My ignition switch turned off, oh my!

New Key design allows only one key ring, dead center to the shaft so any extra weight or force won't exert a twisting effect

This goads me to no end, all the hype over GM’s ignition switch (so-called) defect. Out of 1.6 million cars with this suspected switch problem, 31 have been ‘blamed’ for causing crashes that killed 12 people in the past 10 years. Mathematically, that’s .0019 percent divided by 10 = .00019 percent per year. You’re more likely to win the lottery than have your GM ignition switch ‘cause’ your car to crash.

And let the grandstanding begin. Senator Clair McCaskill, D., Mo, chairman of the consumer protection committee, says, “We have to get to the bottom of this. We need to find out who (at GM) dropped the ball and put millions of Americans at risk.”

Never mind operator error, overloading the key ring with junk or bumping the key with your knee. Never mind the fact you weren’t wearing a seat belt. Never mind the fact that you can’t drive a car without power steering and power brakes. Never mind the fact that you don’t think to look down and check your key position when your car quits running as you’re barreling down the road, drunk on your ass.

Sure, the key should not turn to the “accessory” or “off” positions while you’re driving, but come on, people, this doesn’t ‘cause’ the car to crash. The driver causes the car to crash. When the car quits, a normal reaction from a conscientious driver would be to twist the key to restart the engine. The simple act of returning the key to the ‘on’ position will reignite the ignition without having to crank the starter. Another sensible reaction would be to steer to the shoulder, put the transmission in neutral (or park) and crank the starter. Power steering and power brakes are not required to safely operate a car. It just takes more effort on the driver’s part, especially at low speeds. Also, power brakes have a ‘reserve’ vacuum supply and/or accumulator pressure to facilitate power braking should the engine die.

I loved it when I heard on the news that the snow storm and slick roads caused a car to crash into the Platte River during rush hour. 10,000 cars drove that very same road that morning, and they didn’t end up in the river. The driver caused the car to crash.

Hey, I’m just a sad as anyone when a life is lost in a car crash. My condolences go out to the families. What makes me sadder is that ‘personal responsibility’ goes out the window when people start playing the ‘blame game.’ Is this truly a safety issue? No. It’s a money issue. Lawyers are lining up to cash in. Settlements are being dished out like Halloween candy. The government is fining GM some $25 million. Now there’s a criminal investigation. And while everyone is screaming foul over the 12 people who died, cigarette companies keep killing Americans at a rate approaching 1,400 per day. None of this makes any sense to me.

So the pigs are at the trough again, scarfing down the slop and excreting pig poop in the name of ‘national safety.’ And that’s American Pork, my friends.

About Terry Wright

There’s nothing mundane in the writing world of Terry Wright. Tension, conflict and suspense propel his readers through the pages as if they were on fire. Published in Science Fiction and Supernatural, his mastery of the action thriller has won him International acclaim as an accomplished screenplay writer. A longtime member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, he runs their annual Colorado Gold Writing Contest. Terry lives near Denver with his wife, Bobette, and their Yorkie named Taz. He invites you to visit his Web site at
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