Reader Question: Unplugging ASS?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Crissie asks: Is it legal to permanently disable things like ASS and Lane Keep Assist? I don’t want either of these and consider them deal-breakers as far as buying a new car but would “unplugging” them make my car fail either emissions or safety inspections, which are mandatory in my state?

My reply: Good news! Neither ASS – automated stop/start – nor the various driver “assistance” technologies being forced down our throats by the car companies are being forced down our throats by the government. They are not part of the mandatory suite of saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety equipment (as air bags are) nor (as regards ASS) a component of the vehicle’s federal emissions control system. And so, you may legally cripple/defeat/curb stomp these features at your pleasure. It will require a software hack in most cases but should be doable, for someone who is “hip” and “with it” as regards dealing with these got-damned computers!

Tally ho!

. . .

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  1. This stuff is a killer on big rigs so naturally, they’re installing ASS and Lane Departure so it can drive you into the center of the guardrails where they all connect on a multiple exit/entrance ramp. With 2017 being the deadliest ever for truckers, it’s no wonder with low pay(2 major carriers have crapped out this year), rookie drivers being more and more the norm and traffic in general having bad drivers everywhere.

    • Hi Eight!

      If ASS, et al, were optional we’d see how many people would willingly buy it. I think that’d be very interesting, indeed.

      Which is probably why it isn’t.

      • It’s like airbags in the 1970’s. Few to nobody was interested (heck, some were still getting used to having to have seat belts). It didn’t help they were really expensive in relation with the cost of the rest of the car either. So they failed in the marketplace, like they should have.

        I think its interesting how it was easier to order a car back in the day with the individual options you actually wanted. Versus the only get something via a package (which often has a bunch of stuff you may not really want). You would think with computers and such it would be easier for the automakers to really broaden the customization. However we have gotten the opposite where there is really not much real choice anymore. Shows how they are more set up to follow government regulation instead of pleasing customers. It’s no wonder they have huge problems with really low sales whenever the economy takes a dump and only so so sales when the economy is ok.

  2. If I can find the fuse on my parents Range Rovers, I’d rip that shit out quicker than you could blink.

    Know on JL’s, besides a Taser, there’s an actual physical plug you remove, or the auxiliary batter to just disconnect, though that leads to a CEL

    Best thing to do though is just get an older vehicle, period

  3. If your car has a physical button with a light for disabling ASS, there’s a plug-in device that automatically remembers your last setting, versus the car “forgetting” the last setting every time you start it; a web search should result in something for your car.

    Note that if the car companies set up your car so that it remembers the last setting, they’d get dinged by the taxman.


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