigating pain and suffering on us for their sick and evil thrills.
It has nothing to do with common sense or the intend to do what’s right for the people. It is solely done to promote their own agenda – which is “get richer, get more power”. They clearly give a shit about the people and solely do what they believe will support and grow their position, money and powers. Digusting.
and by give you mean don’t give…
See my comment immediately above: the Ruling Class also foists their garbage upon us in order to humiliate us and instigate pain and suffering–all for sick and evil thrills. This is in addition to foisting their garbage upon us to increase their wealth and power.
Everyone who thinks Larry Ellison is a criminal, please, raise your hand.
OK. Seems to be unanimous.
Now, everyone who thinks a criminal will make it his mission to arrest other criminals. please, raise your hand
Last one: Everyone who thinks a criminal will try to take all he can from law-abiding folk and companies, please applaud.
And there you have it.
Minnesota AG Keith Elision, not Science Fiction author Larry Elison, he is innocent!
No, Scott, Larry Ellison is pretty much a criminal too, for his s****y books and abuse of the English language. Similar names; different crimes.
“Now, everyone who thinks a criminal will make it his mission to arrest other criminals. please, raise your hand
I could see that happening if one criminal wants to ‘bump-off’ another criminal for his turf. Drop a dime and get him busted…
Ehhh…cry me a river🙃🙄😧😭
Did I miss something, or is there a law requiring auto makers to install such devices in the cars they produce?
No law. Just most manufacturers have been doing it for years. Hyundai/Kia lagged behind.
In the 2015 model year, immobilizers were standard on 96% of other manufacturers’ models, the institute said. But they were standard on only 26% of Hyundai and Kia models. The carmakers haven’t explained their decision to not include immobilizers on some models. — https://fortune.com/2022/09/22/hyundai-kia-cars-stealing-hack-thieves/
The carmakers haven’t explained their decision to not include immobilizers on some models.
Simple. They look for ways to make their cars less expensive since that’s what they’re known for.
“That sounds strangely like a veiled threat of legal action”
that sounds strangely like the letters they sent to gun manufacturers. All they did was change a little wording for the auto industry.
Is this something that shouldve been included with their cars though, as in standard issue? Anybody know what a theft immobilizer thingy is
“Anybody know what a theft immobilizer thingy is”
I have one of those, its called a Glock 22.
he means a device that ummobilizes the CAR, not the thief.
Yes to both questions. (I was an auto adjuster for a major insurance company for more than three decades.)
There are only certain Hyundai and Kia models in particular model years that are affected by the higher theft rate; in these low-end cars, the manufacturer saved a few bucks by not including an ignition immobilizer in the steering column. An immobilizer is a simple electronic device that receives a signal from a chip in the key. No signal, ignition is disabled. The key may turn but will not start the car.
Before I heard about the Hyundai/Kia thefts a few months ago, I had assumed that all cars had some kind of anti-theft device, even if only a cheap immobilizer. I was surprised to learn that the manufacturer cut this feature.
Back in the ’80s, GM had a universal steering column design that was easy to defeat — so easy, in fact, that gang kids were teaching each other how to steal them. In the early ’90s, GM began putting a tiny chip in the key shaft to enable an immobilizer and prevent the car from being started, even when the column was cracked open.
Kids on the street are now teaching others how to steal the low-end Korean vehicles because all they have to do is bust open the column, bypass the mechanical ignition linkage and start the car. (It used to be called “hot-wiring” the car, but that’s a totally different procedure.)
Some insurance companies are refusing to insure these cars on new applications, and the premiums on existing customers are going to shoot up because of the numerous losses being paid out for the stolen vehicles.
IMO, Hyundai/Kia should request a mandatory recall and offer an inexpensive retrofit for these vehicles, as the customer is the one who’s suffering form inconvenience and monetary loss (at least their deductible, but many of these cars are older and uninsured) and paying higher insurance premiums as a consequence.
These Hyundai and Kia Models Are Blacklisted By State Farm Insurance Over Thefts — If your car is already insured, your policy won’t be changed but you won’t be able to create a new State Farm policy for certain Hyundai and Kia models.
Thanks for the reply.
“In the early ’90s, GM began putting a tiny chip in the key shaft to enable an immobilizer and prevent the car from being started, even when the column was cracked open.”
Back then, there was nothing ‘digital’ about that chip, it was a simple resistor. If the car’s computer didn’t see a certain resistance range, the car wouldn’t start, unless the thieves used some advanced (for that time) theft technology, and they eventually did. All it did was slow down the stupid ones just a little bit.
But, it was enough (at that time) to make the insurance companies happy…
The chipped key significantly reduced thefts, IME. Here in Jacksonville, we used to have about 300 cars stolen per week in the early ’90s. Most were used for joyrides or gang initiations; 90% were recovered within 48 hours with minimal damage. So, yes, there was a growing impact as more of the newer cars came onto the market.
Yep, I recall the crude electronic devices that thieves invented to defeat the chip and immobilizer. They’re doing pretty much the same thing — in a more advanced 2020s way — by plugging into the car headlamp harness to hack into the CAN bus.
I just checked on an old key here, it measures 1.2 k ohm…
Yep. I had a ’91 Chevy with one of those keys.
I prefer a thief immobilizer
Kia and Hyundai cars can be stolen by hacking the headlights from the exterior of the car, though. They should be recalled and fixed at the manufacturer’s expense.
They should also take Bonta, it’s only fair.
It’s not only Hyundais/Kias that are vulnerable to this. It’s also a more involved procedure than cracking a steering column, takes more time and requires a specialized electronic tool.
This “hack” was invented by professional car thieves who make it their lives’ work to find ways to steal automobiles. It’s not a design flaw and can’t be prevented by a simple modification, since it involves the car’s electronics system. It’s basically the same thing as hacking into your computer or home wifi network (the headlight harness connector is used as an easier entry to the car’s internal computer system).
I don’t see the manufacturer having any liability here.
In the auto theft unit, we had a saying: “If a professional thief wants your car badly enough, he will figure a way to steal it.”
“(the headlight harness connector is used as an easier entry to the car’s internal computer system)”
Ah, that makes more sense!
There’s a push being made to drastically reduce the amount of copper wiring in cars, partially as a weight-saving measure. Part of that push is the idea of just one ‘hot’ wire going to all the external signalling bulbs, but make the bulbs themselves (nowadays LEDs) ‘smart’, to have a specific digital address of sorts. You signal a left turn, and a digital signal is sent down that wire (along with the 12 volts DC to power the LED) to flash only the left-side turn signal lamps.
The hackers have obviously figured out a way to ‘hijack’ that signal and gain access to the main ECU. Well, that’s what hackers do. It’s literally war, and in war, you counter a tactic with another tactic, and that never stops.
“Welcome to the Jungle”
I should have added, while one wire connects the bulbs together, they still use the steel (or other metal) frame of the vehicle as a ground to complete the electrical circuit. No circuit, no electrons move (at low frequencies), and no LEDs illuminate…
Ok, now steal a ’69 Super Bee the same way and tell me it’s not a design flaw when it’s obviously a design flaw.
You’re being a bit weird in support of unnecessary modern trash.
Ok, bro, now drive that Super Bee into a concrete wall at 30 mph. (First, let us know where you want the body sent.)
Then drive a modern car into the same barrier at the same speed. (I’ll talk to you afterwards to see what you think.)
It’s not a design flaw; it’s opportunistic thieves inventing new ways to steal cars. It’s always happened; it always will.
Modern cars are *much* better about protecting the occupants these days, no doubt. Engineered-in crumple zones is a biggie, the goal being to spread out over time the G-forces the bodies experience in a crash.
With that come some negatives, like airbag replacement fraud some shady shops pull… 🙁
At least someone found a use for POS Hiundai and Keea cars, steal them and drive them into a concrete pillar. Ohh I saw a story on pothole caused car damage claims against the state. WTF was build back better for? Fill them with ground up Keeas.
“At least someone found a use for POS Hiundai and Keea cars,”
For someone who needs transportation and can’t afford whatever vehicle brand you prefer, a Korean-made car is a perfectly acceptable choice for a new car. Today’s cars are light-years more reliable than the American-made crap of the 1970s.
But you would prefer they hitch-hike… 🙁
and 80s and 90s. Ask me how I know.
Light years ahead. Maybe so but I’d take a 1970 f150 over a 2035 any day. At least I can work on a 1970.
The auto industry is getting so complicated the car might as well be thrown away when it needs an oil change. I cant do it, the mechanic cant do it, and Jiffy Lube just punches a hole in the oil pan and sticks a rubber cork in the hole they made.
“blame automakers for when the cars they make are stolen”
You mean like NSSF’s oft-boasted support for “safe storage” laws? F0AD.
Bingo. Larry Keane is a massive Fudd and his NSSF needs to go away like the NRA. It’s disgusting that his garbage is regularly published on this site and tells the readers a LOT about the people running it.
Some people will argue “Don’t be such a purist and alienate people on our side over little details.”
A, I don’t see lobbying to destroy the lives of crime victims as “little details” (or “on our side”).
B, In my military career, I never hated opponent servicemembers (who are just fighting for their homelands and/or what they were taught to believe), nor pacifists (even though they lack qualities I esteem). The real enemies are those who betray their own / take the enemy’s side after committing to our side.
I have a slightly less tolerant view of “Pacifists”. My war was to be in SEAsia.
Every night in our home, at 6 PM, just after we had prayed over dinner, the first forkful of food was on our way to our mouths.
Dad had the B&W TV on, with the start if the evening news. The #1 item pictured was always dead bodies wrapped in ponchos, usually tossed on or coming off of a HUEY.
All of us guys were terrified of going to Viet Nam and getting shot. Many did something proactive to prevent it. I went to college myself, FOR THAT VERY REASON.
Although staunchly pacifistic, I joined, and became an instructor at the Radio Operators Course. Stuck at Ft. Ord, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t go. I put in for the RVN.
Later, as an RTO (NOT Infantry) I had to call in a Medevac , using the radio in the back of my jeep. Me being the only one standing up attracted many new friends.
I stood, with mortar rounds hitting just meters away, and did what I came there to do. I wasn’t brave, I was terrified. But I never even considered ducking or running. Actually it was just MY JOB, and my Highest Calling, both.
Every well-considered plan or belief was laid bare or burned away as I stood in that crucible.
When I hear the flotsam coming out of the mouth of some COWARD who dodged that Service, I understand that the string of malarkey they are trolling has probably not been questioned, and certainly never been tested.
Coming back to The World, I was mistreated royally by, you guessed it – Draft Dodgers.
Get a job in a Defense Plant, marry, start having little versions of you, and you are secure.
Don’t believe the drivel that comes out of men’s mouths. It’s not real.
Defending my country was all I ever wanted, and I did say pacifists lack the qualities I esteem (putting it mildly).
That said, while I absolutely believe in the constitutional power and duty to call out the militia against an attack on the US, the government has zero authority to pursue foreign adventures (much less “humanitarian” nation-building BS) with slave soldiers. The all-volunteer military is a critical pillar of civil society, acting as a virtual referendum on interventionism. There is not a war in our history where our national interests / constitutional objectives could not have been attained without a draft.
quote———-Now, these same politicians say automakers should have expected their cars would be stolen by criminals and that’s the fault of the automakers.——–quote
Actually there is a lot of truth in that statement. Ask me, I have first hand experience with it. I have two Honda cars and one American Made Chrysler. Besides having had nothing but trouble with this American made Chrysler car they also cut corners when they made the car. With both Honda’s you can lock the truck release and also the rear seat release so if a person breaks the side car window they cannot just push a button and then get into your trunk. Not so with the Chrysler as the cheap ass fkers would not install either lock like Honda did.
“Not so with the Chrysler as the cheap ass fkers would not install either lock like Honda did.”
Didn’t RTFM, didja, asshole?
Chryslers had a mechanical linkage on the trunk lock unit that you could de-activate with the flip of a small switch on the lock body, thereby preventing a thief from getting into the boot by using the electric release. The rear seatback latches had a similar feature, IIRC.
And Chrysler saved a ton of money by not installing those extra lock units.
“And Chrysler saved a ton of money by not installing those extra lock units.”
Pretty much what likely happened in the Hyundai or Kia corporate boardroom. A bean-counter gave a number someone big didn’t like, and a decision was made.
They gambled, and lost… 🙂
To the man with no brains
And there is no switch to deactivate the push button on the consul. Again without even knowing what model and year car I have you make wild assumptions. There is an old axiom that always pertains to you “Where fools rush in because they forgot to put their brain in gear first.”
“And there is no switch to deactivate the push button on the consul.”
You wouldn’t know there was a switch unless it bit you on the ass.
I’ll bet you don’t know even how the defeat the rear door locks on your sedan. Hint: there’s a Federal safety regulation requiring it.
And if you think those cheap key locks on the Honda latches will stop a thief — you’re an idiot. But I state the obvious.
dacian, the DUNDERHEAD, You now have officially LOST your mind! An inanimate object and the maker of that inanimate object is “responsible” for the actions of criminals? you are absolutely daffed! You are absolutely right. “Where fools rush in because they forgot to put their brain in gear first.” Without a doubt you are the second biggest fool in the US. I am not sure who the first is, but just in case…
The point is to destroy the auto and firearm industries (both). Auto makers in their current form do not fit into the mold of the green new deal. They are both staples of American industrial success and that makes them a threat to the left. Will they buckle? Possibly.
It is all about destroying America and reducing it’s resources and influence on the world. This is why they see MAGA as such a threat to the Democrat party. Democrats do not want a great America and they WILL all side with any action that takes it down a notch or two.
“The point is to destroy the auto and firearm industries (both).”
Guns, yes, vehicles not *quite* so much.
They would prefer to force them to bend to their will and make them all ‘green’, but that won’t be happening anytime soon, as world-wide mineral reserves don’t exist on a short enough time scale for what they need. Lithium, copper, and the so-called ‘rare earths’ (not very rare, but a real PITA to extract and refine without some really nasty, toxic pollution). That’s really why China is where they are currently produced at scale. They can figuratively crap in their own beds and their citizens are powerless to stop it.
Some of them see this and realize it. Internal combustion is gradually on the way out, but not in my lifetime or my sister’s niece’s and nephew’s lifetimes. They will learn to use their (obviously) lacking coping skills, like they will with us being armed in public… 🙂
“Green” is not the goal. The goal is the destruction of the free-market system (aka capitalism). The destruction of the free-market can happen only after the middle class is eliminated. Then the elites will rule unopposed and unchallenged, just as they do in North Korea. This will not be a repeat of the Soviet Union, because the mistake the Soviets made was to encourage education, which ultimately led to the system’s collapse. Amerikan socialists learned that lesson and eliminated education from elementary schools and most colleges because, as the Romans knew, uneducated slaves are much easier to rule.
IMO, this situation is in no way analogous to the attempted suing of firearms manufacturers under the PCLA.
I feel that the manufacturer could be held responsible for the failure to provide sufficient anti-theft capability in the cars, especially since immobilizer technology is pretty much standard across all auto lines. And the decision not to include it on these particular models was a conscious decision to reduce costs.
I’ll probably draw a poor analogy here, but say that a firearm is sold that has a safety, but most other manufacturers install a safety *and* an internal lock on their guns. The manufacturer might voluntarily recall the guns already sold in order to add an internal lock. There are a different set of laws and statutes here than there are in manufacturing cars, but you could look at the ignition key as being the “lock” and the immobilizer as the “safety.”
I can easily see auto makers trying to save on cost of production. Particularly at a time when chip manufacturing is in such question. This is just the excuse given. It isn’t the motivation.
Prndll, the model years affected go back to 2015.
Nothing to do with chip production; IMO everything to do about saving a buck.
Hyundai made engine immobilizers standard on all models starting in 2021, while Kia made them standard in 2022. Certain models received immobilizers earlier, such as the Kia Optima Hybrid (2016), Kia Sorento, and Hyundai Veloster (2018). — from TheDrive.com article
You’ll note that the more expensive Genesis models, and the higher-line Hyundais/Kias, are not affected by the higher theft rates.
“Nothing to do with chip production; IMO everything to do about saving a buck.”
And ‘chip’ manufacturing is pretty mach back to normal, for the time being. A lot of the backlogs are being cleared out.
The problem with further manufacturing is the Ukraine conflict. The flattened and destroyed steel works in Mariupol, Ukraine was responsible for roughly one-half of the entire planet’s yearly neon gas production.
Neon being one of the critical rare gasses required for advanced semiconductor manufacturing :
“Exclusive: Russia’s attack on Ukraine halts half of world’s neon output for chips”
I should have been clearer :
The destroyed steelworks were where the raw materials came from. The companies in that article take the raw gasses and ‘distill’ them into the high-purity individual rare gasses.
The steelworks gathered up the bulk gasses emitted during the high-temperature steel smelting process, and the other guys refined them for sale…
I’m not referring to the Ukraine thing. It’s the China/Taiwan situation where chip manufacturing is concerned. Taiwan is where a large portion of tech is made. The status of production levels and what exactly gets produced hangs on a string. The worlds technology is moving in parallel to Saudi oil in the way things get done.
“It’s the China/Taiwan situation where chip manufacturing is concerned. Taiwan is where a large portion of tech is made.”
The top dog in Taiwan is TSMC. They just so happen to be building an additional 2 fabs in Arizona, all of them running the most advanced processes. That’s what that ‘CHIPS’ act was all about.
If China invades Taiwan with the intent of stealing those chip plants, they will be literally unable to keep the most critical part of the tool, the extreme ultraviolet light generator, operational. Only one company on the planet makes it in northern Europe, ASML. Just that box-truck sized light generator costs 150 million bucks, and requires multiple parts from multiple highly specialized component suppliers. That have zero interest in letting China have them.
China will be forever stuck at a minimum of 2 generations behind the highest-end stuff. And they have been recently vocal in expressing their displeasure :
“China has challenged a move by the United States to block sales of advanced computer chips and chip-making equipment to Chinese companies by launching a trade dispute at the World Trade Organization, calling the measures “trade protectionism.” ”
Another thing that may cool China’s jets on invading Taiwan :
For decades now, China has been buying Russian weapons, and they have had a front-row seat in seeing how poorly they have been performing in Ukraine. They also see how the free world has rallied around Ukraine, and made Russia a pariah. It’s been communicated to Xi directly he can expect similar treatment if he invades Taiwan.
Will it work? No one knows, but the smart money was confident Putin wouldn’t actually invade Ukraine, and Putin did anyways. Xi is in a similar boat to Putin, he has been steadily eliminating any political threats to his power, so all he hears is what he wants to hear from his personally selected advisors.
We are living in the midst of world history happening all around us… 🙁
Will he? Dunno, call it 50-50, at this point?
It doesn’t sound to me like ‘smart money’ is all that smart. The risk is the same either way. The smart money pegged Hillary Clinton would have been president too.
Hedge your bets.
Your excellent second point disproves your first. This “everything that becomes technologically feasible becomes either a requirement or a ‘right'” attitude is why everything is so expensive (and loaded down with junk). See also “Smart Guns”, microstamping, etc. Implicit in the right to blow one’s own earnings on the Good Idea Fairy is the right not to. Insurance OTOH is a valid market solution.
You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?
Umm … you have a point, but. Automobiles are always getting more expensive; true today as it was during the day of the Model T.
But we’re not driving Model T’s any more. And I doubt that you would want to.
Simple, inexpensive (per unit over tens of thousands of cars) devices such as an immobilizer ignition aren’t federally required. I think that you’ll find most consumers don’t mind paying a nominal amount for perceived value in features. Ask any Hyundai/Kia owner that’s had their car stolen and I guarantee they would have paid a bit more for a theft-resistant ignition, just as the overwhelming majority of manufacturers had been giving their consumers.
Are there too many mandated features on today’s vehicles? Probably. CHMSLs (third brake light), DRLs (daytime running lamps — always on for visibility) seemed to be good ideas based on testing but once they’re ubiquitous, they tend to lose their impact and, IMO, shouldn’t have been made a Federal safety requirement. There’s talk now of making a rear-seat occupant warning a requirement for future vehicles, because a few parents have left their kids in the car during hot days, leading to tragedy. I don’t feel that such a feature should be mandated for all cars; rather offered as an option for those parents who wish to pay for it (and as it currently stands with the few automakers who do offer it now).
“most consumers don’t mind paying a nominal amount”
We’re talking about consumers who buy budget vehicles. I assume the nicer, more expensive Kias and Hyundais have them. Let’s say you live in the “normal” part of the country where vehicles are rarely stolen. Why should you have subsidize the deviant part of the country?
Dude, cars are mobile and can be stolen anywhere. Your insurance rates are a more accurate reflection of the territory in which you reside.
IMO immobilizer technology is simple, cheap (when factored into the overall production number) and has been readily available on most car models for a number of years. Hyundai’s decision to save a couple bucks per unit on its lower-level vehicles has put those consumers at a greatly-increased risk of monetary loss — the same consumers who can least afford to take that hit.
Hyundai must think so, as they’ve included immobilizers as standard in all vehicles as of their 2021 models — even the low-end budget models that still use a keyed ignition.
Man with no name,
Yes, I was talking to you (and appreciate your perspective on mandates). Quick aside: I have been enjoying the car knowledge in your posts with awe!
“not driving Model T’s any more. And I doubt that you would want to.”
My tastes are generally more modern – in guns too – but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in others’ right to enjoy a flintlock or even matchlock; and to unload it on any bureaucrat who tries to mandate an “internal lock”. And even without such mandates, customers choose to buy orders of magnitude more ARs than arquebuses.
My HS best friend’s car got MPG on par with today’s good hybrids. It wasn’t a marvel of $technology, but an entry-level econobox, and got that mileage by using a tiny 3cyl engine (yet was able to merge safely onto a busy interstate by being really light). Imagine how much lighter it could be with today’s composites and aluminum! On a similar note, I was amazed when I saw the weights of “huge 70s clunkers” similar to (sometimes significantly less than) today’s streamliners. Customers don’t mind paying for this one good idea, but having to haul 57 “good” ideas kinda sucks.
It should absolutely be illegal for manufacturers to misrepresent an 80s-spec car as offering 2023 safety features. OTOH, in a market where I can buy a used car with 80s (or 50s or even Model T) safety features – or a motorcycle that my safety instructors all explained is 34x as likely to have a fatal accident as a modern car – there is zero reason I shouldn’t be allowed to buy an 80s-spec new car 1000lb lighter than a 2023 spec (and still much safer than my motorcycle). There’s no reason one shouldn’t be able to build / buy an ultralight roadster without having to pretend it’s a motorcycle. There’s no reason a handyman who’s always carrying lumber (but never needs the ground clearance to straddle a Himalaya) shouldn’t be allowed to drive a Japanese kei pickup instead of its US aircraft-carrier equivalent.
Umm . . .
Look up the MPG for an 80s base model Honda CRX. I believe it was close to 50! A friend of mine had one with a stick. I was driving it, and asked her if she minded if I peeled out. She said she had tried and couldn’t do it. She was right. It was impossible lol.
Man with no name,
It shouldn’t be an issue going forward. Maybe they should have been doing that for years. The problem would be an expensive recall. Someone has to pay for that (future consumers). One reason new cars are so expensive is because new regulations are being tacked on every year.
My friend’s Justy and Metro (rebadged Justy IIRC) were in the low 50s. One night my dad left for midnight shift and backed into the Metro without looking (we lived in the country) and crumpled the door like a coke can while only getting a paint smudge on his bumper. People will look at that and say “Wouldncha rather be in a 2023 car? Thank the govt!” to which I’d respond I’d rather have taken that impact in the Metro than any 2023 motorcycle.
“Yes, I was talking to you (and appreciate your perspective on mandates). Quick aside: I have been enjoying the car knowledge in your posts with awe!”
This “reply” thingy on a long thread sometimes confuses me.
Thank you; I’m glad you’re enjoying my spouting-offs. My wife asked last night what I was doing. “You retired two years ago, and you’re still talking about work?”
I thought about being the “Man of few words” today, giving everyone a welcome break.
” …there is zero reason I shouldn’t be allowed to buy an 80s-spec new car 1000lb lighter than a 2023 spec (and still much safer than my motorcycle). There’s no reason one shouldn’t be able to build / buy an ultralight roadster without having to pretend it’s a motorcycle.”
Sure, there’s a reason — Federal regulations. “Boutique” automakers like Ariel may be building something more to your liking, but even those vehicles are subject to Fedregs to be certified for highway use. And they’re usually more expensive than production cars because of the costs involved in limited production.
(Any excuse to post the Atom is a good excuse, IME.)
The economics of mass production also determines the choice of options, or lack thereof. Notice that many models of cars only come with power windows? It costs too much to tool up for two versions of doors. That’s also why you see manufacturers “packaging” several options together — no more “one from Column A, one from Column B” choice for consumers any more. “Base” model cars today are better-equipped than intermediate vehicles of ten or 20 years ago.
We also have to consider the pressures of the free market, consumer wants and needs — the new features “sell” to more people than those who reject them.
Are there too many safety regulations? Yes.
Does that increase costs and reduce consumer choice? Hell, yes.
Is it ever going to return to the way it was? Hell, no.
“The problem would be an expensive recall. Someone has to pay for that (future consumers).”
Here’s a way to look at it:
Hyundai (I include Kia since they’re the same company) is losing market share due to the bad press and customer dissatisfaction. Less market share = higher cost per unit for future production.
Hyundai makes me president of the company. I immediately order a voluntary recall to fix these cars. Demonstration of goodwill and concern for customer base, perception of company becomes more favorable, current customers are more likely to buy another Hyundai, future customers are impressed, sales and market share increase = cost per unit declines.
Man with no name,
You sure know your cars, but your counterargument sounds to me like “Inconsistent, irrational, and unjust federal regulations can’t be inconsistent, irrational, and unjust, because they are federal regulations.”
As annoying as the need for the trike workaround is, I love the fact that there was a workaround – just as I loved braces, or the way Uber and Lyft trickfuct their way around taxi line guild socialism.
DRLs aren’t mandated in the US.
“You sure know your cars, but your counterargument sounds to me like “Inconsistent, irrational, and unjust federal regulations can’t be inconsistent, irrational, and unjust, because they are federal regulations.””
Clarification: you stated “there is zero reason I shouldn’t be allowed to buy an 80s-spec new car 1000lb lighter than a 2023 spec (and still much safer than my motorcycle). There’s no reason one shouldn’t be able to build / buy an ultralight roadster without having to pretend it’s a motorcycle.”
I replied: “Sure, there’s a reason — Federal regulations.”
When I was in the industry, we looked at regulation (Federal and other) as an “it is what it is” given. I didn’t mean to imply that the regulations are reasonable; in fact I expressed some displeasure with the regulatory condition.
“As annoying as the need for the trike workaround is, I love the fact that there was a workaround …”
That trike still has to meet Federal standards — not as many as cars do, but even motorcycles aren’t immune to the long reach of government bureaucracy.
P.S. I love (LOVE!) the concept of the lightweight roadster. I used to race MR2 Spyders in SCCA events — in race trim, my stock-class vehicle weighed 2175 lbs., just a few ticks over a metric ton (or tonne).
Man with no name,
Sorry if I misunderstood. I replied the way I did because your previous post had come across as trying to make me aware of regulations, and I wouldn’t have been arguing against them if I hadn’t known they existed.
In my own profession (mil) I was well familiar with regulatory administrivia, while also being very proud of the fact that I swore to uphold the Constitution but did NOT (unlike the oath of enlistment) swear to follow orders, laws, or regulations.
Your Spyder sounds awesome! A roadster would be perfect for this area, but a negative side effect of my otherwise-practical tendency to keep cars as long as they work, is that I don’t get many opportunities to enjoy new ones.
That Biofart smart gunm is now on the market.
Look who wrote this article. Redflag law lover and safe-storage law supporter Larry Keane.
Fudds gonna Fudd.
If your house gets robbed, you should be held responsible if you have not installed iron gates around your house. By your logic.
But more importantly, the politicians should be held accountable for the failure of their promises.
Insurance companies have a lot of power.
Seat Belts saves lives.
Not possumn lives
Car thieves used to jack cars, now they car jack. Be careful what you wish for.
Los Angeles just failed to pass a law against “unlawful possession of a catalytic converter”.
One of the counsel members blamed the auto manufacturers for making them “too easy to steal”
Ellison is on record saying basically the same thing in Mn…. cars, and especially trucks, are too easy to steal catalytic converters from. Oh, and prosecution of thefts unfairly target black youths that are utilized by organized theft rings.
AND…. as I write this, there is a weeklong conference going on in Mn. to determine how to deal with youth felony thefts and carjackings. I’m sure it is using all of the left buzzwords like ” equity, disadvantaged, victimized ” etc .
Go after the manufacturers over vehicles and criminal actions they have no control over.
Same thing with criminal use of firearms. Exactly what control does the manufacturers have years after the firearm was sold and may have legally changed hands? Or been stolen from someone’s home or vehicle? If a dealer or manufacturer knowingly supplied criminals yes they would have some responsibility for illegal use. But if the firearms are legally sold to eligible persons, and then at some later date get into the hands of a criminal, how can a manufacturer control that? Can GM or Toyota control criminal use of their products? Some punk steals a car and uses it to commit a robbery, murder drive by shooting etc. just how would the manufacturer prevent that? If someone steals a gun and then commits another crime, just how can the manufacturer prevent that?
1) Passing a few cars in heavy traffic @ 70 in wife’s Volvo.
WHAM! car drops below 35 all by itself. Temp sensor broke.
2) Going 45 in my F-150 when keys fall out of ignition. Locked Steering! AAARRGGH!
3) Son brings his super-duper Ducati into the shop and I CAN’T GET IT TO START. Battery died, so computer scrambled unrecorded “Unlock Code” sent from key fob. Factory couldn’t even help.
So gee, lets put this same techloonacy on our car ignitions, Insulin Pumps, O2 regulators and Defibrillators.
For starters we should put “Smart” Locks on all the bathrooms any legislator will use. You know, FOR SAFETY. See how loud they scream when they need to pee…
“1) Passing a few cars in heavy traffic @ 70 in wife’s Volvo.
WHAM! car drops below 35 all by itself. Temp sensor broke.”
Car went into limp-home mode; this is a safety feature by design. Without input from the temp sensor, the computer can’t measure engine temp — to prevent the engine locking up from thermal failure, it goes into limp mode. IOW — it’s supposed to do that.
“So gee, lets put this same techloonacy on our car ignitions …”
If you read my posts above, you’d learn that a standard ignition immobilizer is a simple passive device that’s effective in preventing thefts. You lock your car, don’t you?
“2) Going 45 in my F-150 when keys fall out of ignition. Locked Steering!”
That’s a mechanical failure due to excessive wear of the ignition cylinder. (Also, the switch would have to be turned to the Off/Lock position to enable the column lock.) Been carrying too many keys on that ring?
Yes, No Name, it’s called Limp Mode. It immediately put my family in a 35 mph car in 70 mph traffic. I LOST CONTROL of my throttle in heavy traffic. To a few lines of code! This was unsafe. Warning horn and dash lamp would have been better.
And NO, the ignition did not turn off, the column just locked. At speed. Hardly a desirable feature.
Unsafe outcomes stemming from “great ideas” sorts of band aids.
Wasn’t Agent Orange a fantastic idea also? Lotsa important people agreed it was.
So are you all-in for the “Smart Gun” hype then? Sounds great in theory too. It’s just “Anti Theft” for pistolas.
My thrust is that there are ALWAYS unforseen outcomes for the pipe dreams that are rushed, untested fully, into production. People DIE, dude.
The rule is, the more complex you make something, the lower the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures).
AND you may create a whole new class of failures with the addition of a simple item. Like an Anti-Theft Device.
“I LOST CONTROL of my throttle in heavy traffic. To a few lines of code! This was unsafe. Warning horn and dash lamp would have been better.”
So you’d rather risk a catastrophic engine failure that would cost you several thousand $$ — and what do you think happens when an engine seizes at 70 mph?
Why do you think we called them “idiot lights?” By the time the lamp goes on, the engine is already severely damaged. Limp-home mode prevents that.
You didn’t lose control of the car. The car did what it was designed to do. Perhaps you’d be happier driving a Model T — but forget about doing 70. Hell, forget about doing 35. And stay off the highways — your Model T is unsafe at any speed.
“And NO, the ignition did not turn off, the column just locked. At speed. Hardly a desirable feature.”
I didn’t say that. I said that the column has a mechanical linkage, not an electronic one. Your key falling out indicates severe wear to the component — that the switch was able to move past the “off” position to the column lock position (without turning off the engine) is a further indication.
“AND you may create a whole new class of failures with the addition of a simple item. Like an Anti-Theft Device.”
It’s called “progress.” Some people are opposed to any kind of change. Enjoy driving your Model T.
“So gee, lets put this same techloonacy on our car ignitions, Insulin Pumps, O2 regulators and Defibrillators.”
Vehicles by themselves aren’t ‘medical devices’.
And, is there an epidemic of stolen Defibrillators and Insulin Pumps I’m unaware of?
Don’t defibrillators and insulin pumps have small electronic components in them? Maybe even a small computer?
Why, yes — yes, they do.
Perhaps 05Banana would rather operate a hand-powered mechanical pump for insulin. And two bare wires stuck into an electrical outlet should suffice if he has a heart failure.
I am creepily uncomfortable putting the lives of my family into the hands of a college educated woke-a$$ed sex pervert. (Just remembering the last software engineer I had to coerce to fix his broken test set. Yeah, the one stopping up the production line.)
Bill Gates’s Blue Screen announcing “Your Computer Is Broken” isn’t diagnostic. Cars need Ammeters, Voltmeters, O2 sensor meters, Fuel Pressure meters, and anything else to help me understand where the fault is.
Simply put: I want control of a system that I own, and I DECIDE what to protect. The “$4000” engine will be the last dumbass thing I care about.
Somehow, you have confused me with the 90% of American men who aren’t.
What did you buy to replace the Volvo? A Model T? Or do you still own the Volvo?
“Cars need Ammeters, Voltmeters, O2 sensor meters, Fuel Pressure meters, and anything else to help me understand where the fault is.”
Actually, they don’t. All of those parameters are controlled by onboard computers. That’s why you don’t see gauges anymore — only a Malfunction Indicator Lamp, which lights up for a number of reasons, various and sundry. Because diagnosing a problem is easy — the computer stores a code that tells you exactly what is wrong.
“Somehow, you have confused me with the 90% of American men who aren’t.”
Shouldn’t you be out in the yard yelling at clouds, while wearing an onion on your belt, as was the style of the day?
They should have quit with electric windshield wipers.
That vaccum system was no good.
I disagree angrily, Possum.
Although I’m no true Marsupial, my current girl friend describes me as sort of a large rat.
The vacuum wipers may not have worked as well cleaning the windshield. Their true worth came when it was late at night and the rain and road noise was making you drowsy. Letting off the gas pedal produced a loud slapping noise from the wipers, which woke me up. Great safety feature!
And what’s to stop them from towing or hauling the car away?
.40 cal has the answer: “its called a Glock 22.” 🙂
If a professional thief really wants to steal your car …
“And what’s to stop them from towing or hauling the car away?”
There are vehicle thieves that explicitly target the expensive mega-buck models, and winch them into waiting trucks.
Roll the cargo door down, and now they are in a ‘Faraday Cage’ that stops transmitted tracking signals like ‘Lo-Jack’ cold :
“A Faraday cage or Faraday shield is an enclosure used to block electromagnetic fields.”
https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press-docs/AG Letter to Hyundia and Kia final_1.pdf
From the letter:
…your companies’ slow response and lack of acceptance of
responsibility for the crisis over the past few years.
This is a “crisis.” No one’s taking responsibility. The letter is signed by nearly two dozen Democrat attorneys general. Get it? “Look we tried to do something about rampant theft. (wink, wink) It isn’t our fault.”
For some reason, the link to the letter won’t post. You can go here, then go to the bottom of the page for a link.
HOW TO MAKE A CAR THAT CRIMINALS CAN’T STEAL , OK I’M FOR IT . ??? UUUUH
UUUUH ORDER ONE BULLET PROOF ??
UUUUH CAN’T CAR JACKET STEAL IT ??
HOW ABOUT CAN GET THE COLOR YA WANT INSIDE AND COLOR OF DASH …
FOR WHAT YA HAVE TO PAY , IN NO CHOICE ??? UUUUH …
Just leave an angry, hungry bull terrier in there when you are away from it… 🙂
While I find the whole lawsuit obnoxious, I will say that this is SLIGHTLY different from suing a gun manufacturer, who made and sold a perfectly usable product, simply because some idiot used it improperly. What is apparently being alleged is that there is a design defect (insufficient theft protection) in the car – I don’t necessarily agree, but I get their point.
Suing a gun manufacturer because their gun actually worked EXACTLY as it was designed to, and functioned properly, and a criminal used it to kill a bank guard in the process of a bank robbery is WAY different. Their is no alleged flaw in the design or function of the gun. The analogy that makes more sense is suing Ford because some guy got hammered, drove home from the bar, and crashed his Mustang into a minivan with a mom and three kids at 105 mph. Ford did nothing wrong, in that instance. The gun manufacturer did nothing wrong building the gun used in the Nashville shooting; the gun functioned exactly as designed and advertised. The problem was it was used by a crazed tranny to murder a bunch of innocent teachers and kids. And the same thing could have been done with a handgun (Virginia Tech shooting) or a bottle of gasoline and a strip of T-shirt.
It is basic product liability law that a manufacturer is liable for flaws in design, or flaws in manufacturing, that CAUSED the event that caused the harm. The fact that a gun did EXACTLY what it was designed to do, without mechanical malfunction, negatives both those. Should the manufacturer of the car used for the Waukesha Christmas parade massacre be liable? I don’t see how.
Hard to believe that I’d be on Ellison’s side of any issue, but IMO the manufacturer bears some responsibility in this particular case.
Should this be a legal matter? I don’t think so — no laws were broken; the cars met Fed standards when built. Should Hyundai step up to the plate? Yes. It would not surprise me to learn that the manufacturer is having discussions behind-the-scenes with the IIHS about a possible course of action.
In the car industry any non-regulatory change that costs more than about $5-10 results in senior executive level meetings.
The car makers in question decided at that price point adding an immobilizer device would impact their margins too much.
Look at the Ford Pinto where Ford decided paying out death and injury claims was cheaper than fixing a flawed design.
Good morning SC,
Be kind. I had a ’73 Pinto Wagon with the German built 2,000 cc. engine. Drove it from ’73 til ’81 and then sold it to a high school kid. That wagon is probably still going…somewhere.
It never blew up…not even once.
Headed to the range tomorrow morning (Thursday). My shooting buddies all decided that it is to be a revolver day. Putting my range box together now. Noticed that the Northern Territory and S.A. have a extra half-hour time offset…does that get confusing?
Hi OG. I only know what I heard but I do remember the Pinto was such a meme it was known downunder. Looked after, my family found Japanese cars would run for very long times. We had 2 that while the motors and driveline were still good, the bodies ended up getting so rusty we couldn’t get them re-registered. My current Suburu Forester is a 2006 model with 290,000km on the clock. I only drive about 8000-9000km per year because of good public transport.
I’m looking forward to this weekend’s 100m match. My son will use his favorite Ruger Precision Rimfire. I’m digging up a .303 No4 to use up some old ammo. Powder is in very short supply so I have to think about my usage. The .303 is reloads I made about 20 years ago.
Sorry, forgot to add, we have 3 timezones in AU at this time. Eastern time, Central time (-30 minutes), and WA time (-2 hours).
In summer we have Daylight Saving time for NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania. QLD does not do Daylight Saving. I think NT and SA do Daylight Saving. WA does not.
We’re used to it.
Hyundai and Kia’s failure to meet federal safety standards for theft protection, or to install simple, commonsense antitheft features on their vehicles have made these vehicles disproportionately targeted for theft,” an AG Bonta spokesperson told Fox News Digital
There’s one word there that should sound familiar… And ring the alarm bells.
Is the auto industry promoting red-flag laws like Larry Keane and his NSSF is? Maybe these money-grubbing Fudds who colluded with the feds for more regulations on the buyers of their products are simply reaping what they have sown.
Maybe we should be building our own firearms? Stop buying them from the very people who are horse-trading with our rights and blowing smoke up our tailpipes about how they are on our side.
Maybe all car manufacturers should be sued for not preventing catalytic converter thefts?
Also, now that the left has officially declared war on petrol, I should think that the auto industry will start seeing a plethora of attacks just like the 2A manufacturers. Maybe it’s a potential teaming partnership in the making?
Maybe people should be required to pass a background check, demonstrate a particular need, and apply for a special license from the Department of Appliances to purchase a Sawzall. That will stop all catconv thefts.
Well … that’s how we do it with guns, amirite?
The same government that has been censoring online content (wrongthink, mostly) for YEARS missed an opportunity to quash Kia and Hyundai thefts by failing to censor online instructions for how to steal those cars. The instructions were invitations to car theft, which is a felony, after all.
…and for every Anti-Theft/Deterrent Device added to the sticker price, the thieves have already figured out a work-around as soon as it hits the streets.
Locks and Anti-Theft Devices only serve to keep Honest People Honest.
Should we also blame the car manufacture for a drunk driver?
Blaming an inanimate object that requires operation by a adult is just pretty … stupid.
So…if I break into the AG of Minnesota’s house and steal some of his property…it’s his fault?
Only taking his logic and applying it from the opposite viewpoint.
It’s the gun’s fault, it’s the car’s fault, but it’s not the criminal’s fault. And while we’re at it, if you can’t have a mag with more than ten rounds you can’t have a car that goes more than 55 mph. Also you can’t have a scary looking gun like the AR-15 or guns like it, therefore you can’t have a scary looking car like a Corvette, Ferrari, Maserati, 1982 Toyota Celica, ect.
Or a Prius, one scary UGLY looking car