For those that haven’t read the rest of my posts, I work in the automotive industry. If you all take my advice, I’ll be unemployed (just kidding – nobody actually reads this site). I’m not so sure that would be a bad thing right now. There are financial reasons why brand new cars can be a bad idea for some people. They are a bad financial move for anybody, but some people can afford to make bad financial decisions.
This article is not about that. It is about the massive and expensive mandatory content of new cars I can’t deal with.
I went into mechanical engineering as a “gearhead” who loved cars. Past tense intentional. That was 25 years ago. They’ve slowly evolved into bloated, disconnected safety cages on wheels and I’m having none of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how good new cars are in terms of quality and reliability. Even power is better than ever. The lowest cost ones have more options than the loaded ones did 25 years ago.
They are all also very “safe,” compared to cars 25 years ago. “Safe” in scare quotes since they are only safer in the event of a collision. I will argue they are less safe from the point of view that you are more likely to experience a collision in a new car than in a car 25 years ago.
Again, don’t get me wrong: I have no problem, at all, with “safe” cars.
My problem is this: All of them have to be safe.
That used to be Volvo’s thing. Volvo made the cars for people whose primary concern was vehicle safety. Now – every car has to be a Volvo. Says who? Says NHTSA. Says FMVSS. You can’t say no to NHTSA. You can’t say no to FMVSS. Funny: I can’t seem to recall when we had the vote to make all new cars just as safe as Volvos or face the death penalty.
Think I exaggerate?
Try building and selling a new car in the United States that doesn’t meet NHTSA’s and FMVSS’ volumes of rules and regulations (again – that nobody voted for) and see what happens next:
If you don’t turn yourself in – men with guns will come for you. These men will be trained killers. If you fail to comply with these men – they will kill you. These men will feel no remorse. These men will be lauded as heroes by a disconcertingly significant percentage of the population. I don’t recommend it.
This mandatory “safety” comes at a price: Weight and cost – enforced at gunpoint.
How much weight you ask?
This much weight:
You can’t buy a new car without all this expensive, heavy, vision blocking, and almost never actually utilized safety equipment. But you can:
- Buy a ’34 Ford with daggers sticking out of the dashboard and drive it on the same roads.
- Buy one of several 200 mph capable motorcycles and ride it on the same roads.
- Climb up 3000 ft. sheer rock cliffs with no harness.
- Cross the street not only without looking both ways, but without looking either way.
- Drink until you blackout every night.
- Skydive not only without any backup chute, but with just a piece of junk primary chute.
I could go on – forever. And ever. And ever. You get the point.
If you think the things listed above also need to be banned, then you are the problem.
You are the reason cars cost so much. You are the reason cars weigh so much. You are the reason cars don’t get any better gas mileage than they did 25 years ago – despite major efficiency breakthroughs since. You are the reason for 8 year new car loans. You are the reason why you can barely see if there is anybody in the crosswalk while making a left turn in any new car.
You are reason why I’ll never buy a new car again.
And there’s nothing you can do about it.