I’ve had a wide variety of electronic options included in my most recent vehicles. Some are maintenance headaches and become safety issues, and others are unnecessary or do not work well over time. Here are the primary features that I’d prefer not to have.
Power rear van doors: The rear seat power doors in my van seem to operate at will – their will, not mine. On several occasions I have to returned to my vehicle, only to find my rear door wide open. After I closed the door and turned away, it popped open again. I have had these doors refuse to open for months, then suddenly start working again. I definitely have a concern about getting rear seat passengers out of the vehicle in an emergency. Is the cause ghosts of passengers past or poor engineering?
DVD player: The controls for the DVD player are too low to the floor for operation by the passenger in the front seat when buckled in, and the size and placement of the overhead screen is uncomfortable for viewing by small children, Unless headphones are used, the DVD sound is distracting to the driver. When I bought the van with the DVD player, everyone in the family was excited, but the excitement only lasted for a month, Our DVD player became totally unused, and later transitioned to not working due to complex electrical issues.
Passenger power windows controlled by driver: The ability of the driver to operate the passenger’s power window is unsafe. Several times I have lowered or closed the passenger window at the wrong time, risking passenger injury. This is especially an issue for a driver who normally drives alone and gets used to operating the power windows and then finds him or herself in the position of having a passenger to look out for.
Temperature and direction readout: I’ve found that the outside air temperature reading is inaccurate, displaying a warmer temperature than actual ambient air due to sunlight beating on the outside of the car. The North-South-East-West directional readout is of little use on the twisting mountain roads of NE PA and other mountainous regions. Perhaps it would be useful in the mid-west, where roads run straight.
OnStar: A feature that doesn’t work without an additional subscription and monthly fee is not a benefit to the car owner.
When I purchase my next car, I certainly won’t be dazzled by any of the above options. I’ll look for a more basic vehicle, which will cost less and likely have fewer electrical system maintenance issues over the life of the vehicle.