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Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 22:44:24 -0500
From: "Kenneth S." <>
Subject: Re: Ignition Key won't turn - 900NG

Nutmegger wrote: > > "Kenneth S." wrote ::: > > Nutmegger wrote: > > > > > > "Marcuse1001wrote ::: > > > > > > > I get this image of an > > > > obnoxious american desecrating a lovely Saab with his Mcdonalds and > > > Coffee! > > > > > > LOL! I can see it now. > > > > > > > its not a design flaw! > > > > > > No, I always thought the opposite in that it was quite innovative. > > > > What puzzles me is the following: if this is a VALUABLE innovation, why > > haven't other manufacturers followed? > > Good question. > It may have something to do with the added expense of wiring or design. I > always like that about my 900, it didn't bother me a bit. > > >Saab doesn't hold a patent on > > between-the-seats ignition key positioning, does it? > > My thinking (and feel free to tell me I'm wrong) is back in the 80's when > the 900's rose in popularity so much here in the US - the American auto > manufacturers were cutting corners so much to keep the rise of profits > coming in. Saab never did that, they actually designed the car for the > driver and for safety. Other manufacturers started following in safety > footsteps after so much involvement with the NTSB and the barrage of > lawsuits that hit them. So, I am totally guessing here that it is somehow > too expensive in some way for them to even consider it. > Remember the Pinto? > Matter of fact, there has been a class action suit against the Chev truck > that my ex still drives. From previous experience in this news group, I know that there's no better way to set some people off than to question the positioning of the ignition key in Saabs. It's like tossing a hand grenade into the group. However, I'm highly skeptical of the safety argument, if only because -- in today's climate -- other manufacturers would follow the Saab example, if it made any significant difference safety-wise. Why would other manufacturers go to the expense of nonmandatory things like side airbags or antilock brakes, if they could make their products significantly safer by the simple expedient of putting the ignition key between the seats? I think it's far more likely that the key between the seats is nothing more than a Saab distinguishing feature, much like the Rolls-Royce radiator grill. And just as the RR radiator grill must exact a penalty in terms of aerodynamics, so the Saab ignition key exacts a penalty in terms of vulnerability to things getting down into it -- particularly spilled liquids. If there were anything in the safety argument, Saab could put the ignition key in the dashboard, instead of the steering column. That's the way it was in the Chevrolet Malibu that I rented while my 900 SE was being fixed a few months back. Incidentally, it's also the way it used to be on many cars years ago, in the days when there was a separate ignition key and starting button.

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