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Why It Is Immoral for Automakers To Sell Cars With Crank Windows

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2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS

There is no business, financial or manufacturing case for it. It is a design that dates back to the origins of the automobile. Why on earth in 2009 are brand new cars at Toyota, Nissan, Chevy, Hyundai, Kia and even Smart dealers rolling off the lots with hand crank windows? And no, it isn't because we are Americans and could use the upper body exercise.

If you are running a production line manufacturing an inexpensive car dont you think you would actually save money by only having one door panel design and parts to work with? Small, economical cars like the Toyota Yaris and Chevy Aveo have optional power windows (that don't cost all that much even on the options list so imagine how cheap the mechanicals are for the manufacturer) yet they continue to stamp out two different door styles with two different sets of powered and unpowered window mechanicals. That is inefficient and not cost effective. There is no way anyone with half an understanding of business or manufacturing practices could argue around that.

Why do automakers do this? Is it just a cruel corporate game to make you remember how poor you are every time you get in your car and it is going to take a minute and a half to raise or lower your window? No, but it is a way to penalize you enough to make you want to buy one of their bigger and more expensive products.

They lure you in with the $10,000 crank window Hyundai Accent and then try to send you out the door with a $15,000 power windowed Hyundai Elantra. (I am only using these as sample names and am not implying Hyundai Motor Company or any of its affiliate dealers partakes in this practice.)

Crank windows are not only tacky but they are also a safety hazard and traffic hazard. Imagine how many precious seconds are wasted at toll booths as drivers fumble with the crank window all the while looking for the change to throw in the bucket?

And what if, on a dark night, some stranger puts his hand in your mothers car and tries to grab her and all she has are crank windows? She more than likely wont be able to close them on an attacker. And all for the sake of saving a few bucks?

At first I just found it obnoxious that automakers continued to offer crank windows to customers as if there was a demand for them. But there is just no need to put peoples safety in jeopardy by continuing to use crank windows on inexpensive automobiles. Cars like the Mini and VW Golf have proven people like small cars with luxury features but it is time to take power windows out of that category.

It is time to make power windows standard on all cars because there is absolutely no reason not to. (And yes, power window mechanicals are usually robust enough to survive if your car makes a water landing into a lake and you have to get out underwater. Many times the water pressure against the glass makes the crank windows too hard for weaker people to push down.)

And make them the one touch automatic power windows too. Those are so handy at restaurant drive-thrus.

 
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Comments (12)
  1. Yes, I ALMOST agree with you regarding the efficacy of electric window lifts, but what about when the car is purchased as a used vehicle? Case in point, my car's windows have stuck in their positions making it uncomfortable when it is cold outside as it is VERY chilly driving this way. The cost of repair is WELL above my current pay grade and it would have been a much better experience driving with windows I have DIRECT control over.
     
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  2. Oh
    My
    God
    If this isn't the STUPIDEST thing I've ever read...
    Millions of people survived for nearly 100 years with manual windows (if any), manual locks, manual transmissions, bench seats, no AC, no airbags, no cupholders, no triple-letter-electronic-driving/navigational-nannys and AM radios...
    ...yet we have all these costly power assists and complexities now - yet drivers are no better at managing to get themselves safely down the road and back home then they were before.
    (BTW - When was the last time you actually ran a window down to pay a toll? Now that most bridges and tollroads have electronic readers, there's no need to even slow down the car much less run the window down to toss out a buck-fifty - and what of how distracting it is to reach into the hip pocket to drag out the money to pay the stupid toll???)
    Sure, some innovations have been really worthy additions to our automobiles such as 3-point seatbelts, tinted and laminated safety glass, crumple zones, collapsing steering columns, padded dashboards, headrests, halogen headlamps, radial tires, electric turn signals, rear-view mirrors and blindspot indicators - but the more cars become self-propelled moviehouses/coffeeshops/diningrooms/concerthouses/offices/playrooms/telephone booths - the more complacent and distracted drivers have become and even less proficient at the activity of driving.
     
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  3. Yeah, I gotta say I totally disagree as well. Crank windows are actually safer because what happens when grandma's being attacked and gets in her car and doesn't have the key? Or doesn't have the time to find the key, or doesn't have time to make sure the key is in the accessory mode position? Crank windows are just as fast electric ones. Most people prefer electric, I do. But there's nice about knowing whether the car is on, off, or plunged at the bottom of a lake where the electrical system is likely to be short circuited that the windows will ALWAYS go down if you turn the handle.
    This happened to a friend of mine. He got in an accident. Couldn't open his door, and the windows wouldn't work either. Luckily the window was down just enough that he could squeeze out, but a crank window would've been safer.
     
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  4. This is quite possibly the most retarded article i've read in a LONG time! If you are a logical person (unlike the ape who wrote this article)..and you like to keep a new car for 10 years or more...and assuming it is not a luxury car...the LAST thing you want is power windows! No matter what make or model the car is...if you keep it for several years...you WILL have mechanical problems with those windows! Either the electric motor will burn out or the glass will warp and will not go all the way up or down. And it is VERY expensive to fix either way! Despite what the author implies...no one has ever been harmed by manual crank windows. LOL!
     
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  5. Yes there is a demand for crank window, although not many. I just bought a new car this year, a 2009 Mazda 3, and I specifically looked for one with crank window. I was tired of not able to open the windows without the car turned on.
     
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  6. In 2006, I bought a used 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. Within 2 months of owning the car, the drivers window burned out, in the down position, In February, on a day I had to drive 3 hours to Rochester NY. When I brought the car into the mechanic who sold it to me he stated: a) that's a problem with this model. (upon research, the Drivers windows of Pontiac Grand Ams fail mechanically in the motor) b) and he had already replaced one for the previous owner long before the car. Unfortunately, the window mechanism (designed by Toyota.......) is such that the entire thing has to be replaced, not just the motor. I still have the car. But I no longer have that mechanic. All cars should be available with crank windows. Period.
     
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  7. It's a vintage thing.
    Some of us out there actually prefer the manual windows. I have had cars with manual and automatic and let me tell you when the automatic windows fail it is no fun financially or otherwise.
     
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  8. I bought this car, with the hand cranks, on purpose. Some of us like/want them. I don't care for all the bluetooth, satellite, power, heated, this and that either. This is not your BMW, it's a inexpensive highly practical car. Sounds like you're too lazy roll your wrist a couple times....get a life!
     
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  9. Apparently, those that love their power windows, haven't been introduced to the wonderful world of a "non-functioning power window". Out of all those hundreds of parts needed for this convenience, all that it takes is one tiny broken part and the whole assembly is worthless. I, for one, would love to see the return of those power windows that included a tiny plug on the door that could be removed, along with inserting a small tool that would let you raise and lower your window when that assembly decides to take a vacation. BUT NO..... That's just another part of whatever dealership you "deal" with when you have to replace an entire $1000 circuit because of a tiny single burnt out component. My next car will either have that extra manual stand-by or else my current car windows will remain up - all the time - or until it's time to use that 2000 pound paper weight for a trade in. Having a car with a broken part that won't let you close a window, is just another income for those dealerships or other repair shops. We want convenience, but not everyone is prepared for the inconvenience that can follow.....
     
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  10. This is a very poorly written article.
    The reason automakers still sell cars with crank windows is that some of us prefer cars without any unnecessary (and expensive to fix) complexities. We have one car with crank windows, and one with power windows, and I honestly prefer the cranks. I like being able to roll down the windows without starting the car. If I forget to put them up after turning off the car, I don't have to put the key back in the ignition.
    As for mom's car, she's actually better off with crank windows in that circumstance. She doesn't need to get the car started to put her window up, and she won't have to worry about power window pinch protection causing the window to go back DOWN when the mugger blocks it.
     
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  11. I was looking through these posts and counted nine people who seem to like crank-up windows. How many more are there like them who are not on this site? According to most car dealerships, "No one wants crank-ups anymore." Well, the unavailability of crank-up windows is just a means of coercion so people HAVE to get power windows even if the hate them.
     
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  12. I HATE POWER LOCKS AND WINDOWS is on Facebook. Go to this page and click the LIKE button if you agree. I really want to know how many people are looking for new cars with crank-ups.
     
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