Home » Look GM, We Gotta Have A Talk About Those Reverse Lights: COTD

Look GM, We Gotta Have A Talk About Those Reverse Lights: COTD

Chevrolet Cruze 2017
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There are many things I can forgive about modern car design. BMW seems to love comically large kidney grilles and I can ignore that. Some cars have turn signals and brake lights in their bumpers and that’s also silly, but I can see those. But something that gets me every time is when the owner of a GM vehicle locks their car and it looks like they’re reversing out of a space.

This makes navigating a parking lot harder than it needs to be. Sure, I could just scoot along, but there are a lot of bad drivers out there. I don’t feel like getting knocked off of a motorcycle because someone didn’t see me when reversing out. Yet, with GM vehicles it seems to be more often that the owner locked or unlocked their vehicle and GM’s infamous Exit Lighting feature activated. This feature turns on the vehicle’s outside lights, including the reverse lights, for a time you set. They can be set to run for a couple of minutes, too, meaning the vehicle’s owner may be long gone by the time you show up.

Vidframe Min Top
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Today, Lewin wrote about the Chevrolet Equinox Plus, which seems like a fine crossover. But Church is drawing a line in the sand:

Objectively, this seems like a decent vehicle and if it was under $40k nicely equipped, it would do great here. However, my personal dislike for all things GM will continue until they stop abusing reverse lights for purposes other than reversing.

In fairness, the feature is pretty neat because it does light up the perimeter of your vehicle for good nighttime visibility. Still, I feel the pain felt by Church. And yes, those lights are legal:

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[Editor’s Note: I feel like I should disclose that I’ve bitched about this before as well. Nobody likes this!– JT]

Now to switch gears, Lewin also wrote about how people in Australia need to have square cupholders so drinkers of Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee can have a place to put their cartons. Our readers can find a song out of just about any article, starting with A. Barth:

bottles, and cans

Just clap your hands

And Jack Trade:

This is where it’s at.

For over a decade, Jason has been saying that the Cars cinematic universe is wrong and the eyes of a car are actually the headlights. Renault seems to support Jason’s argument, as does Trust Doesn’t Rust:

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I would like to submit further evidence, if it pleases the court.

  • In the 1987 film The Brave Little Toaster, the junkyard cars had eyes in their headlights (a scene and song which freak me out to this day).
  • The Chevron Cars featured in mid-90’s advertising also had eyes in their headlights.
    I’m just a humble country lawyer trying to do the best I can but I believe, NAY DEMAND that henceforth eyes must be represented in the headlights and not the windshield.

FURTHERMORE, I believe that ALL public indecency charges related to this case against Mr. Torchinsky be dropped.

The court has been pleased. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Blake Walsh
Blake Walsh
26 days ago

Rivian does the same thing as GM…ugh

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
26 days ago

Oh My God! The number of times I have stopped pulling out of a parking space because a GM’s reverse lights were on and I didn’t want to get hit… only to find that the person unlocked the car from 30 feet away and was still walking toward it. It’s infuriating.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
26 days ago

That sounds handy, I need to go make sure it is enabled on my Colorado. Thanks a bunch for the public service.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
26 days ago

The strobing CHMSL bugs me way more than the reverse lights. Especially in stop and go traffic.

Ben
Ben
26 days ago

Both are terrible and there’s a special circle of hell reserved for the creators of them. 😛

Frank2cv
Frank2cv
26 days ago

This feature wouldn’t be a problem if people parked in reverse, which is also safer.

59turner
59turner
28 days ago

I don’t think back up lights should ONLY be for indicating reverse. They should be mandatorily bright enough to allow backup cameras to work in the dark. With safety standards making terrible rear visibility compounded with tinted windows – back up cameras must have enough light to work and many don’t. Make them brighter – @#$% it. Looking at you Volvo.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
28 days ago

This caused me to remember a pet peeve of mine. Frigging lights on Emergency and service vehicles. Now 1st I’m all for safety for our brave Emergency police, firefighters, ambulance and yes even sanitation workers. However as someone who drives many hours in the dark I have noticed what passes an bright warning lights in daylight is blindingly bright in the middle of the night. And I fail to see how totally blinding every driver in a 50 yard radius is anything but a dangerous phenomenon. Much like government ignoring every area that isn’t a city they also ignore safety issues outside of 9-5. Many commercials and laws address the fatalities of workers but when do the majority of these fatalities occur, and does making the Emergency lights even more blinding help or hurt safety?

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

This may already be a thing, but I agree emergency vehicles daytime lights should be brighter than the nighttime lights. I’ve sometimes seen the emergency lights at night for a full 5 minutes of highway driving before I actually get anywhere near the vehicle.

James Carson
James Carson
28 days ago

Never noticed this GM feature. Course I don’t waste my life circling parking lots looking for parking spaces. I grab the first available and walk to the building.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
26 days ago
Reply to  James Carson

If I see a car backing out of a spot I still drive on by to the first open spot. 99 percent chance I can park and walk back to that spot before they are done backing out. 1 percent chance they werent actually backing out.

Logan King
Logan King
26 days ago
Reply to  James Carson

Yeah this just sounds like people looking for excuses to road rage to me.

James Carson
James Carson
26 days ago
Reply to  Logan King

The exercise is good for body and soul. The parking lot vice that raises my blood pressure the most are the entitled idiots who park in the loading or fire lane while their partner goes inside to shop. II have often seen instances where I’ve bought an entire cart of goods, done the checkout and upon leaving the store seen the same idiot playing with their phone still in the same spot.

Kevin Burr
Kevin Burr
28 days ago

I have never noticed this so now I can thank Autopian for me seeing this all the time from now on. But I still say lights in the bumpers are the worst.

Logan King
Logan King
28 days ago

I feel like the insistence that this is some massive common occurrence that constantly annoys people is some elaborate gaslighting attempt; especially with the “there should be a LAAAAW” push that tends to crop up with it. If someone is reversing, their brake lights are probably also on. Solved.

I’ve owned several GM vehicles. For the ones that have had keyless entry that worked it has always been extremely convenient to let me know where my car is; and it’s never put me in a situation where it’s inconveniencing someone else. Maybe I’m just not always parking in lots where people are constantly roaming, doing laps upon laps upon laps in the dark to find an empty spot and always being thwarted by people unlocking their cars at the exact point in time where they are within 30 feet of that car so they can immediately take that space.

Last edited 28 days ago by Logan King
Brian Gray
Brian Gray
28 days ago
Reply to  Logan King

The white lights should only be on when reverse is engaged and the car is going to back up – full stop period! I do not get excited about very many things, but this is just egregious. People who sit there while the white lights are on – you are jackoffs. But the people at GM that designed this – you are the biggest jackoffs of all.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
28 days ago
Reply to  Logan King

Wow you are able to judge if what you or your car are doing is affecting other people and how? You must share this super power.

Logan King
Logan King
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

When you’re in a parking lot near enough to your car to unlock it with the key fob, it’s not difficult to see if there are other cars near your car in the parking lot.

Shocking, I know.

Last edited 26 days ago by Logan King
Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
28 days ago

GM vehicle owner with that feature enabled. I really like it and you all can pry it from my cold dead hands.

First, night-time safety. It makes sure there are no lurkers at the back of the vehicle and lights up the surrounding area. Second, out camping it’s nice to be able to hit the key and see without blinding other campers from the headlights. Third, it’s ace in the garage before the motion lights kick on.

Check out the CHMSL to see if it’s lit or not.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
28 days ago

And screw anyone that is inconvenienced by this? Yeah you suck.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
28 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Slurp!

We can disagree about it. Having that feature on my car is nice.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
28 days ago

My Ford (and many other vehicles) also manage to do all of the above without using the reverse lights

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
28 days ago

The GM reverse lights thing does not bother me – for a few reasons:

A) We all know that GM drivers are idiots and/or half their bulbs are burnt out anyway.
B) You could wait a week for that space, and that person would have just been on their phone – then suddenly they put the car in Park, turn off the engine, get out and walk to the store.
C) We also know that people backing out of parking spots do not have the right of way – drivers in the aisles do.
Therefore:
D) We do not wait for people to leave their parking spaces so we can be closer to the entrance. We drive right past, all the way to the top of the parking garage or the back of the lot so we can be left alone in those open slots. Unless there’s an open space right out front – then we enjoy this day’s Doris Day parking karma.

Last edited 28 days ago by Urban Runabout
Mike Dris
Mike Dris
28 days ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

As to point C – Unless you have video the insurance companies will assume 50:50 fault. Been there, done that.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
28 days ago
Reply to  Mike Dris

Amen. Just found out an accident I had where the other party ran a red light at 3am, admitted they were 100% at fault, and my insurance company tagged the accident as partial at fault because I just reported now points. Fortunately a independent insurance agent was able to get me a decent price that doesn’t tie me to erie because that’s why they tried to screw me.

Mike Dt
Mike Dt
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

similar thing happened to a coworker. Insurance company said he shouldn’t have been out driving at 3am therefore, he was partially responsible.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
27 days ago
Reply to  Mike Dris

I got a Ring Dashcam for that.

Nauthiz
Nauthiz
27 days ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

I have no idea what parking lots people are walking through, but I really don’t worry about a vehicle reversing into me while I’m parking.

I do worry that someone isn’t going to be looking as I have to walk behind their car to get to the store I’m going to. Unless each row of spaces has some sort of pedestrian path not knowing if a car is in the process of reversing out of a space as you come up to it is potentially a significant pedestrian risk.

The fact the driver was wrong won’t help after you’ve been run over.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
26 days ago
Reply to  Nauthiz

I’ve had at least 3 times where the reversing vehicle couldn’t see but they just went for it and if I didn’t stop for them they would have hit me. Once it even required a quick reverse to dodge.

I also don’t trust those same idiots to have insurance.

Whaleya
Whaleya
28 days ago

Lets use The Autopian for good! I would love to see Mercedes reach out to the Feds and get the regulator’s take on why this is OK? It would seem to be a clear safety issue and the government is keen to reduce deaths caused by cars reversing (see backup camera regulations).   A follow up on how that discussion went and how we can prod the government to update the regulations would be great!

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
28 days ago

Imagine the people waiting for the vehicles to vacate the parking space on the street only to find out that those reverse lamps were for “illumination”.

Insanely evil…

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
28 days ago
Reply to  EricTheViking

I’m sure it’s caught people looking for a good spot at Costco more than once.

Sarah Blikre
Sarah Blikre
28 days ago

There was one car in Cars 2 that had the headlights as eyes and it looked bizarre. It even scared Mater. Although Brave Little Toaster will always be my favorite animated movie and the soundtrack is full of bangers.

Last edited 28 days ago by Sarah Blikre
First Last
First Last
29 days ago

I’m not normally one for big profane rants, but F*ck this feature!

F*ck GM for using it, F*ck the engineers for engineering it, F*ck the product people for dreaming it up in the first place, F*ck the bean counters for not coughing up the 20 bucks for a cheap dedicated led light, F*ck the feds for not outlawing the use of important safety features for questionable gimmicks, F*ck the apologists who claim that there is any actual value to using these tiny dim lights in a parking lot for anything other than to just inconvenience other drivers, and F*ck Whole Foods and Starbucks and Chipotle and all of em for their tiny parking lots where we’re all hemmed in between somebody’s 3/4 ton Silverado with a foot-long hitch sticking halfway into the aisle on one side and an Equinox with its dumb not-backing-up-backup lights on the other.

Seriously, F*ck you GM. There. I said it.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
29 days ago
Reply to  First Last

What’s the fuck are you talking about? 😉

Seriously though, it’s like the lighting equivalent of speakerphone. Sure, it could work if you’re forever trapped in the opening sequence of Rock-A-Doodle, piling sandbags against the storm and the flood. Really though, you’re just confusing the shit out of everyone else waiting for your spot at Whole Foods and Starbucks and Chipotle, or in the precious few parallel spots downtown. To use them makes you an inconsiderate ass, indifferent to or maybe even disdainful of the fact that other people live on the same planet as you.

Just this evening I sat for a good 15 seconds waiting to get a spot, only to find the driver wasn’t signaling left to get out, they just had their hazards on while legally parked for ???

Brian Gray
Brian Gray
28 days ago
Reply to  First Last

That’s quite a lot, but I am pretty sure I got it. I agree!

Frown Victoria
Frown Victoria
29 days ago

For the few who might not know, you can turn these off through a menu in the garage cluster

Jatkat
Jatkat
29 days ago
Reply to  Frown Victoria

I have not found that option. I’ll look harder I guess!

Frown Victoria
Frown Victoria
29 days ago
Reply to  Jatkat

I don’t remember which one but it should be one of the four buttons right next to the cluster

Last edited 29 days ago by Frown Victoria
Frown Victoria
Frown Victoria
29 days ago
Reply to  Frown Victoria

*gauge.

It won’t let me edit

Beached Wail
Beached Wail
29 days ago
Reply to  Frown Victoria

That’s OK. You’re referring to a GM car, so it’s “gage.” (Gag with an “e”)

Brian Gray
Brian Gray
28 days ago
Reply to  Frown Victoria

Gawd I wish they would.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
26 days ago
Reply to  Frown Victoria

I did my part. The brake lights are brighter than the reverse anyway so it doesn’t do much.

Jatkat
Jatkat
29 days ago

I hate it. I’ve always hated seeing GM cars do this in parking lots, and I’ve stopped for them (to let them out because I’m nice) countless times. Now I’m part of the problem with my 17 Volt. No way to turn it off either.

Jatkat
Jatkat
29 days ago
Reply to  Jatkat

Well if I had actually watched the embedded video… I’ll fix them tonight!

First Last
First Last
29 days ago
Reply to  Jatkat

Bless you my friend.

Dave mid-engine
Dave mid-engine
29 days ago
Reply to  Jatkat

I just saw this on a GM crossovers recently, where I almost stopped to let them out. Then I wondered why the car still wasn’t moving after I passed.

So yeah. Leaving reverse lights on when the car is parked is absolutely stupid design.

And I’m going to say what’s even worse than that is cars that honk when the doors are remote locked. That constant cacophony of honking jackasses is what makes walking through a parking lot a major irritation.

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