Sunday, October 22, 2006

Stranded by the Corvette

OK, I can see the eyes rolling now with thoughts of: "I wish I could have that problem", and "Gee, it must be hard to own a Corvette". But still, it's a funny(?) story worth telling.

A few weeks ago, we had our roof redone and the roofers came every morning promptly at 6:30 AM, waking our family to the sound of nails being hammered above our heads. On this particular morning, I was granted the honors of taking the Corvette into work, but the roofer's truck was parked outside of the garage, with just barely enough room to back out. Instead of risking it, Doug offered to pull the car out of the garage for me. I handed him my keys (above left) and he drove the car out of the garage without incident. Now in this car, you don't have to put the key into an ignition lock. You simply have to have the key on your person (or purse) and push the button with the green light (above right). We have two sets of keys and the car knows which one it is and greets you by name when you start up the car. It is one way of setting this car apart, to make it "fanceee" (as if 400 HP isn't enough).

So I drove off to work and pushed the bottom of the button to shut off the car. It shut off but the dash was flashing, "No key fob, Run or Stop?" What? I checked my pocket. No key, like it said. Doug still had it in HIS pocket! I quickly realized my choices were: Run, so I could drive the car back to where the key fob was left behind, or Stop and be stranded. Since I knew that my key was set to automatically lock when I left the car, I figured it was safe to stop. Plus, I work only 15 minutes from home so Doug could stop by before I left to deliver the keys. Still, I was furious at the design "feature" that left me stranded. What if I was still at my old job at 65 minutes away? Would I drive all the way there, only to drive all the way home and then try to explain to my boss that the car would have left me stranded if I stayed at work? What kind of lame excuse is that? What if I had driven 200 miles and needed to add gas? Would I be able to start the car up again? Or what if I didn't have automatic locking? Would I feel compelled to drive back home?

So my advice to Chevrolet is to warn the driver if they are driving without the key fob as soon as possible. The car obviously knows about 5 seconds after you drive off that the key is no longer inside. It would be unsafe to shut off the car, but not letting you know until you shut off the car possibly hours later is insane. Or maybe it's just their way to tell you that you're an idiot and shouldn't be driving the car. Especially if you're just the wife who can't even back the car out of the garage! (OK, I blame the roofers entirely for putting their truck in the wrong place and for my lack of sleep and hence forgetting the key).

1 comment :

Bigqueue said...

Being an Engineer, I generally look at issues like this and ask the question "What could possibly be the reason for GM making this car react this way? (and what I mean is allowing you to drive away without the key FOB.)

{remove my rambling here}

Don't worry...I'm sure there is a "rework" you can make to disable this "feature' as there was for the "pro-environment/anti-driver" shift gate lockout.

Gee...and I was wondering why the last I checked (several years ago), GM bonds were bordering on junk bond status.

But it's still a very nice car...and if I looked down deep and was totally honest, I bet it is probably my "car-envy" that causes me to be so harsh. {shame on me}