Wednesday, January 02, 2013

These Modern Times

     Loading up bookstore-finds in the trunk of Turk Turon's rental car, I noticed the glow-in-the-dark emergency escape T-hand carries the international symbols for "if locked in, pull handle, leap out and run away!"

     It's certainly good to discover the sentiment is universal...or nearly so.  (My car does not appear to have one. Oops?)

14 comments:

wolfwalker said...

I don't recall -- what model is your car, and how recent? These latches are only on cars with trunks that were manufactured in 2002 or later.

Roberta X said...

'02 Hyundai Accent -- so perhaps I just missed.

wolfwalker said...

According to Edmund's, the 02 Accent was considered a hatchback, so I don't think the requirement applied.

wolfwalker said...

oops, my mistake - the base and midlevel models were hatchbacks, but there was also a sedan (GL) model. Maybe the Koreans just skipped it and nobody noticed?

Old NFO said...

Yeah, it's for the children... sigh

Tam said...

RX,

"'02 Hyundai Accent -- so perhaps I just missed."

Hatchbacks are exempt, since one could probably bust out the package tray without much problem.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. that's that "other way out" I mentioned.

Sabra said...

Supposedly it wasn't just kids, but actual adults locking themselves in their trunks on a regular basis that prompted this to become a requirement. I choose not to examine that theory too closely.

Shermlock Shomes said...

Here's my solution as seen in the classic White Heat:

Cody Jarrett: [while eating a chicken leg, Jarrett speaks to Parker in the trunk of the sedan] How ya doin', Parker?
Roy Parker: It's stuffy in here, I need some air.
Cody Jarrett: Oh, stuffy, huh? I'll give ya a little air.
[pulls a gun from his pants and shoots four times into the trunk]

Jim Dunmyer said...

FWIW: my Jetta, 2000 model year, does NOT have that escape latch. Some people seem to think that they're universal and have been, not so, from what I see.

Jeffro said...

"The Hot Needle of Inquiry" would be well suited to hauling bodies, because the lack of an escape mechanism would prevent those embarrassing moments when the dead victim suddenly appeared in public.

wolfwalker said...

Jim, model year 2000 is too old. The escape latches were required on all cars with airtight trunks starting in model year 2002, because of several well-publicized cases of people getting stuck in a closed trunk and suffocating.

Roberta X said...

My Accent has a simplified version of the old Saab trunk/hatch trick: the rear seat folds forward and the "parcel shelf" lifts up when the hatch is opened and can be removed altogether id needed.

While it is no barrier to a "trunk escape," it does mean you escape to inside the vehicle, bit of a problem if Mr. Bad Guy stuffed you into the trunk instead of your own self or some so-called friend.

markm said...

Roberta: But it is fairly difficult for Mr. Bad Guy to fend off an attack from behind while driving. OTOH, you might be reluctant to render him incapable of driving while the car is at high speed. But remember that you have one advantage as the prey: you only have to come out of the fight or crash alive. The predator has to come out mobile enough to leave before the police arrive, and without injuries so visible that everyone remembers seeing him go by.

Or if you are as paranoid as whoever dreamt up this safety requirement, you might have a gun stashed back there!

Speaking of paranoia: My first car was a 1964 Pontiac Bonneville, with a huge V8 up front and an even larger trunk in the rear. The rear deck was actually longer than the hood, and I could very carefully work a full-sized bicycle into the trunk and get the lid closed. It occurred to me that I'd fit in there too, with room to spare. So "just in case" I popped the lid up and spent some time studying the latch - yes, if needed I could get a finger in and release it, although it might require pulling hard enough to leave the finger bleeding. It would be very difficult to figure this out in the dark, but once I'd seen the mechanism, I could do it by feel.