When Automobiles Attack

While we have been enjoying our 2005 Malibu, there are some technical idiosyncrasies that have manifested in the first two months of ownership.

The other night we had stopped and my wife was attempting to exit the vehicle. Fortunately, for her safety the passenger door would not unlock until the car was in park. While this might seem self evident, this is the first vehicle that has provided such an obstacle and could be considered a moderately intrusive feature. How does the computer know it is always safe to exit when the car is in park? It might be an interesting experiment to turn off the car while in drive or neutral, it’s entirely possible that egress of the vehicle may not be feasible.

Another technological marvel are the automatic lights, the computer is able to sense ambient lighting conditions and will automatically engage the lights. There is only one minor difficulty, I tend to turn on my lights at dusk by habit and the automatic setting won’t work again after doing this. So automatic is only automatic the first time, if you turn the lights on and then attempt to return them to automatic the lights remain off. This isn’t the behavior one would expect, but I am slowly adjusting to the automatic lights and have virtually stopped turning them on and off.

Of course, our other car doesn’t have the automatic lights and I now have a tendency to forget to turn the lights on when it gets dark. Maybe there is some aftermarket kit that can fix this for me.

Obviously, all of this technology is intended to make our lives easier and for the most part it accomplishes this feat. Just remember that the next time you find yourself unable to get out of your car or are driving down the road with your lights off, it might be easier just to pull over and turn your car off.