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What WERE the designers thinking?

Manufactures began eliminating the trunk lock cylinder more than 15 years ago, a common sight on mid-priced and luxury cars. The lack of a lock cylinder on the trunk gives a cleaner look and if every car comes with a remote and electric trunk release the lock will never be used, only invite a thief with a hammer and screwdriver.

A sales person is not going to climb though a trunk to pull the emergency release handle, especially if wearing a skirt, it is better to move on to positive aspects of the vehicle. Why not look at the trunk of a vehicle outside that has the battery connected?

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You got me out to the garage to look at my Mustang. Lo and behold, there is no key lock for the trunk and the only manual release is for someone locked IN the trunk to use. I do have a fold-down rear seat that would allow me access to the trunk but it could be quite the squeeze as my jumpers are in the spare tire well.

Yeah, that’s pretty stupid. At least the hood release is manual.

My Kia’s rear seat backs fold down but the release knobs are in the TRUNK! The fob trunk release is electric but thankfully the release lever next to the driver’s seat is cable.

I was thinking the locks must cost over $200 since my Kia only has 2. Driver door and ignition switch.

Apparently this design, which I still think is dumb, is more common than I thought.
What the heck are they teaching these kids in design school these days? :fearful:

This vehicle was in the showroom, on display for people to look at. Shouldn’t people looking at it be able to open the trunk? Or is this an acceptable way to display product in your world?

Nomatter, my post is about my feeling that the idea is bad design. Looking at one in the parking lot is irrelevant to the post. And if it were pouring out, which it has been often where I live, it wouldn’t even b e a realistic option.

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I believe it is vey common for dealers to disconnect the battery for cars displayed inside their showroom. People and kids playing around unsupervised could attempt to start the car or play with the electronics otherwise.

Hmmm, not so much kids, but unsupervised adults.

This is the dealership’s way of saying, "Please shop at another Toyota (or other) dealership down the road that offers better customer treatment, both before and after the sale! Thank You! Don’t come, again!"

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Sell said, CSA!

My son-in-law’s '04 Grand Prix trunk key opener failed 3 years ago, but the electric opener still works fine.


This isn’t really a new phenomenon.
When I bought my brandy-new, beautiful '71 Charger SE, I was somewhat impressed that it featured shoulder harnesses. Okay, they weren’t retractable, and were a pain to stow and to attach, but this was a good improvement in vehicular safety. Am I right?

However, on my first drive, I was immediately confronted by the reality that a driver who was using the shoulder harness was not able to reach the release for the E-brake. After a lot of soul-searching, I finally decided to use the shoulder harness only if I was going on an extended drive. Otherwise, the bizarre routine of not being able to release the E-brake while using the shoulder harness was a real impediment.

Ergo…poor design is not really something new.

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Point well made. Still… WHY!!! :persevere:

First issue, seems to me they could just disable the latch so you could open the trunk and it would shut but not lock. Seems silly not to be able to check the cargo area on the sales floor-for things like a spare tire.

Next you got me thinking and as I washed the Acura today, I was looking for physical locks on the door. Just one on the driver’s door. The rest are power. So I guess at least you could get into the thing to open the hood but if I had a power pack in the back, it would be a hard crawl through the seats to get at it. Maybe I should do a semi annual battery check instead of annual.

It sounds like Toyota provided a purely mechanical back up method to open the trunk, so I guess it isn’t that big of deal. But I don’t like fancy gizmos on cars, especially when they accomplish little and add additional failure mode risks. If that’s the only option available, sorry Toyota, but no future Yaris purchases for me.

An emergency release handle inside the trunk has been required since 2002. This Toyota is manufacture by Mazda.

In this case, you wouldn’t have to do that. According to the manual, the release is right behind the seat. Regardless, what salesperson says it isn’t possible when it clearly IS possible? One that is either ignorant of the product they sell or one that is super lazy. Unfortunately, this gives the entire dealership a black eye and not like customers do not have alternatives…

Regarding moving on to positives- I am most inclined to disregard any vehicle that has a major negative, especially when first starting out looking. I only settle on these if I cannot find one that meets all of my expectations. Then I start weighing negatives. Most salespeople know customers that leave often do not return. They buy elsewhere…

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The typical kind, in my experience. I have never run into a car salesperson that knew much about the product they were selling. Motorcycle salespeople have been the opposite - very knowledgeable.

However, failure to understand the product that one is selling isn’t limited to car salesmen.
When I bought my current refrigerator, the salesman was trying to figure out how to work the ice dispenser. Since I had settled on that model mainly because it didn’t have an ice dispenser–which I neither want nor need–I allowed him to waste a couple of minutes before I explained to him that this model did not have an ice dispenser.

And now, I think it is time to revive my favorite stupid car salesman story! (For the regulars who have read this one a few times, I apologize!)

Many years ago, my brother & SIL were shopping for a new car, and–as usual–they had done their due diligence prior to visiting showrooms. In order to assess whether a particular car salesman was really as stupid as he seemed, my brother pointed to a button on the dashboard labeled “traction control”, and while trying to seem clueless and innocent, he asked the salesman, “What does that do?”.

The salesman replied, “Oh, when you push that button, it makes the car heavier!”. :confounded:

My brother’s reply was, “I have to say that I am really impressed with technology that allows a driver to defy the laws of physics”, and then he and his wife exited the showroom in search of intelligent life.


Interesting, you got me thinking about other products with engines. I have also found boat salespeople to be very knowledgeable about not only their products but competitors and the activity in general.

I did run into an exception in auto sales when i bought my last used vehicle. Wrote about it here. The dealership will not hire professional salespeople. They hire enthusiasts and train them to their standards. None of the typical tactics and generally knowledgeable people. Refreshing experience…

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Wow, THAT dealership is one I would do business with!