I pushed my grocery cart onto a new, dimpled ramp-the only route to the parking lot not over a curb-and my cart bounced like a solid axle in the sand. That ramp took out a couple of eggs, pummeled some fruits and veggies, and shook up all the beer. That "what were they thinking?" moment unleashed a flood of recall.
Multifunction rearview mirrors: One recent example had more buttons than on the dash, and even had reading lights in it. When the driver was of short stature, the reading light was aimed at the dash, and the passenger's light shone on the back seat. Make it a simple mirror, mounted on an articulated arm so you can see under it.
Overkill: I gave Hummer grief for using Grade 8 bolts to mount a plastic trailer plug on a bumper, itself held on by Grade 5 hardware. But when my neighbor's Volvo horn wouldn't shut up and we found the cabin fusebox location on the dash, we needed a Torx driver to get the damn cover off.
Pointless rearview mirrors: You'd think a rearview mirror on a car with no rear window qualifies as pointless. But the Feds require these vehicles have a rearview mirror. They also mandate that an electrically switched mirror can't stay on the nighttime setting when the engine is off, so you have to reset it every time you restart the car at night.
Roof-mounted switches and fine print: My senior relatives bemoan any overhead switch because they can't read them unless their bifocals are on upside-down, negating the security aspect car companies are marketing to seniors. And the reason for overhead switches can't be to keep these controls out of younger hands, since years ago Honda successfully sited the sunroof switch on the dash to the left of the steering wheel.
In-road strobes: The next step in road warnings appears to be strobe lights in the pavement that blink more rapidly and randomly than conventional signpost-mounted amber lamps. My medical friends suggest the strobes could trigger seizures in some people.
Exhaust pipe routing: As noise, energy, and emissions regulations expand, so does exhaust pipe complexity. Failing to heatshield a catalyst from a U-joint is one thing, but running a V-configured engine's left-side downpipe out and under the front driveshaft of a 4WD truck really had me wondering WWTT.
Remote start/stop: This may be alluring for climate extremes, yet with available solar-powered venting sunroofs and electrically heated windshields, steering wheels, and seats, who really needs it? If it's cold, wear gloves and a jacket. Remote start on "green" cars is oxymoronic-why buy a car that saves gas if you're going to run it with no one in it? And if it switches off when you open the door so no one steals it, it creates more emissions and wears things out faster.