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Author: btrubble Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 18154  
Subject: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 3:25 PM
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Remember when the high-beam control was a snap-button you pressed with your left foot? Today, they got the high-beam control as a lever on the steering wheel which is so dangerous. You usually have to fumble around just to find it and figure out if it's push or pull, and then when you have to turn the steering wheel it's even more cumbersome! Who the heck thought of that idea? No wonder why no uses their high-beams anymore.
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Author: nuretiree Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7017 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 3:43 PM
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Remember when the high-beam control was a snap-button you pressed with your left foot? Today, they got the high-beam control as a lever on the steering wheel which is so dangerous

Have patience, as you gain more experience driving the newer vehicles it will become second nature to you.

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Author: KennyO Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7018 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 4:24 PM
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Remember when the high-beam control was a snap-button you pressed with your left foot?

Yes.

Today, they got the high-beam control as a lever on the steering wheel which is so dangerous.

Got some evidence to support that contention?

You usually have to fumble around just to find it and figure out if it's push or pull, and then when you have to turn the steering wheel it's even more cumbersome!

a) If your hand is on the wheel where it belongs there is no need to fumble. b) I haven't seen a car yet with a "push." c) Simply finish your turn before dimming your lights.

No wonder why no uses their high-beams anymore.

Uh huh.

Do you write for infomercials?

KennyO

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Author: btrubble Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7019 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 8:36 PM
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As a Ford stockholder, just thought I'd voice my opinion here without getting flamed. Apparently not. Never posting to this board again.

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Author: ToddTruby Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7020 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 9:13 PM
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Well, the reason the high beam switch used to be on the floor was relays were not commonly used in automobiles at the time and the large amount of current that was used to operate the high beams had to run through an equally large and heavy duty switch. It was not possible to make such a large and hard to operate switch without using the leverage available by pressing it with you foot.

Using relays to control high amperage components allows us to use cheaper and more operator friendly switches and even use computers to control circuits with minimal current necessary to activate the relay. It also allows for the use of thinner wires and less weight in wiring for components.



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Author: findingmyway Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7021 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 9:31 PM
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btrubble wrote:

"As a Ford stockholder, just thought I'd voice my opinion here without getting flamed. Apparently not. Never posting to this board again."

You are correct. Please post again. Remember this board is just a reflection of society in general. Please do not allow those that would wish to beat you down to silence you. Many here are ancy due to the situation with F. They'll get over it one way or another. Hopefully, not by bashing somebody else.

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Author: Adenovir Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7022 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 9:32 PM
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ToddTruby; An excellent explanation, thank you!

Adenovir

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Author: findingmyway Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7023 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 9:58 PM
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ToddTruby, good point.

But how much money can really be saved when a relay can be bought in bulk for 30¢? Add in the extra wiring to the steering column, the integration into the electronic computer system, development and cost of a multi-function turn signal/headlight switch/cruise control/windshield wiper/etc steering column mounted switch, extreme reliability of a relay vs a plastic "stick" and is there really any gain?

The only gain I see is:
1. Fingertip control. Really a minimal impact.
2. Removal of the relay allowed for easier integration with a computer by allowing for the low voltage TTL signals required vs. the actual direct switching of voltage to the headlamps. This could have been achieved while maintaining the floor mounted switch. Ultimately, at a reduced cost to both manufacturer and consumer.

The drawbacks I see are:
1. Computer failure wrecks everything. All your headlights will be out.
2. Breaking the flimsy plastic "stick" on the steering column results in a huge bill, covered by the owner or F.
3. An owner can fix the relay, but not the "stick" or computer.
4. By implementing more complex circuitry and hardware, the potential for failure is increased.

Regardless, the switch is where it is. I wonder how long it will be before a manufacturer returns to a floor switch? I would be willing to bet, in the spirit of nostalgia, that you will see it again one day. Anybody for the push-button transmission?

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Author: delraydella Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7024 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 10:01 PM
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I understand. I've posted my own comments about things and have got kicked to the curb many times for it. I agree with you about the high beams. As a truck driver, it's nigh on impossible these days to flash the truck in front of you that it's okay to merge in front because you can't shut off the @#$%^$#@! headlights.

And all the time that you're trying to maintain safe roadways, you've got any number of people trying to pass you on the right usually hanging in the blind spot. From what I've noticed in the last few years , its mini-vans with a carload of kids going well past the speed limit. I can count on one hand the number of cars that I've come close to crushing on the right side because someone decided to pass on the right as soon as my turn signal comes on. Its messed up.

Not saying that I'm the worlds greatest or safest driver out there, but people need to start taking responsibility for what they do and stop looking to blame everyone else for their stupidity.

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Author: KennyO Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7025 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/27/2001 10:36 PM
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A couple more points about the switch being on the steering column:
- There's already a wire harness there. One more conductor has a low marginal cost.
- Modern cars are not as spacious as the old boats making it harder to fit a footswitch in the place it used to occupy. Just how much distance is there between your shoe and the wheel well?
- Standardization. The more cars that are designed alike the fewer surprises you experience when you buy new, borrow or rent.

I suspect Federal regulation will get in the way of nostalgia. I'd bet there's a regulation about the location and operation of the dimmer switch just like there is for so many other facets of auto design that we're unaware of unless we either work in the industry.

KennyO

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Author: ToddTruby Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7026 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 6:26 AM
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I still don't think you understand. Any changes year over year on an automobile are made for one or more of three reasons 1) Government Regulations 2)Cost Savings 3)Features that distinguish from or mimic the competition.

I don't know of any government regulations prohibiting the floor switch, so if consumers wanted it, there would be SOME model out there with the option. The fact that there isn't means either 1)not enough customers wants it or 2)ALL manufacturers are totally missing some potentially huge market. Which makes more sense.

I also don't really understand the points you make in your gains vs drawbacks argument. Floor switch = no relay...stalk switch = relay. I think you might have misunderstood the application. By using a relay you save costs in wiring, fuses, switches AND fault tracing is easier.

I'm not saying a computer controls the high beams, only that relays allow the use of computers to control high amperage components.

You are more than entitled to your opinion that you prefer the floor switch and find the stalk switch hard to operate. I personally have never had a problem operating the high beams on the steering stalk. My first car had a floor switch and I never had a problem "converting".

tjt

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Author: jvancil Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7027 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 7:51 AM
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Maybe you should ruminate a bit longer before sharing your thoughts...

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Author: jvancil Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7028 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 7:56 AM
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Not sure where you are going with this one... personally I don't know anyone who ever made the buying decision based upon the location of the dimmer... hard to believe there is a "potentially huge market" for this one.

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Author: eharri3 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7029 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 9:13 AM
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"As a Ford stockholder, just thought I'd voice my opinion here without getting flamed. Apparently not. Never posting to this board again."

I understand how irritating it is. I too came to these discussion boards thinking they'd be the perfect place for mature investors to exchange ideas and honest opinions in a civilized fashion. Unfortunately, as with most internet discussion boards, like someone else said it's a reflection of society. I too have found lots of people here who think it's better to try and sound witty or clever by insulting you or belittling your ideas than to actually carry on a grown-up discussion. Don't leave though, it's still fun here. Just learn to ignore those who can't reply to a post without inserting some kind of sarcastic insult and stick to those who can actually debate ideas. And remember, those who take the most pleasure in putting you down are usually the most insecure.


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Author: maninblue Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7030 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 10:05 AM
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I understand the technology, I understand the space issues to a lesser extent. I also know how big a pain any repairs to anything that goes wrong with that stalk can be. Haven't had the floor button since I got rid of the 72 F100, but I still like it better. And there are/were 'push' to activate high beam controls out there - mainly older import models, in my experience. Those were truly a pain.

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Author: nuretiree Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7031 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 10:43 AM
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IMO high beam control will soon become a thing of the past. There are already systems that automatically dim/brighten the lights for you. I drove a lincoln town car that had the option. Couple that with the senser controlled on/off switch and you never have to worry about the lights at all. With GPS and trip planning features, it probably won't be long before the car signals your turns automatically as well.

Nu

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Author: rogershera Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7032 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 10:53 AM
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I read once that Saab used to put the ignition switch on the floor as studies showed a significant number of accidents resulted in damage to heads by the key in the dash mount position common in the past.

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Author: lkrueger One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7033 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 11:03 AM
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Anyone miss having the starter switch on the floor by the accelerator pedal? ;-) Or having to use the crank up front? Sometimes 'progress' is progress and sometimes it isn't. All in the eye of the beholder.

Leon

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Author: tonyw44 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7034 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 11:19 AM
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Using relays to control high amperage components allows us to use cheaper and more operator friendly switches and even use computers to control circuits with minimal current necessary to activate the relay. It also allows for the use of thinner wires and less weight in wiring for components.

It also results in lower costs for putting this thing in, and less weight when applied to the whole vehicle. That helps with two things -- increasing the gross margin per vehicle and increasing the CAFE since the vehicle's that much lighter.

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Author: EMS444 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7035 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 1:20 PM
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Looks to me like "bttrubble" started quite a good discussion....I have to admit the floor operated high beams were pretty darned easy to use!

And I agree wholeheartedly with "delraydella" that it's a MAJOR pain not to be able to signal someone by turning your lights on/off, since they never go off if the car's running. Not to mention that you can't leave your car running (for heat, A/C, or radio) while waiting for someone without the lights remaining on. The way things are right now, making nosy neighbors suspicious could win you a visit from the local police!

Eleanor

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Author: findingmyway Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7037 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 7:22 PM
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nuretiree wrote:

"IMO high beam control will soon become a thing of the past. There are already systems that automatically dim/brighten the lights for you."

Good point. I, too, could see it happening.

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Author: nuretiree Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7039 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/28/2001 7:45 PM
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Not to mention that you can't leave your car running (for heat, A/C, or radio) while waiting for someone without the lights remaining on

Some models have an interlock switch that allows the lights to go off if the parking brake is set or partially set.

Nu



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Author: soccerref One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7042 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/29/2001 3:24 PM
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I agree, its so dangerous with the hi beam control on the steering column..I've gotten my left foot caught in the wheel many time, and now that i'm older, I have trouble lifting my foot up that high.

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Author: rogershera Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7043 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/29/2001 4:16 PM
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<<I agree, its so dangerous with the hi beam control on the steering column..I've gotten my left foot caught in the wheel many time, and now that i'm older, I have trouble lifting my foot up that high. >>

light banter alert!! Light Banter alert!!

:-D

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Author: batboss One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7044 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/29/2001 8:48 PM
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>>Well, the reason the high beam switch used to be on the floor was..>>

ToddTruby,
Great info...its the sorta stuff that I wish I saw more on these boards.

btw, I think I have a "push to activate" for high beams on my Explorer (ref another poster comment).
batboss

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Author: delraydella Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7045 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/29/2001 9:26 PM
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soccerref

<<I agree, its so dangerous with the hi beam control on the steering column..I've gotten my left foot caught in the wheel many time, and now that i'm older, I have trouble lifting my foot up that high. >>

That was good! I'm gonna try that one at work tomorrow, and I'll let you know how it comes off. Don't worry, you'll get full credit!

Steve (delraydella}

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Author: rpatton3 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7046 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/30/2001 2:12 PM
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BULLETIN NO. 97-32

TO: ALL LICENSED PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURERS
ALL ARKANSAS AUTOMOBILE DEALERS NEW/USED

FROM: WINSTON BRYANT, ATTORNEY GENERAL
MIKE PICKENS, INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
RICHARD WEISS, DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION

SUBJECT: PRIVATE PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE DIMMER SWITCHES

Pursuant to Arkansas Division of Motor Vehicles Act No. 97-12, all
motor vehicles sold in the State of Arkansas after November 1, 1997
will be required to have a headlight dimmer switch mounted on the
loorboard of the vehicle. The dimmer switch must be mounted in a
position accessible to operarion by pressing the switch with the left
foot. The switch must be far enough from the left foot pedals to
avoid inadvertant operation of the left hand pedal.

Included in the above act and beginning November 1, 1997, all other
vehicles with steering column mounted dimmer switches must be
retrofitted with with a floor board mounted dimmer switch of the type
described above. The steering column mounted dimmer switch must be
disabled or removed from the vehicle. Vehicles which have not had
the change made will fail the forthcoming State of Arkansas Safety
Inspection Program.

All private passenger insurance automobile policies must allow a premium credit for those vehicles which have been retrofitted and
pass the Safety Inspection Program.

It is recognized that this will cause some hardship for the driving
public. However, this change is being made in the interest of public
safety. Arkansas DMV Act 2098-99877 will revert all Arkansas Motor
motor vehicles to the prevalent dimmer system in use prior to the
influx of foreign market vehicles.

A recent study entitled, "Initiation Sequence in Arkansas Night-time
Highway Traffic Accidents," was conducted by the Arkansas Deapartment
of Public Safety, The Arkansas Highway Patrol, and Arkansas State
University.

The study has shown that over 98.5% of Arkansas night time accidents
are caused by a blond getting her foot caught in the steering wheel
while attempting to dim her headlights.



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Author: Grunschev One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7047 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/30/2001 5:52 PM
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>>IMO high beam control will soon become a thing of the past. There are already systems that automatically dim/brighten the lights for you. I drove a lincoln town car that had the option. Couple that with the senser controlled on/off switch and you never have to worry about the lights at all.

My first car was a 1967 Chrysler Imperial Crown. It had an automatic brights dimmer; looked like a gunsight on the dashboard. It was even adjustable, and it worked pretty well. You used the foot switch to turn on the brights and they would dim automatically if you didn't press the foot switch first.

There was one problem, though. I sometimes confused with the foot switch for the brights with the foot switch used for activating the radio's scanning function.

Igor

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Author: Royfact One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7048 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/30/2001 7:33 PM
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If you've ever lived in the Great White North, where in mid-winter, your floorboards become a 2" deep well of slush and muck, you'd appreciate column-mounted high-beam controls more. I've had lots of cars that had switches so corroded and sticky that they had to be given a good stomp to get them to depress and had to be occasionally lifted with the toe of your boot.

As for signalling truckers, that's why a column-mounted high beam switch is so convenient. A quick pull back on the column winks the lights to let him know to move back in.

Its also great for signalling the stupid idiots in their F150's going 62 miles per hour in the fast lane when the other four lanes of traffic are doing 80. Of course they never move (this is 'Merica where lane discipline doesn't exist and turn signals are a mysterious appendage on the side of the steering column) but it is satisfying nevertheless. Now if they could only generate a digital display so I could TELL them what I think of their driving I'd be happy.

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Author: delraydella Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7049 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 11/30/2001 10:17 PM
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"As for signalling truckers, that's why a column-mounted high beam switch is so convenient. A quick pull back on the column winks the lights to let him know to move back in."

Well that might be true and in theory it's a pretty good idea, but it doesn't really work. Personally, as a driver during the daytime, I'd much rather see the truck I'm passing shut off his lights. It's easier to see than a few quick flashes esp. in the sun. Ditto for night time driving. I'd much rather see the lights off signal than bright lights flashed at me.

I've always heard that the only reason you flash people is that you want to pass them or you want them to pull over.

What there ought to be is a little momentary contact switch somewhere in the dashboard that would allow you to shut off the headlights as long as your finger was on the switch.



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Author: JustAnEngineer Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7082 of 18154
Subject: Re: Bring back high-beam control... Date: 12/4/2001 10:00 PM
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- Standardization. The more cars that are designed alike the fewer surprises you experience when you buy new, borrow or rent.

I suspect Federal regulation will get in the way of nostalgia. I'd bet there's a regulation about the location and operation of the dimmer switch just like there is for so many other facets of auto design that we're unaware of unless we either work in the industry.


If this were the case, someone would have prevented those idiots at Ford from putting the horn button on the end of a stick (easily confused with the three other control sticks off of the steering column) as they did in the late 70's and early 80's.

The ability to overcome design stupidity and focus on quality was what saved Ford after that, IMO. With all of these recent recalls, what's going to make the value of my F stock go up now?

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