Car Ignition Keys Could Soon Be a Thing of The Past

GM may decide to make push-button ignition standard on all future models

Car Ignition KeysToday we tend to take keyed ignition for automobiles for granted. However, for nearly 50 years people had to hand-crank the starter on their cars in order to start the engine. When keyed ignition was introduced in 1949 it was a major technological advance. Keyed ignition was widely and rapidly adopted, but the next step in the evolution of car starters, namely push-button ignition, is still seen as more of a luxury feature. However, this may change if GM decides to make push-button ignition standard in all its vehicles.

The primary motivation for GM to make the switch from keys to buttons is the recent outcry over the numerous accidents caused by faulty ignition switches in GM vehicles. These faulty switches could suddenly turn off while the car was in drive, causing the engine to shut off and disabling the air bags.

Though GM has gathered the most media attention, they are not the only car company to have problems with ignition switches. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Ford Focus actually has the most complaints against it.

People have been complaining about keyed ignition switches for years. In particular, disabled individuals frequently mentioned wrist strain associated with turning a key in the ignition as a problem they would like to see corrected. Another complaint about keyed ignitions is that they can wear out or break. Push-button ignition, on the other hand, has very few moving parts and may last longer.

Push-button ignition was introduced by Mercedes towards the end of the 1990s, but so far has not been widely adopted, despite being an available feature in 72 percent of 2014 car models. Though the button does bring some advantages, it is also a big behavioral change for drivers. There have been numerous incidents of drivers accidentally leaving their cars running. However, if GM really does make push-button ignition standard, this may be the final push that the market and the public needs to fully adopt push-button ignition and say goodbye to ignition keys forever.

If you are one of the many Americans that still has a keyed ignition, you can come to RBM Lock & Key for expert service of your ignition lock as well as all other automotive locks on your vehicle, including your doors, trunk, glovebox, and rear gate. Of course we will not be providing ignition repairs for recalled GM vehicles, but we can help with other scenarios such as jammed locks, keys stuck or broken off in locks, lost keys, and damaged locks.

Posted on April 29, 2014
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