SERIOUS safety issue with keyless entry/ ignition

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by soberups, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    So today I was driving down a rural, windy road at about 30 MPH. I was in the middle of a fairly sharp right hand curve with a car approaching me in the oncoming lane...when my engine instantly and completely shut off. I lost my power steering, I lost my power brakes, and I damn near hit the oncoming car head on because I started drifting into his lane and I couldnt stop. He was able to swerve to avoid me, and I was (eventually) able to muscle the car back over into my lane and roll to a stop. It was still a dangerous situation though, because I was basically parked in the middle of the road on a curve and I couldnt get the car started again. The fob would still open the bulkhead door, but the keyless ignition was dead.

    I normally keep my ignition key on the fob, but my car got PMI'd about a month ago and when the mechanic put fresh batteries in both fobs he put the fob with the ignition key back into the lock box and I hadnt gotten around to switching it back. I still had the code to the box, but since it is mounted on the firewall to the left of the brake pedal the only way I could reach it was to get out of the car and stand in the road and lean cars went driving around me on a blind corner.

    Once I got the key, I stuck it in the ignition and the car fired right up. Both fobs worked fine for opening the BH door, but the only way to get the engine running was to use the key. I was able to keep on working, but the experience scared the hell out of me when I started thinking about how much worse it could have been. I could have been on a main highway, trying to merge with traffic at 55MPH. I could have been pulling a fully loaded pup trailer up a steep hill. If it were winter I could have been heading downhill in the snow on a windy mountain road with no guardrail. I could have rolled to a stop halfway out into a traffic lane on a busy highway and caused other cars to hit each other trying to avoid me while I frantically called the center trying to get the code to that stupid lockbox. Or, I could have been crushed beween the side of the package car and a passing vehicle while standing in the road opening the box.

    What I learned today is that having posession of a backup ignition key is a safety issue. There is absolutely no valid reason for locking that key up in a box. When the keyless system fails, having the ability to instantly restart the car and get it the hell out of the middle of the road can mean the difference between life and death. The company needs to immediately see to it that every package car has an ignition key attached to its primary fob, and more importantly it needs to figure out why a malfuntion in the system will cause the cars engine to just shut off out of the clear blue at 30MPH and then figure out some sort of a fail safe or mechanical override in the system to prevent this from occuring. My package car is one of many thousands that are all identical, so if it can happen to me then it is a statistical certainty that it will eventually happen to someone else also. When it does, the results could be a whole lot worse.
  2. Backlasher

    Backlasher Stronger, Faster, Browner

    I never understood why they wouldn't have ignition key on primary fob instead of 2nd one in lock box. I've had auto ignition die a few times and had to use key but luckily was on side road without traffic. !st time it happened it toke an hour of trouble shooting over cell with mechanic B4 finally giving code to lock box for ignition key.
  3. Backlasher

    Backlasher Stronger, Faster, Browner

    Thank God you made it threw safely.
  4. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    They have the ignition key locked up to make sure we are using the keyless system.

    Sober, are you sure that you didn't accidently hit the stop button?
  5. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    Even if he had, it would not restart!
  6. speeddemon

    speeddemon Guest

    We do have a set of keys in the cab in addition to the FOB. I keep them in my pocket for when I need to get in the back door. It does pose a problem if the truck shuts off. I've run into this few times and it is a little unnerving.
  7. over9five

    over9five Senior Member Staff Member

    So, where do you go from here? I'm sure if you tell your boss, he'll authorize you to carry a key.
    But what about everyone else?


    Now if that had been an accident, it would have been avoidable because YOU DIDNT have to be on that road at that time of the day with that person coming down the road...Thats probably the stupidity you would have heard. Glad you made it through safely, now I just want to leave the key in the ignition when I drive a truck thats electrified! You lose power steering in these trucks and it SUCKS, cause not only do you loser power steering but on MOST you lose your brake booster.
  9. over9five

    over9five Senior Member Staff Member

    I tell you, that was my first thought too. They would have invented some reason why that was the drivers fault.
  10. Scottyhawk

    Scottyhawk What is it? A brown box. Duh

    Avoidable under Habit #4: expect the unexpected LOL.

    Seriously, I am glad you made it through without incident. If that happened while I was on the turnpike I would be crushed like a bug
  11. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Even if I had accidentally leaned forward and pushed the stop button on the dash, there should not have been anything preventing me from restarting the car. The only way I could get it restarted was to use the key. "Butt dialing" the key fob while driving causds the BH door to open but it doesnt shut off the motor or prevent it from restarting. This was a mechanical or electronic failure of some sort.
  12. pickup

    pickup Well-Known Member

    Geez, Sober . I'm glad your story didn't have a fatality or injury in it. And I hope your story can help make sure that other people's stories pertaining to this are never written.
  13. Brownslave688

    Brownslave688 You want a toe? I can get you a toe.

    This is a glitch in the system even if you hit the engine stop with the truck moving there should be a fail safe that it doesn't shut off unless in park. Same with the bulkhead if they actually cared about safety these measures would be built in.
  14. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    OSHA, DOT, or both need a phone call.
  15. browntruckmechanic

    browntruckmechanic Well isn't that special ?????????

    The last statement of your post is incorrect. Per Dot there is an backup brake assist motor. When seated eng off, place foot on brake pedal that should be a audible low growling type noise. This is the electric brake motor for the hydroboost. If this noise is not heard than the vehicle is not DOT safe and should be addressed by the shop.
  16. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    Seems like this is a safety issue that ought to be grieved.
  17. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Even with the electric motor backup, stopping distance is dramatically increased if your engine shuts off while rolling down the road.

    Our mechanic fixed the car...but until I have a better understanding of what happened, I will no longer trust the keyless system and so I am back to using the original keys.
  18. hellfire

    hellfire no one considers UPS people."real" Teamsters.-BUG

    sad as it sounds maybe the best outcome for you an the involved party, assuming all injuries were minor,, would have been a collision, you both would have been rich
  19. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    "Sad" would not have been my choice of words to describe your statement.


    Even with the assist motor working, you still cant press the brake pedal. I know you will probably write back and say yes you can, but I say to you go out and try it. Go out with one of the trucks, kill the engine and with the assist motor working tell me you can get that truck stopped by pressing the brake. You are lucky to budge it if you put your entire bodily force on it.