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

    1. Member Yo Teach's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 08:02 PM #71
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Windy View Post
      The silly stupidity of french design.
      FTFY

      The French are weird.
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    2. Member dopaz's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 08:06 PM #72
      Quote Originally Posted by WD-40 View Post
      What?? Those keys were awesome! Especially the all-metal ones, without the plastic ends. They were short, simple, and easy to tell apart.

      Why should you need to tell them apart? Why have two different keys at all? A single key for a single car. I can't believe it took GM until the 1990's to fix that ergonomic fail. And, they held onto the dual key setup despite customer preference:

      GM issues one key that operates the doors and trunk, and a second key for the ignition, despite research indicating that customers prefer a single key.

      Toyota had single keys that could be inserted either way since the 1970's. VW, at least since the 1980's (my '84 Rabbit had a single symmetric key). GM / Ford held on to the dual key setup for decades.

    3. Member Woodski's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 08:11 PM #73
      Quote Originally Posted by WhistlerYOW View Post
      Also when airbags first came out and the horn was moved to the little buttons on the sides of the steering wheel (I think the Aveo still did this until like last year ).
      I prefer the buttons.

    4. Senior Member
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      10-02-2012 08:28 PM #74
      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?
      Touch sensitive buttons instead of buttons that you press to activate. Makes accidentally activating other functions easy when trying to locate a button by feel while keeping your eyes on the road.



      Touch screens for commonly used functions have the same problem. Or worse if you have to dig through layers of menus.


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      10-02-2012 08:33 PM #75
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Who the **** turns on the hazards while driving and turning?
      If you are driving on the freeway and encounter a sudden slowdown in an unexpected place, it may be advisable to turn on the hazards to try to wake up the driver behind you who would otherwise rear-end you because s/he was not paying enough attention.

    6. Member vwfreek's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 08:47 PM #76
      This.


    7. Member 1985Jetta's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 08:59 PM #77
      Slider A/C controls are classic IMO

    8. Member 1985Jetta's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:00 PM #78
      I also turn my hazards on in very heavy rain, then get to the nearest off ramp and wait.

    9. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:30 PM #79
      Quote Originally Posted by WD-40 View Post
      What?? Those keys were awesome! Especially the all-metal ones, without the plastic ends. They were short, simple, and easy to tell apart.



      At one point, I had three sets of them on my key ring in my pocket. To this day, they were some of the smallest car keys I ever carried - not the giant remote-control monstrosities that "modern" car keys are.


      i also have about 3 sets of those
      they are very good keys compared to modern keys.

    10. Member Ace_VR6's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:33 PM #80
      The Worst button placement I have ever had to deal with is the trunk release button on the 2005 Ford Mustang GT my dad had. It didn't have one... Had one on keyfob though!
      Quote Originally Posted by 04_GLI_ View Post
      Yeah still drove it home bout 60 miles. Didn't know it was a broken timming belt, drove fine just made a lil noise.
      Coils Are For Poor People

    11. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:33 PM #81
      Quote Originally Posted by tjl View Post

      Touch screens for commonly used functions have the same problem. Or worse if you have to dig through layers of menus.



      touch screens are backwards evolution of ergonomics no matter what you try to do to explain it

      sure sure sure...huge technological leap foward with superior programming capability and usefulness
      two steps backwards in human interaction

    12. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:35 PM #82
      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?

      88 oldsmobile calais had a very similar setup
      but not that exact kind

      it was on the coloumn and a stiff push button on pull button off
      never had a problem with it

      again, it did look slightly different.

    13. Member rabbitnothopper's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:36 PM #83
      Quote Originally Posted by Ace_VR6 View Post
      The Worst button placement I have ever had to deal with is the trunk release button on the 2005 Ford Mustang GT my dad had. It didn't have one... Had one on keyfob though!
      therefore your story is saying
      key is dead...cant open trunk.....facepalm and sell the car?

    14. Member Smokin Joe's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:37 PM #84
      Quote Originally Posted by Tokyosmash View Post
      Citroen?
      Oui, Oui

    15. Member cityjohn's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:42 PM #85
      Quote Originally Posted by ATL_Av8r View Post
      At least they're finally on the door. The E30/36/46 had the worst window switch setup ever
      I liked the center console-mounted (or in the case of VW, dashboard-mounted) window switches. It's like the car is saying "you're in Germany now"

    16. Member 1985Jetta's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:47 PM #86
      Quote Originally Posted by cityjohn View Post
      I liked the center console-mounted (or in the case of VW, dashboard-mounted) window switches. It's like the car is saying "you're in Germany now"
      I liked them in 80's Pontiacs.

    17. Member zaYG's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 09:51 PM #87
      Quote Originally Posted by Seabird View Post
      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.
      I went to high school with a girl who broke her nose from doing this.
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    18. Member Live-Wire's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 10:02 PM #88
      All the E90 bashing, yet no one pointed out the location of both cupholders are directly above your front passengers knees!

      I'm actually picking up an E90 on Friday, thought it was one of the best cars I've driven ergonomically and overall. Didn't notice the lock switch, but good to know for when I go to pick up my first passenger (I assume the door locks self-lock when you start driving?). I found the window switches were in a easy to locate/reach area... not a far reach at all.

      The lock button in the center (and window switches in the center) is to save money on LHD/RHD models. My buddy rented a new Focus and couldn't find the unlock switch for a month apparently... he kept using his key-fob. He complained to me about it, I found it on google in about 2 minutes and told him. He thought the center lock thing was the dumbest thing ever too... Personally I don't care as long as I know where the switch is. The reach is the same.

      Quote Originally Posted by dopaz View Post
      Why should you need to tell them apart? Why have two different keys at all? A single key for a single car. I can't believe it took GM until the 1990's to fix that ergonomic fail. And, they held onto the dual key setup despite customer preference:
      I agree, these are one of the worst things ever. I remember having friends who defended them. Then complained that their tiny, pointy, stabby keys jabbed them in the leg yet again.

      I showed them the keys to my parents Volvo; one of their first squared off keys. The ones that reduce leg-stabbage by about 95%. They worked both ways too. Beautiful.

      I then showed them the switch blade key when said friends got cars with keyless entry... on a separate little cheap plastic fob... that broke all the time... and had painted on markings that wore off in less than a year. My switchblade was compact, it stored the key off to the side, it was fun to play with for 5-10 minutes, it had embossed icons for what the rubberized buttons did that lasted ~7-8 years before the button got pretty worn down. By then you knew what the buttons did.

    19. Member Ace_VR6's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 10:04 PM #89
      Quote Originally Posted by rabbitnothopper View Post
      therefore your story is saying
      key is dead...cant open trunk.....facepalm and sell the car?
      Not at all I am saying they have no trunk button for 2005. 2004 and 2006 has them but none in 2005. Terrible placement in 2005.
      Quote Originally Posted by 04_GLI_ View Post
      Yeah still drove it home bout 60 miles. Didn't know it was a broken timming belt, drove fine just made a lil noise.
      Coils Are For Poor People

    20. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 10:08 PM #90
      Quote Originally Posted by Live-Wire View Post
      All the E90 bashing, yet no one pointed out the location of both cupholders are directly above your front passengers knees!

      I'm actually picking up an E90 on Friday, thought it was one of the best cars I've driven ergonomically and overall. Didn't notice the lock switch, but good to know for when I go to pick up my first passenger (I assume the door locks self-lock when you start driving?). I found the window switches were in a easy to locate/reach area... not a far reach at all.
      Ahhh, yes the cupholders, which the driver can not reach and will kindly remind you to retract them as your passenger exits the vehicle. I didn't think of it until you mentioned it because I'm almost never a passenger. But, seriously, I'm surprised ours haven't broken yet.
      I was kind of nitpicking with the window switches
      Overall, it's a good car ergonomically speaking. Just a few annoyances.

    21. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 10:15 PM #91
      The early Chevy Citations had a vertically mounted radio.

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    22. Member patrickvr6's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 10:30 PM #92
      I present the air cooled 911 climate control system. Controls are scattered all over the car and it is absolutely mystifying. The only saving grace is that no matter where you put all those switches nothing really changes.


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      10-02-2012 10:43 PM #93
      Subaru wiper stalk:



      Notice that the mist function and the washer function have the same symbol? That combined the fact that the mist function uses the control that most cars use for the washer (pull stalk) resulted in my changing out a perfectly good washer fluid pump.
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    24. Member Lifelong Obsession's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 10:50 PM #94
      I will second the E90 cupholders. Hot drinks above the passenger's knee where they will inevitably bump it when exiting the car - gee, what could go wrong there?

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      10-02-2012 10:53 PM #95
      1995-2005 Cavalier. Lighter/outlet right next to the ignition (and where the ignition actually is on some other cars).


    26. Senior Member Hostile's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 10:58 PM #96
      Quote Originally Posted by Haubbs View Post
      I had an immediate flashback to my mom's 1980 Cutlass Supreme.
      LOL, same flashback to my grandma's 80's Cutlass Supreme.

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      10-02-2012 11:02 PM #97
      I remember the Plymouth Volare station wagon my parents had when I was a kid had the switch for the high beams on the floor? I always thought it was like a magic trick when my mom would turn them on and she would say the switch is on the floor and I would think she was joking, always asked her to point it out to me one day and she never did. I looked several times in the footwell and never did find the thing.

    28. Geriatric Member VDub2625's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 11:24 PM #98
      Quote Originally Posted by ZoomBoy View Post
      I remember this from my 1985 Celebrity. What a piece, thank god I never used it much.
      Haha, I remember that from my mom's 85 Celebrity growing up. I wedged an old stopwatch in the dash to add a clock too

      Quote Originally Posted by AKADriver View Post
      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?
      Yes, it's much easier (meaning a lot less wiring) to activate the hazards right from the same place as the turn signals.

      Check this:


      The wonderful, new 1990 Passat, with switches that you need arthritis fingers to reach. Right about the knee, the switches face sideways in an unviewable, unreachable single panel. All 4 doors were like this.

      In 1993-ish, when the Mk3 cae out, Zee Germans said, "oh, you want easy to reach door switches, eh? Oh, we'll give you those...

      (you can sort of see them at the top of the grab handle)

      "...but just try finding those rear window switches at ze momen't snotice! Haha!"
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    29. Member Smokin Joe's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 11:37 PM #99
      Quote Originally Posted by RobMarkToo View Post
      I remember the Plymouth Volare station wagon my parents had when I was a kid had the switch for the high beams on the floor? I always thought it was like a magic trick when my mom would turn them on and she would say the switch is on the floor and I would think she was joking, always asked her to point it out to me one day and she never did. I looked several times in the footwell and never did find the thing.
      All the old American cars had it there, it was a great spot. You can dim the lights without taking your hands off the wheel. Great when you're in the middle of a blind turn and there is an approaching car.

    30. Member creanium's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 11:54 PM #100
      Good luck finding and activating the horn on a mid-90s Trans Am


    31. 10-03-2012 12:09 AM #101
      Quote Originally Posted by Smokin Joe View Post
      All the old American cars had it there, it was a great spot. You can dim the lights without taking your hands off the wheel. Great when you're in the middle of a blind turn and there is an approaching car.
      ... unless you lived in the snow/salt belt, in which case the snow that you drag in with your boots melts while you are driving and then freezes into the carpet and into that high-beam switch when you park the car, and salt gets into the switch and buggers it up. Dumb place to put anything electrical whatsoever.

    32. 10-03-2012 12:12 AM #102
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      Who the **** turns on the hazards while driving and turning?
      Someone trying to warn others of a hazard?

      Quote Originally Posted by koston. View Post
      Ergonomically, yeah its a pain to hit when in motion. But the feel of the button, and that it lights up in a huge hazard implying way? TOTALLY AWESOME.
      I LOVE the hazards on my Cabrio, the first time I used them was at night. I almost laughed, it lights up the whole cabin.

    33. 10-03-2012 12:27 AM #103
      Quote Originally Posted by ATL_Av8r View Post
      At least they're finally on the door. The E30/36/46 had the worst window switch setup ever
      The BMW faithful will disagree with you here...they bemoan its move to the doors! I don't mind the central positioning of the switch, but still mind the double-door handle pull to open the door...when the car is stopped, I would think the computer could be smart enough to realize to pulls are not necessary. Conversely, if the car is moving at speed, any number of door pulls to open the door is probably not the best choice!

      On my E92, the window switches are a little too far forward....my E90 friends tell me they often open the back window when they reach for the front window....so it is an ergonomic niggle...but certainly not a "worse ergonomics fail" that the thread is looking for. I think the GM hazard switches are the winner for me too.

    34. Senior Member VWVan's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 12:30 AM #104
      Similar to Seabirds post about the steering wheel.

      I had an Infiniti G20t for 6 years and could never find the horn button when I really needed it!

      pic from google:

    35. Senior Member Big Dac With Fries's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 12:44 AM #105
      Quote Originally Posted by Ace_VR6 View Post
      The Worst button placement I have ever had to deal with is the trunk release button on the 2005 Ford Mustang GT my dad had. It didn't have one... Had one on keyfob though!
      I see this and raise you the trunk release mechanism/remote lever of an '80s Audi Coupe.



      I can't even find a picture of the damn thing, it's so obscure.

      In case you're wondering, it's in the B-pillar. You've got to open the door, probably exit the car, and then pull the little lever to open the trunk.
      Want to roll your fenders or Lamin-X your lights in clear or yellow for THE ABSOLUTE CHEAPEST PRICE IN THE GTA? IM me!
      "I was thinking about what a friend had said, I was hoping it was a lie."

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