I’ve no doubt that by now, some at Saab have heard about the tragic accident in Scotland recently, where a three year old boy managed to start his parent’s car and accidentally caused the car to back over his younger brother, killing him.
This was nothing more than a tragic accident that has left a family distraught, and I’m sure it’s had the same effect on anyone who’s read about it.
Saab have always made what are amongst the safest vehicles on the road. They protect their occupants like few other brands. Yet no passive or active safety strategy employed by Saab might have been useful in this instance.
There is a way that Saab could help ensure that an accident like this never involves a Saab again, however.
In the US, Saabs are fitted with a switch that won’t allow a manual vehicle to be started without the clutch being depressed. If Saab could fit this device to all cars with a manual gearbox then they are most likely going to eliminate the chance of a set of circumstances such as those encountered in Scotland from leading to harm.
It’s in place in at least one market already. With Saab’s commitment to safety and the belief that this is most likely an inexpensive solution, why not install it for all markets?
If you believe this to be a responsible action to be taken by Saab, please add your thoughts in brief, in the comments section.
I’ve just received a note from Saab Sweden about this matter.
Saab have heard about the tragedy in Scotland and have indicated to me that they’ll be looking into the circumstances of the accident once the full facts are known. Obviously the police and the coroner will do their investigations and Saab will most likely seek information relevant to what happened with the car after they’re finished.
Once they know what really happened there, they’ll be in a better position to consider what, if anything, they might be able to do in light of the facts.
Whilst an interlock for Saabs fitted with an automatic transmission is normal worldwide practice, the interlock for cars with a manual gearbox is only standard practice in the United States, where it is required by law. Saab haven’t fitted a manual gearbox interlock in non-US markets as customers in those markets aren’t accustomed to it and it may be a barrier for some.
My quick thought: hopefully that will change.