Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Jim asks: Quick question combining cars with politics. I probably will be in the market for a car in a couple of years, and I want to avoid a lot of the crap on most modern cars. I don’t want or need backup cameras, 1,500 airbags, etc. And I damn sure don’t want the car fighting with me to drive it, so I don’t want ASS, automatic braking or steering assist. For the sake of convenience, have you ever done an article outlining when this stuff started showing up in cars? That could make it easier when I go to shop for one. Thanks!
My reply: This question has been coming up often lately. Which I take as good news – because it indicates more and people have had it up their eyebrows with Uncle-ized cars!
The answer is essentially a spectrum. To avoid all of the things you list, you’d need to go back to the early ’90s. Air bags became standard in cars beginning in the mid-late ’90s (not all at once; some had electric seatbelts; you may remember these).
But by 2000 air bags were unavoidable. By 2010 it was becoming hard to find any new car with just four. Today, most cars have at least six and many eight or more. You’d need to go back to around 2010 and earlier to find cars with four or fewer.
But, some good news. Unless you want a luxury car, you can avoid almost all of the driver-pre-emption equipment (aka, “assist” such as Lane Keep Assist, Brake Assist and so on) if you go back to about 2012 and before. However, many luxury cars of that period will have some or all of these things.
ASS also began showing up recently. Go back about five years and most cars won’t have it. Same goes for direct injection, too – but check. Some models do have it. But 2010 and older – you’re generally safe.
I am hoping to end-run all of it with the purchase of late ’70s Detroit Dreadnaught – ideally an Olds 98 or Caddy deVille!
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Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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