Why can't you unlock the rear doors with a key?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

Why is it that you can't unlock the back doors on a car with a key? As it is, you almost have to be a contortionist to reach over the front seat and unlock them. This is very awkward, particularly when your arms are full of groceries.

RAY: Well, Janet, the reason there aren't outside locks on the rear doors is to spare absent-minded drivers the horrible embarrassment of getting into the back seat by accident, sitting down, putting on the seatbelt, and then trying to figure out where the ignition key goes. It's happened to several people I know, and none of them have ever really recovered from it.

TOM: But there is an answer for you, Janet; power door locks. A lot of power door locking systems let you open all of the doors when you unlock the driver's door with the key.

RAY: And if you really want the state of the art, you can get REMOTE power door locks. General Motors in particular has been blazing the trail with this new technology. You carry a small re?mote transmitter on your key chain, and when you get within twenty or thirty feet of your car, you zap the button and the driver's door unlocks. Zap it twice and ALL of the doors unlock.

TOM: Zap it three times and the Roger Smith, the former CEO of GM, pops out of the trunk and helps you load up your packages!

TOM: Actually, most of the remotes DO have trunk releases, too. This is just one more example of America first. Cup-holder technology isn't the only thing in which we're going to be world leaders...the remote power door lock industry is OURS...all OURS! Take that, Japan!

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