Most Annoying New Car Feature?

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The title of this article begs an interesting question, for openers. If a feature is annoying, why would anyone choose to pay for it?

The answer, of course, is that they have no choice – assuming they want the car – because these annoying features are standard features, many of them being things few (if any) buyers would choose to pay extra for, if they were optional.

Where to start? It is almost like using a shotgun to blast a chicken from two feet away in that it’s not a hard target to miss.

How about ASS – the for-once rightly named feature that automatically stops and starts the engine constantly? Roll to a stop at a red light and the engine turns itself off (and long with it, the engine-powered accessories, such as the AC). The light goes green and you press the gas to go but it takes a long second – chuff! – for the engine to restart itself. When you get to where you were headed and park, the engine shuts itself off again – leading you to believe you turned it off. You push the ignition On/Off button – because you’re parked and intend to leave the car parked – and the engine restarts. Turn it off, again – yourself – using the On/Off button. Meanwhile, all this stop-starting is taxing your car’s starter – and the battery that is powering all of this re-starting. And wearing out the alternator that is constantly struggling to keep the battery powered up so it has the power to do all of that re-starting.

How about the LCD touchscreen you’re forced to use to control many of the car’s features that won’t allow you to control them when the vehicle is moving? For your safety – in your own car, the one you paid for with your money – certain features cannot be used while the vehicle is in motion. Thereby rendering features such as the GPS system useless features. It is a feature like having your annoying mother-in-law riding shotgun with you every time you drive.

How about an audio system that automatically turns down the volume so you can’t hear what you were listening to when you put the gear selector in Reverse? This also triggers the back-up camera you probably wouldn’t have paid extra for that the government makes everyone pay extra for – by making it a required “safety” feature in every new car. The back-up cameras having been mandated by the government after a handful of people backed-up over kids they could see were behind them because of government mandates that have made it hard to see what’s behind a modern vehicle, thereby necessitating (so says the government) the back-up cameras.

Does anyone want “advanced driver assistance technology”? There are probably some people who need such assistance, just as there are some people who need the assistance of a wheelchair or cane. But there is something insufferable about the premise of all this “assistance” – as regards cars. That being the assumption that everyone needs it. Of course, if that were true, those who did would buy it – just as people who need a wheelchair or a cane buy them without being forced to buy them. But here we are dealing with everyone being forced to buy the “assistance” – as to keep the car in its travel lan, as to brake when there is a need to slow  or stop –  whether they need such assistance or not.

Then there is pre-emption, the inevitable elaboration of assistance. One such feature being an automatic transmission that automatically shifts itself into Neutral or Park when the driver tries to Reverse with the door cracked open, as to see the curb (or what’s behind) with his eyes rather than the camera. This will inevitably elaborate to the transmission putting itself in Park when the car decides it’s no longer “safe” to move forward as well as backward. Perhaps because there is snow – or moisture – on the road. If you don’t think it’ll go that far, just wait until it does.

And that will happen less than two years from now.

The same federal government that is responsible for all of the above features you’re forced to buy – if you want to buy a new vehicle – has already decreed that by 2026 (the model year, not the calendar year) all new vehicles must be equipped with another feature – one that you used to have to first convicted of drunk driving to be obliged to have in your vehicle: A system that detects impairment – and prevents you from driving the car if it thinks you are.

But here’s the feature about that: “Impairment” will be defined so as to encompass any driver behavior that deviates from the legal – and the “safe,” as defined by the government. Thus, the car will consider you “impaired” if you change lanes quickly, especially if you do it without signaling first and waiting one-two-three-four count before actually changing lanes (irrespective of whether there’s any traffic nearby). The same for not coming to a complete stop – and then waiting one-two-three-four before (gently) proceeding. Driving any faster than whatever the speed limit happens to be will be deemed “unsafe” – and (effectively) the same as “impaired.

It’ll make the features we’re already forced to buy seem like deals on wheels.

. . .

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    • I’m convinced a week long rental is a great way to sort out what works and what is not acceptable for a potential new car. Back in late ‘02 we ended up with a Ford Escape as a substitute rental in Orlando, the best substitute ever! 20k miles in rental service it was tight, no rattles, go cart steering and great brakes. Got home and started the search but Ford wanted way too much until July 03 they went on super sale and we picked up Little Red for $19,500. Twenty years later still our go to for best in fleet. I replaced a noisy fuel pump, spark plugs 6 years ago, tires and fluids that’s it. Literally looks brand new inside and out.

      Another trip tried a 2005 Charger, gack! Horrible brakes and mystery steering no thanks!

  1. The new impaired add on is going to condemn crime victims to a sure death as the try to escape a violent criminal wanting to murder and or seriously injure them.
    It’s a fact that 40% and easily up to 50% if not more Americans do not hear their own voices in their minds. A proved fact. Such people many times are the people who are employed in government positions. They can be taught to do task that need no thinking, like X form needs to be dated and XYZ forms need to be attached and dated. This is the likely reason this “killer option” will be added on cars until some one more important that us faces in the crowd is murdered. The vast people in government who do not hear their own voices in their own minds and don’t think, will not realize the consequences. We all do not think alike, fact.

  2. On my buddies 22 Dodge pickup if you open the door in reverse the truck goes into Park but if you put it into park and back into reverse you can back up with the door still open. Progress….

    This may work on other vehicles.

  3. I won one! My wife’s new-to-us 21 Grand cherokee has the insistent beeping to put on the seatbelt as all do, BUT, I always re-program these things to never beep anymore (look on you-tube for your car). So I turned off the no-seatbelt beep, and now when I don’t wear the seatbelt (25mpg going through town), it gives me some bs warning on the screen, but no beeping, that since my seatbelt is off the ASS won’t work. yahoooooooo
    If I do wear the seatbelt I have to manually push a button to turn off ASS though.

    • How’s the steering stability in the wind? Our 2018 GC is a real handful on a windy day and on a calm day the straight line stability basically, sucks. Dealer no help, alignment and new tires made no difference .

      That stability issue and the buckboard hard seats wished I’d followed my rent first rule before we traded our 05 Jeep.

    • PS I also did the seatbelt chime hack now just the little light comes on. There is a plug and play module to disable ASS without setting a code but it’s several hundred dollars, I’m about ready though.

      • Hi Sparkey,

        I am planning, when I have the time (damn it) to remove the air bag-blob steering wheel from my ’02 Nissan and replace it with a spare Formula steering wheel (from a 70s Trans Am) I have in the garage!

        • Nice! I showed my grandson pictures of a real car, my brothers ‘67 GTO with the three spoke wood rimmed steering wheel complete with a Pontiac red arrow logo badge. What a glorious car.

          • Thanks, Sparkey!

            It’ll be a fun project. I will need to fabricate a hub, probably – as the Formula wheel won’t bolt up to the existing Nissan hub. But I am sure it can be done – and doing it will be fun. Removing the ugly factory steering wheel – made ugly by the government mandated air bag blob – will be as gratifying as cutting off the TA’s catalytic converter.

            Even now, I can hear Greta keening….

  4. More a bad design than feature. Turn signals in the bumper. Get rear ended and your lights are probably broke, so you have to get towed.

    Thankfully when I got rear ended a few weeks ago, my turn signals weren’t located there. It was a light hit so no damage outside a scuff I could clean off with no problem.

    Eric, I will have to make a copy to show you, of the letter the state DMV sent after…. it will make your blood boil.

    • There is a rule in the US that brake lights and turn signals can not be on movable bodywork, so not on the hatch in a hatch back, for example. The automaker has two choices – move the lights to fixed bodywork, like the bumper, or make a narrower hatch so that it goes between fixed lights. Pay attention to the cars which have bumper lights and you’ll likely see a full width hatch or trunk. Some cars managed to get around this by having a second set of rear lights behind the hatch – so those are also active when driving with hatch open, but that has now been disallowed too.

  5. “the engine turns itself off (and long with it, the engine-powered accessories, such as the AC)”

    No. AC on, the engine continues to run. Maybe not on what you drive, granted. My manual lists fourteen (14!!) unconstitutional, authoritarian conditions wherein “auto stops may not occur and/or auto restarts may occur.” Damn bolsheviks!

    Backup camera. The rear window on my SUV looks like a distant port hole in my rear view mirror. It’s really, really needed.

  6. Rented a Ford Focus Hybrid. In a driving rainstorm two of sensors were apparently disabled by the rain. We were on a busy 2 lane highway. The car stopped and completely shut down. We had enough momentum fortunately to partially get to the shoulder of the road. If we had been hit our kids would own Ford Motor Company right now.

    • Hi Mad,

      I had something similar happen to me while test driving a then-new Prius (this was a few years ago). The car just stopped – in the middle of the road. Full brakes applied – just not be me. I am lucky there wasn’t a semi behind me.

  7. Everything everyone said about ASS is true, but in its defense I have to say that you need to learn how to drive the car with that feature. I have a 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop S with that feature. If I’m driving a route that has a lot of STOP signs, I turn it off. I’m very adept at coming to a halt at the sign and taking off as soon as the weight shifts back to the rear after I stop. ASS makes that impossible. At traffic lights, I lift my foot off the brake when the cross traffic gets their yellow light and my engine is running just fine when I take off with no hesitation. If you stay on the brake right up ’til your light turns green, the engine is going to hesitate.

    The feature I dislike the most is the one that rolls down all the windows and opens the sunroof when you press and hold the unlock button on the remote. There’s nothing like walking out to your car after it’s rained all night and finding your car’s interior soaked because you sat down to watch TV the night before and a key on your key chain pressed and held the button down. I actually had a car salesman show me this feature (after I’d already discovered it as described above). He was very proud of the feature and thought is was terrific. I told him it was the stupidest feature I’d ever seen and was almost enough to make me not buy his car. He was shocked. He said all the high end cars had that feature. I said, “Well then they all suck.”

  8. 1969 F250, 390ci/4bbl/C6, pretty much restored to its former glory with addtion of a non-orginal aftermarket radio/CD player.

    They can all #KMA. This one will last me until I’m in the ground.

    • ‘1969 F250’ — DeadGuy

      One guy took it back to 1909 … and won the Cannonball:

      ‘I inherited a 1916 Harley-Davidson. I restored and raced this bike in the 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball, a coast-to-coast race on antique bikes. I broke down and did not finish. [Then] I found a 1909 Indian that would qualify in the top class, because it is a single-cylinder motorcycle with no transmission.

      ‘Riders have to complete all the miles on time. That is a perfect score. You have to average about 40 mph. I rode with saddlebags full of tools, parts and MacGyver stuff—wire, duct tape, anything to keep the bike together.

      ‘For big hills, I devised a way to change out the bike’s gearing. I could stop, pull out my tools, and make the change in four minutes. The day I climbed Monarch Pass, I changed the gearing ten times. Still, I had to do a lot of pedaling and almost didn’t make it.

      ‘After 16 days and 3,800 miles, we reached the finish in Oceanside, Calif. My Indian won overall and was the oldest motorcycle ever to win the Cannonball. My grandfather would be proud.’ — WSJ

      This story brought tears to my eyes. They can all #KMA.

    • Exactly. Drive our 91 Silverado today, no way I’d ever give up that truck. 350 TBI, 4 speed automatic, std cab 8 ft real bed, a/c that works, cruise, tilt, delay wipers – the stuff that made sense back in ‘91. Manual locks and windows. It actually runs much better than it did new – manifold gaskets in ‘12, I rebuilt the TBI about three years ago plus the distributor. So easy to keep it right.

      And like you, the stock radio packed it in got a Sony the One and Only off EBay for 95 bucks and a dash kit and harness adapter for about $25 works much better than the stock unit.

      Eric, maybe we can do a feature on our aged but beloved rigs complete with pics? Submit via email to you?

      • Hi Sparkey,

        “maybe we can do a feature on our aged but beloved rigs complete with pics? Submit via email to you?”

        I like this idea! I think the Forum would be a great place for it, too. Or I might be able to add a new page to the main site; if there’s enough interest in this kind of thing. Maybe a “Reader’s Rides” section? What do you guys think?

  9. Have to find a good used pickup and drive it forever.

    There are good used vehicles out there priced 5000 to 10000 USD.

    A used Tesla is priced 41, 995 USD, you’d be a fool to buy at any price.

    No desire to buy them, gas is too much.

    Toyota is a different story, though. Toyotas are priced high.

    Whooping cranes are flying and migrating through these days, winter is going to be here in 75 days.

    Probably 30 in the flock.

  10. The most annoying new car feature is the homogenization from government diktaks. They all look the same with 2.0 or less turbo fours and some variation of automatic or CVT. Cars used to have such variety. Now they’re all homogenized blobs. Even Hondas and Toyotas. Few exceptions still scurying around but soon they’ll be gone too. Ah well.

  11. The most annoying feature in my 2022 BMW X3 is the summation of its nanny state features: it thinks it’s my mother. Takes the joy right out of driving what is otherwise a pretty superb machine.

  12. The identical nature of the things. We here love to blame Uncle, and for sure that’s a big factor, but it’s more than that. Spec sheets are everything in maketing, becuase no one knows how to create desire anymore. We’re all so jaded we can’t see sexy, so no matter what we see everything as gingerbread. Tailfins? Only if they’re added ironically. Nice two tone paint? No, roached out and surface rust is desirable now. Has to look like you don’t put any effort into it, otherwise you’re an asshole.

    Besides, the dealers want you to buy off the lot, today. A flashy or interesting car might be a hard sell, so the bulk of what’s on the lot is there to appeal to everyone by appalling to no one. The milquetoast middle that looks at cars like they’re buying a new refrigerator becuase the old one crapped out.

    So they market numbers. Towing capacity, hauling capacity, how many people can fit in the thing. Fuel economy. How many stars it gets for “safety” or how many awards it gets from old fossil media. But you can’t put a number on desirability or looks. So we get vehicles that look like the old babushkas crammed into their girdles for sunday church. Choice of three colors: White, black, grey. Maybe Desert Storm taupe for the ex-marine’s Tacoma.

    • the bulk of what’s on the lot is there to appeal to everyone by appalling to no one.

      Typo/Autocorrect, but might be better anyway…

      …the bulk of what’s on the lot is appalling to everyone by appealing to no one.

  13. The cameras. I hate the cameras. I abhor OnStar. I detest Alexa. I loathe that they think we are so witless that we don’t realize they are surveying us at all times and recording our conversations. My car, like my house, should be my right to privacy. I should not have to feel like I have to watch every word that I say or movement that I make.

    A bear living in a forest has more privacy than any of us that are paying tens of thousands of dollars for these automobiles with technology that we do not need nor want.

    I would love for a custom car company to come along to actually build a car that an individual who actually enjoys their seclusion would enjoy driving. Until then I would settle for a few smart engineers to disengage my car’s cameras and voice boxes.

    • I concur with you, Raider Girl. I decided to keep my old car rather than pay for surveillance features I do not want and do not need. I will not own Alexa or its counterparts. My cell phone is in case of emergency, not for containing my life’s actions and history. Friends and family refer to me as a Luddite, which is fine with me.

      • Ditto, Dorothea,

        I’m keeping my old truck as long as I can keep it up, which ought to be for at least another decade. In the meanwhile, I’ll be looking for something much older – no computer – that I can totally rebuild myself, as necessary.

    • I doubt that the car records your conversation. All the memory needed to store millions of hours of unimportant talk would not be useful for anyone. Just the work to sort through all the information would be prohibitive.

      It would be much easier to monitor peoples internet usage and just keep an eye on the ones that go to subversive sights, like this one.

      • RE: “I doubt that the car records your conversation. All the memory needed to store millions of hours of unimportant talk would not be useful for anyone.”

        From now on, whenever I see your nic, I’m going to think of the word, dummkopf.

        “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.” – Cardinal Richelieu

      • Hi Lyspooner,

        The Mozilla foundation released this report on privacy and data sharing in the car industry.

        “According to Mozilla research, popular global brands — including BMW, Ford, Toyota, Tesla, Kia, and Subaru — can collect deeply personal data such as sexual activity, immigration status, race, facial expressions, weight, health and genetic information, and where you drive. Researchers found data is being gathered by sensors, microphones, cameras, and the phones and devices drivers connect to their cars, as well as by car apps, company websites, dealerships, and vehicle telematics. Brands can then share or sell this data to third parties. Car brands can also take much of this data and use it to develop inferences about a driver’s intelligence, abilities, characteristics, preferences, and more”.

        “The very worst offender is Nissan. The Japanese car manufacturer admits in their privacy policy to collecting a wide range of information, including sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic data — but doesn’t specify how. They say they can share and sell consumers’ “preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes” to data brokers, law enforcement, and other third parties”.

        “Car brands share personal information with law enforcement and governments. Hyundai’s privacy policy says, for example, that they can share data with law enforcement and governments based on “formal or informal” requests. Kia’s policy says they may share data in many scenarios “if, in our good faith opinion, such is required or permitted by law.” In other words: The threshold for sharing incredibly sensitive information is very low”.

        “Data breaches are common. Serious data leaks and breaches are ordinary in the industry, from Tesla employees gawking at videos captured by consumers’ cars, to Volkswagen and Toyota leaking the personal information of millions of customers”.

        Here’s a link to an analysis of each car company in the report.

        Seems pretty creepy to me.


        • Hi Jeremy,

          Thank you for posting this. I was about to upload the same survey.

          It is good to see you posting again.😁

        • Hi Jeremy!

          I think it’s beyond creepy. I know of no one who actively wants these “features” and very few people have any idea they are literally being watched (as well as listened-in on) inside their own vehicle. And it is on the verge of becoming much, much worse.

        • All that article from Mozilla says is that the car companies collect data that many other companies collect. Most of the data is not collected from the car but from other sources, on line apps, data bases, etc. I agree that this information should not be collected but it’s not “secret” data. It’s info you have put out there. How would the car itself know about your “sexual activity”? Are you banging girls in the back seat where they have planted a motion sensor to sense the bouncing of the seat?

          C’mon use some commonsense here. Is there a camera collecting video on you staring out the window during your hour commute to work? Is it monitoring the phone call where your wife tells you what groceries to pick up. Who could afford to sort through the megabits of mundane data to pick up anything useful?
          This is just data mining from internet sources. The car information is only stuff about how you drive. Really if you think the car is videoing and audio recording your every move, you should drive a vintage car.

          • Ly,

            From the report,

            “And GM does say they can collect a whole lot of data on you through your car, the myCadillac app, and those OnStar connected services. Their privacy policies say they can collect everything from your name, address, geolocation data, characteristics such as age, race, color religion, medical conditions, physical or mental disabilities, sex, gender identify, pregnancy, medical conditions, sexual orientation, genetic, physiological, behavioral, and biological characteristics such as, fingerprints, faceprints, and voiceprints, iris or retina scans, keystroke, gait, or other physical patterns, and sleep, health, or exercise data, audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information. Sooo much information. And that’s just the information they say they might collect about you. Then there’s the information they say they can collect on your car and driving habits, including license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), geolocation, route history, driving schedule, speed, vehicle direction (heading), audio or video information such as information collected from camera images and sensor data, voice command information, and infotainment (including radio and rear-seat infotainment) system and WiFi data usage”.

            I have no idea what they actually collect, but GM says they can collect this information through the car, as well as apps and connected services. They specifically claim they can collect audio and visual information.

            Maybe the researchers at Mozilla are full of shit, but I doubt it. The information is drawn directly from the privacy polices which describe what the companies say they can collect.


            • Yes, the researchers at Mozilla are full of shit. GM is not collecting fingerprints, faceprints, and voiceprints, iris or retina scans, keystroke, gait, or other physical patterns, and sleep, health, or exercise data, audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information. There is no way for a car to do that. The idea is retarded.

              • You don’t believe that when you connect your phone to Bluetooth that this information is not being downloaded into a cloud somewhere?

                You don’t believe the four or six cameras that are standard on most new cars today do not see inside the vehicle?

                You don’t believe Alexa is keeping tabs on everything you say? She hears when you call her name. She can change the radio station to what you want. She can provide you the weather, time, and an answer to most questions, but sure, she isn’t listening to you any other time.

                I know you think we are paranoid or crazy, but we are neither. This site is home to some very smart people. The people that post here are readers, writers, researchers. We are not gathering information from our buddy Jud, down the street, who heard from his brother’s ex wife former high school English teacher say “blah, blah, blah”.

                We cannot convince you to believe something that you are determined to deny, but we are also advocates of free speech and expression and you should have the liberty to opine on anything you like. We can criticize you for it though.

              • The Mozilla researchers are reporting what the car companies say about themselves. Unless you can show that they have misrepresented what the car companies say about themselves, your claims that they cannot do so are meaningless. You have provided no evidence that the car companies aren’t doing, or can’t do the things they claim to be able to do. As I said, I have no idea what data these car companies are collecting, you simply assert, without evidence, that they are not.

                “There is no way for a car to do that. The idea is retarded”.

                Here are two articles, one discussing fingerprint scanning, the other iris scanning for car access. I guess they’re full of shit too.



              • Ly,

                You know what’s “retarded”? Making know-it-all statements such as the ones you’ve just made – which prove you know nothing about what’s embedded in new cars. I test drove a new Genesis a few months ago; guess what it had? Retinal scan entry and a fingerprint pad to unlock the ignition/start the vehicle:

                When you have no idea what you’re talking about, it’s best not to open your mouth.

                • So now Genesis has your fingerprint and retina scan? Obviously if you give the information to someone they are going to “have” it. Is that the argument here? The car companies have the information you give them? Why would you think otherwise? I thought the issue was that private information was being surreptitiously collected on people?

                  Oh my God! The government has my fingerprints! It must have happened when I gave it to them so I could purchase a gun.

                  • Ly,

                    You claimed that cars were not recording/video’ing or using biometric identifiers. I countered with facts that reveal your claims to be specious. Your response? Rather than concede you were wrong, you segue into this being no big deal.

                    I begin to think you may indeed be a bot.

                  • Ly,
                    No, the argument is not “that private information was being surreptitiously collected on people”. It is that they claim they can collect data and provide it to third parties, including law enforcement. This claim is made in their own privacy statements. You have claimed, without evidence, that they are not, and cannot. I do not know what data they are collecting, and who they will provide it to, just that they claim that they can.

                    You have studiously ignored requests to provide evidence for your claims, simply saying that the researchers are “full of shit”, the claims are “retarded” and that discussing them is fueling “over the top” conspiracy theories. So, please provide evidence that the privacy statements do not say what the Mozilla researchers claim they say.


                • Lyspooner knows well and good that this stuff exists. His/her/its purpose in commenting is to cast doubt as to the capabilities of the surveillance state and to gaslight those in the know as being “conspiracy theorists.”

            • Hi RG,

              Isn’t it odd that discussing what companies, institutions, politicians, government officials, etc… say and write about their intentions, capabilities and agendas is routinely derided as “over the top” conspiracy theorizing.


              • Hi Jeremy,

                It is definitely odd. Almost a twisted version of Stockholm Syndrome or just absolute denial of the written word.

                I don’t believe most people want to believe those that are “in charge” are bad. The last three years should have proven to all of us that when they say their plans out loud they do mean it.

                • It’s not a question of believing those in charge are bad. There is no questions they are. But you have to look at the details of this particular accusation. How is a car going to collect info on your sex life? your keystoke patterns, your gait, your sleep, your exercise level, retina scans? And not only how, but why? What use is that information. And this feature is something that thousands, probably tens of thousands of people would know about. Cars aren’t built in secret bunkers, or designed that way. There are too many people that would know about it and it would be well known and controversial. The idea is just not practical or necessary. Simple logic would tell you it is-impossible, not worth it and no way to do it without getting caught.

                  • Ly,

                    There are cameras built into the interiors of almost all new cars (part of the “drowsy driver” system). These can absolutely record you – and whatever you’re doing in the car. I leave the rest to your imagination.

                  • Ly,

                    The “particular accusation” you are dismissing is a report on what the car companies claim about themselves, in publicly available privacy statements. There is no conspiracy of silence or “cars built in bunkers” nonsense necessary to hide this information. Most people don’t look for it or care particularly about it. That is not evidence that the claims made by the companies themselves is an “over the top conspiracy theory”. If you can provide evidence that the Mozilla researchers have misrepresented the claims in the privacy statements, please do so.

                  • Thanks for the limited hangout, lyspooner: “It’s not a question of believing those in charge are bad. There is no questions they are.”

                    Now STFU and go away internet “influencer.”

              • Yah, I dunno, maybe he/she/it is a bot?

                That whole, “let me understand you better” part was very bot-ish.

                Howevah; “They need to bring the front bench seat back and then they could really see some action!” …Just screams, dummkopf, a.k.a. useful dupe.

                He/she/it does seem to ‘get it’ with some things,…


                ““If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.”


              • “Ly” –

                I have concluded you are an AI chatbot. Reason? In addition to your odd usages, you have yet to reply to my repeated queries regarding your handle(s): Have you read Spooner? If you have, you clearly did not comprehend him. If you say you do, then your use of his name makes no sense because your posts are often at odds with what he wrote; it is like a rap fan styling himself JohnnyCash – and posting on a country/western music site.

                So why use the handle of a man you do not agree with? Ditto as regards “freedom fighter.” A handle such as that would imply someone who opposes half of the things you say. It makes no sense – unless you are a chatbot whose job it is to disrupt libertarian/freedom-advocating sites.

                And I increasingly believe that is exactly what you are. It is very odd to debate a machine intelligence. But it is revealing, in that machines are not that intelligent.

      • Hi Ly,

        I have a bit of proof that they are monitoring us. I had the misfortune of purchasing a Cadillac a few months ago. Within 10 days of purchase the brakes failed on us coming back from a late lunch. The dealership kept telling us it was engine failure and after they put a refurbished engine into the car (35 days later) they demanded that we pick up the car. This was coming from Cadillac Corp and the dealer. There was no way I was picking this car up. They refused to believe it was the brakes. My husband logged into the OnStar account showing the failure of the brakes. I also told Cadillac to pull the feed from the car. The car has Alexa and four different cameras. I told them I would happily contact my lawyer so he could subpoena the information. The issue was immediately dropped and we had a phone call from their repurchasing team three days later.

        The point I am trying to make is practically any car made after 2020 is going to have this technology. Sometimes, it will assist us, most of the time it will be a hindrance and a complete invasion of our privacy.

        • Morning, RG!

          I am glad that this creepy, no-one-asked-for-it “technology” was helpful in your battle with GM. That’s the only good thing I’ve heard about it, so far…

          • Hi ML,

            It was the Mozilla Foundation report that gave me the idea that the entire episode had probably been recorded. When they didn’t deny it or argue back that the car is unable to capture this it just gave me the proof that I needed.

            • What was recorded? Are you saying the car video recorded your conversations with your husband? Of what use would that be? You calling the Cadillac dealer an asshole? What entire episode was recorded? Isn’t it likely the dealer did not want to deal with the hassle of a legal case? If you are referring to the car recording driving info, braking, speeding, stuff like that, yes that is true, but not video/audio of the occupants. Of what purpose is that?

                • Yeah I know, the FEMA concentration camps are full of people sent there from the information gathered by Siri and Alexa.
                  “Siri what’s the best way to overthrow the government” “Alexa how do I build a dirty bomb”. Yes I’m an influencer, I’m trying to sow the seeds of sanity amongst the over paranoid.

              • Live in your dream world, ly.

                There are some hard truths coming.

                Do you think Alexa doesn’t record your conversations at home?

                Do you want to test it?

                Commit a felony (or even talk about committing a felony) around her. Law enforcement will be on you like a duck on a Junebug.

                Did you even read the Mozilla report? Tesla records the happenings of inside the car. You don’t think Toyota, GM, and Ford are doing the same?

        • We, of course, know that lyspooner is an internet “influencer.” He/she/it attempts to trojan horse this site with a series of contrived posts that he/she/it is down with the libertarian struggle. Lyspooner then selectively slips in regime propaganda posts like this one which attempts to explain that surveillance and individual dossier compilation is just impossible: “I doubt that the car records your conversation. All the memory needed to store millions of hours of unimportant talk would not be useful for anyone. Just the work to sort through all the information would be prohibitive.”

          Lyspooner is not very effective with the attempted subterfuge and obviously thinks we’re a bunch of idiots born yesterday on a turnip truck.

          STFU lyspooner.

          • Maybe you’re the influencer. Trying to talk people into over the top conspiracies so as to coax out those the government wants to keep an eye on. That’s how the deep state works. They don’t try to talk people out of foolish ideas, they try to talk them into stupid ideas. Like you do.

            • > I doubt that the car records your conversation. … Just the work to sort through all the information would be prohibitive.

              Have you heard of “AI,” by any chance? It’s getting pretty good at sorting possibly interesting nuggets of information out of any firehose of data you might aim at it.

              > Maybe you’re the influencer.

              Maybe you’re just a dipshit troll sent here to waste everyone’s time.

              Your paymaster (((Soros))) isn’t sending his best.

              • I don’t think you understand what AI is. It is not a search engine. And it does not work any faster then a search engine, or any other computer program. And that would only be for document searches. Video and audio is a whole nother ball game.

          • Ly,

            Why do you think a vast array of new data centers are being built in this country? What do you believe is being stored there?

            It couldn’t be pics from your phone, email trails, or recorded conversations, right?

            • I agree that is going on. But it’s not from your car. It’s mostly from your phone. If you put stuff in the cloud it’s going to be accessible. If you don’t want the government to monitor your subversive activity, like your kids birthday party, or your vacation to the Ozarks, don’t put that info in places people can have access to it. You’re on a computer right now, if you don’t want your access to be seen, don’t go on the computer.

    • Wife and I were at my son’s house back in 2016 to help out with a bathroom remodel.

      It was an upstairs bathroom I was working on and a mistake was made.

      I swore like a drunken sailor over the mistake, not serious, but frustrating.

      They had Alexa, Alexa heard the expletives I shouted out.

      “That’s not a very nice way to ask,” she replied.

      Everything is heard and listened to.

      Julia Googlia does the same. You yell at her too, tell her to shut up.

  14. ASS would drive me nuts, especially in heavy stop and go traffic, probably have to replace the battery every year, not to mention the starter motor. “Lane keep assist” is a close second, so if I swerve suddenly to avoid a dog or kid that steps into the road the car is going to put itself back on a collision course. Can’t wait to see the lawsuit when that “feature” causes some fatalities.

    • I have to turn it off every time I get back in the 2018 Jeep. If I forget it’s very annoying and sometimes dangerous, the local round- a -bout is a driver nightmare and that split second delay for restart when it’s time to launch is an accident waiting to happen.

  15. What is it with government decreeing one size fits all mandates? For at least 10 years now, all new cars were required to have a bunch of Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety features that likely resulted in drivers having a false sense of security & NOT doing what they should be doing in the first place when driving, which is paying attention to their surroundings to avoid an “accident”. And during COVID, this one size fits all mentality expanded to “Public Health”, with government and public health bureaucracies decreeing that EVERYONE HAD to wear face diapers, which then expanded to the government trying to decree that EVERYONE HAD to “Get that COVID vaccine no matter what”. Not only that, now governments are attempting to mandate “EVs for all”, claiming CLIMATE EMERGENCY. I’d hate to imagine what ONE SIZE FITS ALL mandates governments might try next, especially when not a single bureaucrat or politician thus far has been held accountable for crimes against humans the past few years.

    • “ that likely resulted in drivers having a false sense of security “

      Yep! “Traction Control” a prime example – the local mountain pass littered with spin outs and median roll overs every time it’s dicey with snow and ice. Regular happening are total closures for hours while WSDOT and the State Patrol clear the carnage. Decades ago this was very rare, but back then most pass drivers had a clue on navigating snow and ice.

  16. Where is the mountain of statistical evidence that all this driver babysitting has saved a significant number of lives? It’s been going on long enough there should be one, if any were saved. Most are distractions, which are a common cause of traffic accidents. But I suppose those will be state approved accidents.

    • Doesn’t look like it’s working…

      In 2022, Colorado lost 745 lives to traffic fatalities, the most roadway deaths in the state since 1981, according to preliminary data. This is a 57% increase from just 10 years ago and includes a record number of pedestrians and motorcyclists.

      Many reasons, of course. Mostly touchscreens and smartphones, I’m sure. At least that’s what’ll get most of the blame (along with the demon drink and locoweed). While I’m sure the silicon addiction deserves much of the blame, I wouldn’t discount all the added safety stuff, and driver overconfidence. Back when you had to know how to get out of a skid you might be a lot more cautious when on ice. And for sure when you have to shift yourself you won’t tailgate and run stop-and-go all day.

      Yesterday I had to drive the I25 test of patience. Stop and go for miles from Johnsons’ Corner all the way to I70. A guy on a really nice looking Indian dresser was alongside for a while. He was doing everything he could to keep that bike moving so he didn’t have to stop. Several times the car in front of him slammed on the brakes and several times the biker nearly contacted the bumper. Felt bad for him, but then again, he easly could have bailed over to the frontage road. It is extremely stressful and exhausting to drive in that kind of traffic all day. And pretty easy to let yourself get distracted, looking at a motorcycle.

      • “Many reasons, of course”

        Lots of reasons like you mentioned but I think the main reason is people driving too fast for conditions. They think that they are one of the “Fast And Furious” movies guys. I was on the I-25 with moderate traffic heading to Denver one early Sunday morning and some one driving a large pickup truck passed my doing at least 100 or more. It was amazing to see. Sure enough about two miles up the road traffic comes to a stop and the pickup truck is involved with two other cars. The weather and road was free of snow.
        I see this occasionally where i live. Drivers on the hi-way with excessive speeds like if they think itz their own race way or they are on a computer simulator.

        • Ignorance is bliss, as they say. Hours spent on Gran Turismo and GTA might make you think you’re a fantastic driver. Heck, you might have run HUMVEEs in a close-order convoy in a war zone. But that doesn’t make you a good driver. Especially when you lift your RAM truck 9 inches and put 40×15.50R26LT tires under it, making it more top heavy than Dolly Parton.

  17. ‘Roll to a stop at a red light and the engine turns itself off.’ — eric

    Leaving each stop light, my brother’s ASS-equipped Subaru starts with a characteristic shudder and stumble — every time.

    If this were a normal non-ASS vehicle, it would go straight to the dealer to diagnose why it stumbles on every launch from a full stop.

    To my thinking, ASS is an annoying design defect that apes a hobbled engine with a low-rpm fuel delivery problem. ASS owners should practice an intentional verbal st-st-st-stutter, to mimic their c-c-c-crippled Clown Cars.


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