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Car owners? block: Get rid of locks!

CITY CAR owners are calling up their dealers to get rid of the central locking system! The cause of panic are Ghaziabad and Delhi incidents in which a total of seven people were roasted alive while trapped in cars on fire. Panic about remote central locking and security system has spread as the police have questioned central locking system. And before this, there was an incident in Mumbai where some people died during Mumbai floods last year as the doors did not open. Here too central locking system was questioned.
By Pankaj A Jaiswal | None
PUBLISHED ON JUN 09, 2006 12:00 AM IST

CITY CAR owners are calling up their dealers to get rid of the central locking system!

The cause of panic are Ghaziabad and Delhi incidents in which a total of seven people were roasted alive while trapped in cars on fire.

Panic about remote central locking and security system has spread as the police have questioned central locking system. And before this, there was an incident in Mumbai where some people died during Mumbai floods last year as the doors did not open. Here too central locking system was questioned.

“Only the doors under child lock cannot be opened from inside. But here too the central locking system is not responsible as child lock is independent of central locking system,” says Autocop area zonal manager Mehul Dhawan.

The car salespersons and car security system sales people had a tough time explaining people that remote central locking and security system under any circumstances do not rob people of options of opening the doors manually from inside even if central locking system fails under ‘on’ condition.

Hardeep Singh Mintoo of Punjab Auto, Valmiki Marg says after 20 years in business he has never come across a case of doors getting jammed due to central locking. But, doors do get jammed under certain circumstances.”

What are those circumstances? Rajesh, a central lock system installation expert at Accessories World while installing a system in a Wagon R explained: “Look at the insides of these ‘lock sets’. More than half of their parts are made of plastic.

The plastic parts can easily melt under fire. Once these plastic parts melt then latch won’t function. This is irrespective of the fact weather the car is on central locking or not. If the plastic parts of the original ‘lock set’ to which the central locking is attached get melted, then a door won’t open irrespective of central locking.”

Mehul Dhawan said doors also get jammed after a collision. If the doors get such an impact that they get twisted under locked condition then locks may get jammed. “This is what happened in the Wagon R incident that I have studied. The car did not have central locking system at all,” he said.

About the Honda City incident he said: “In that incident the car had central locking. But, the death must have happened as the fire from fuel leakage was sudden and intense and the passengers possibly had their seat belts on. Seat belts may have trapped them and slowed their reactions.”

About flood situation Mehul says that it is a scientific fact that even a very powerful person cannot open a door of a car if a water level has reached over the half of the height of a car. Quoting a national geographic channel programme that ran a programme on how people get trapped in their cars during flood he said there was so much pressure of water from outside that a person couldn’t push the door out even if the locks and latches were open.”

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