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    Thread: Any worse ergonomics fail than the GM hazard switches from the 1980s?

    1. Member MontoyaF1's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:14 PM #1
      I had a 1984 Buick Grand National when I was in college, and it had the standard GM hazard switch on the steering column (looked sort of like this):



      I hated using it, because once it was on I could never figure out how to shut it off, and when I did manage to turn it off I felt like I was snapping a chicken bone in half.

      Anyone else annoyed by this? Has any company made a switch that was worse from an ergonomics point-of-view?
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      10-02-2012 01:40 PM #2
      I remember that switch from my S-15 Jimmy SLT. To be honest, I've never figured out how to use it.. LOL

    3. 10-02-2012 01:42 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by too_slow View Post
      I remember that switch from my S-15 Jimmy SLT. To be honest, I've never figured out how to use it.. LOL
      You pushed the center in. TO shut it off, you pulled the collar around the center button out.

      The problem was the action was so stiff, it felt like you were going to break it.
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    4. Member WD-40's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:43 PM #4
      Ahh, the memories...

      For a switch that was going to be used so often, you would think that they would have put more thought into it.

    5. Member ZoomBoy's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:43 PM #5
      I remember this from my 1985 Celebrity. What a piece, thank god I never used it much.

    6. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:46 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by MontoyaF1 View Post
      I had a 1984 Buick Grand National when I was in college, and it had the standard GM hazard switch on the steering column (looked sort of like this):



      I hated using it, because once it was on I could never figure out how to shut it off, and when I did manage to turn it off I felt like I was snapping a chicken bone in half.

      Anyone else annoyed by this? Has any company made a switch that was worse from an ergonomics point-of-view?

      Go find a Super Beetle and turn the hazards on once.
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      10-02-2012 01:46 PM #7
      I had this in my 94 Camaro. I never had to use it but it took a while to figure it out to test it Then the collar snapped off.
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      10-02-2012 01:47 PM #8
      I submit this:



      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.

    9. Member devianb's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:48 PM #9
      Have it on my Trans Am. Id prefer a standard hazard button on the dash, but I never had a problem using it.

    10. Member GTE77's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:49 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      I submit this:



      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.
      ahaha, I remenber those. Other cars had them too I just dont remenber what i drove that was like that.

      I think it was a old Fiat or something.

    11. Member rawk's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:51 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by GTE77 View Post
      ahaha, I remenber those. Other cars had them too I just dont remenber what i drove that was like that.

      I think it was a old Fiat or something.
      Our Classic Mini has the horn in the same location... very strange and unintuitive!

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      10-02-2012 01:56 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      I submit this:



      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.
      I don't think Ford of USA used that style of horn on anything other than the Fiesta.
      Many Euro cars of that vintage are similar. Later MGB's are like that.

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      10-02-2012 01:58 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by MontoyaF1 View Post
      I had a 1984 Buick Grand National when I was in college, and it had the standard GM hazard switch on the steering column (looked sort of like this):



      I hated using it, because once it was on I could never figure out how to shut it off, and when I did manage to turn it off I felt like I was snapping a chicken bone in half.

      Anyone else annoyed by this? Has any company made a switch that was worse from an ergonomics point-of-view?
      Had this type of switch on our Suburbans. Thanks for the horrible memories

    14. 10-02-2012 02:01 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by saron81 View Post
      I don't think Ford of USA used that style of horn on anything other than the Fiesta.
      Many Euro cars of that vintage are similar. Later MGB's are like that.
      That style, no. But the horn on the signal stalk? OOOOHHHHH Yes they did...

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    15. Member 1985Jetta's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:02 PM #15
      We have had and have currently a few 80's GM cars and its really not a bad switch. I would have liked to see a pull out high beam, rather than pulling the turn signal stalk toward you. That's my only complaint.

      Edit: Here's a list
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      Last edited by 1985Jetta; 10-02-2012 at 02:12 PM.

    16. Member Haubbs's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:07 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by MontoyaF1 View Post


      Anyone else annoyed by this? Has any company made a switch that was worse from an ergonomics point-of-view?
      I had an immediate flashback to my mom's 1980 Cutlass Supreme. It's the only one of my parent's cars where I remember where the hazard switch was because it was so confusing.

      I can't think of any worse ergos than that switch

    17. Member McBanagon's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:08 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by rawk View Post
      Our Classic Mini has the horn in the same location... very strange and unintuitive!
      So does my Mini, as well as the E-Type. Hard to get mad when you risk breaking off a stalk.

    18. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:12 PM #18
      not worse than those old GM hazard switches
      but I find this really annoying on our E90.
      This is the only unlock button in the car.

      Would it really kill them to put one on the driver & passenger door??? Plus it's tiny.

    19. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:26 PM #19
      Ugh. This thread is a perfect example of the mkIV/B5 interiors raising the bar for plebeian transportation. My first 5 cars had this switch and I never had a problem with it. As a matter of fact, I still miss the old GM cruise controls too.
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    20. Member Spell Check Desk's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:26 PM #20
      My first car was an old Chrysler Cordoba and it had the hazard switch behind the steering wheel on TOP of the steering column. You had to pull it UP to turn it on. Because that makes so much sense.
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    21. Junior Member jhad03's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:32 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by MontoyaF1 View Post


      I hated using it, because once it was on I could never figure out how to shut it off, and when I did manage to turn it off I felt like I was snapping a chicken bone in half.
      not only was it a pain to figure out at first, but the fact that the cars that had that switch also had steering wheels that where something like 24" in diamter, lol. you had to be a contortionist to reech around the wheel to operate the thing, or risk severing your arm off when you would reach through the wheel while driving to use the switch
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    22. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:34 PM #22
      Who the **** turns on the hazards while driving and turning?
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    23. Junior Member jhad03's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:35 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Spell Check Desk View Post
      My first car was an old Chrysler Cordoba and it had the hazard switch behind the steering wheel on TOP of the steering column. You had to pull it UP to turn it on. Because that makes so much sense.

      thats exactly how the old GM's where but the operation of the button was different. very bad location and design.
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    24. 10-02-2012 02:38 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Go find a Super Beetle and turn the hazards on once.
      The super beetle's hazard is leaps and bounds better than that of the GMs.

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    25. Member CWDave's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:40 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Who the **** turns on the hazards while driving and turning?
      I can understand while driving. Torrential downpours or snowfalls give cause to flip them on to be more visible. While driving AND turning? To impress the ladies of course. Shows your sexual prowess.
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    26. 10-02-2012 02:46 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Who the **** turns on the hazards while driving and turning?
      VW T4 and Mk3 drivers who have the hazard switch on top of the column.

      This to me is a worse offender than the GM switch.




      The T4 was a pretty big offender too in that the switch is tall and narrow and is easy to bump while wiping down the cluster and dash and can break off too easily.

      I don't know why they treated hazard lights so differently from any other switchable electric consumer with respect to ergo.

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      10-02-2012 02:46 PM #27
      Back when airbags were still relatively new tech for most companies and made for huge, otherwise unfunctional steering wheel hubs. The horn buttons were often like tiny little Chiclets set on the wheel spokes. Trying to hit your horn in a panic situation (like someone swerving in your lane) was always a pointless exercise in mashing your hand into the airbag with no effect.

      I used to wonder if I'd knock myself out with my own fist trying to hit the horn in a wreck while the airbag deployed.

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    28. 10-02-2012 02:48 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by choochoo View Post
      not worse than those old GM hazard switches
      but I find this really annoying on our E90.
      This is the only unlock button in the car.

      Would it really kill them to put one on the driver & passenger door??? Plus it's tiny.
      Well why not put a central locking button in the center of the car? The switch doesn't do just one door so why put it on the door if the scope of what it operates is all the doors?

    29. Member Tokyosmash's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:51 PM #29
      I have a worse one, the switch surround from mid 90's fords broke constantly.


    30. 10-02-2012 02:51 PM #30
      I never understood this (70s Ford Maverick):



      What if the passenger is too cold or too hot? Only the driver is able to operate the HVAC?

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      10-02-2012 02:52 PM #31
      That really wasn't much worse than the more typical hazard switch arrangement on older cars, which was to have a slider on top of the column. Why were the switches arranged that way? Was it just so the hazard switch could be part of a unit with the turn signal lever?
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    32. 10-02-2012 02:55 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      I submit this:



      In the late 70's, Ford decided that having the horn button(s) on the steering wheel was too difficult/accidentally activated/I have no idea WTF they were really thinking. Solution? Put the horn button on the end of the turn signal stalk.

      I recall more than a couple of people slamming their hands on the steering wheel to no effect when trying to use the horn in Fords of that era.
      My Fairmont has this, but even worse. There is nothing indicating that the horn is on the turn signal stalk. I actually thought the car didn't have one until I accidently honked the horn while trying to signal.

    33. Member BostonB6's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 02:56 PM #33
      Try not to turn on your hazards 2-3X per trip when using the touch screen on the MFT. To make things worse, it's touch sensitive.


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      10-02-2012 02:58 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by CWDave View Post
      Torrential downpours or snowfalls give cause to flip them on to be more visible.
      God dammit I hate when idiots do this. The LAST thing I need is everybody on the road turning on their hazards in the rain so that every raindrop on the windshield magnifies the flashing light. **** people that do that....I hope they crash
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    35. Geriatric Member ATL_Av8r's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 03:00 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by gti_matt View Post
      I never understood this (70s Ford Maverick):



      What if the passenger is too cold or too hot? Only the driver is able to operate the HVAC?
      When I was a kid, our neighbor had a Maserati Merak. I always thought it would suck to be the passenger and not be able to change the radio station

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