By Stephen Markley on October 6, 2009
Wrapped up in the conversation over Toyota’s record-setting recall for 3.8 million vehicles last week, USA Today auto writer Chris Woodyard introduces concerns about the push-start button. That’s the popular new way for people to start their cars without a key and traditional ignition.
Many of the 3.8 million vehicles included in the recall are equipped with such systems.
The button must be depressed for three seconds to kill the engine, and Woodyard points out that most people’s idea of a kill-switch stems from industrial machinery where one slap of the button will cut power in an emergency.
Toyota says that the three-second depression time is meant to keep people from accidentally hitting the button and killing the engine, which would also knock out power steering and other systems.
We agree with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s spokesperson Rae Tyson who said of the push-start button, “It’s a new technology that drivers need to familiarize [themselves with].”