Home » Nobody Wants Touch-Screen Glove Box Latches And It Needs To Stop Now

Nobody Wants Touch-Screen Glove Box Latches And It Needs To Stop Now

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I’ve been seeing some absolute nonsense online recently, nonsense showing some actual real-world car features, and I’ve realized it’s my duty to take a moment and let the whole world know what’s going on here is very much not okay. It’s not okay. I’m not going to sit back and just let it happen, let my beloved universe of automobiles get slowly infected by this insidious, pervasive idiocy because I sat back and did nothing. Not today, Satan. Not fucking today. What I’m not going to let happen is this: gloveboxes opened by a software button on a touchscreen interface, buried inside some bullshit UX. I wanna scream knowing it exists.

I realized I needed to speak up about this – and I don’t think this is hyperbole – grave threat to the very human condition – because it’s somehow infected the new Cadillac Lyriq, and is now showing up on videos about the car, like this one done by none other than our pal Doug DeMuro:

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I have to hand it to Doug for maintaining his composure here; I can only imagine moments after this video was shot he was behind a tree, sobbing and vomiting and shaking all over, while one of Doug’s many handlers surrounded him, covering him with medicated salves and telling him that somehow everything will be fine.

But everything will not be fine.

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Did you really get a look at what was happening there? There’s at least three steps involved here, and I’m being generous, because depending on what the center-stack display is currently showing or doing, you’d have to add more steps even to get to the menu with that “Controls” icon:

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I know I’m not the only one who feels the same sense of rage and dread when they see this sort of thing happen, because I’ve already seen things like this:

This, of course, is the only reasonable reaction to being confronted with the touch-screen glove box release. I should be clear that I’m not trying to single out Cadillac or GM here, they just happen to be the most recent example of this madness, but it has existed before, like on the Tesla Model 3:

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I didn’t speak out when the Tesla first demonstrated this, and that’s on me. I foolishly thought this was just some Tesla-only affectation, and there’s no way this poison could seep into the greater mainstream car market. I was wrong.

Speaking of wrong, what the hell is wrong with that guy in the Tesla video? How does he find this cool? Does he have a knee-buckling, pants-ruining orgasm when he goes to a grocery store and steps on the magic mat that makes the sliding doors open automatically? Jeezis, dude, stop encouraging this.

The touch-screen-actuated glove box is terrible because it’s one of those examples where carmakers have found that they have the technology to do something, so they do it, without considering literally anything about what they’ve done. Did anybody want this? At all? It takes something that has never been a problem, opening a glove box, and added cost and complexity to the construction, and added time and inconvenience to the process. No problem is solved, but a fuckload of new problems are introduced.

What if your battery dies, and you have your small emergency charger in the glovebox? Tough shit! What if you’re waiting in a turned-off car while your friend or parent or lover pops inside the liquor store, and you need to get, say, your hyper-important pills out of the glove box? Again, tough shit. And, if you’re thinking, “hey, stop worrying, I’m sure they have an emergency mechanical release for the glove box somewhere,” then I encourage you to fuck right off and take a moment to think about the deep, hurtful idiocy of that statement.

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Did they do focus groups for this feature? Did they get responses like these?

“I hate how easy and quick it is to get the glovebox open. Can you guys solve that?”

“Is there any way to make simple acts I’m used to doing a real fucking chore?”

“How can I be sure every single tiny fucking thing on this car will be an expensive hassle to repair in 10 years?

“If the battery dies, is there any way to fuck me over even more than normal? Like, you know, hard?”

“Can you just smack the shit out of me over and over again with like a slab of roast beef, or is there some electromechanical and software solution you can integrate into the car for the same effect?”

I hate this so much. Nobody wants this. Nobody needs this. You want to make the car seem fancy, just make a physical latch for the glovebox out of something nice instead of, you know, crap. Though, with that advice in mind, if I was offered a choice between a conventional glove box latch made from composite material sourced from the hydraulically-compressed feces of convicted sex offenders or a menu-based touchscreen glovebox release, I’ll have mine with the pervert shit plastic, thanks so much.

What if you get pulled over by a cop, and they tell you to turn your car off, like they do, but then you have to explain to the already tense cop that you need to turn your car back on so you can open the fucking glove box door so you can get your documents? Depending on the cop and the circumstance, this can only make things worse.

What’s the problem this was supposed to solve, again? Opening a glove box was too obvious? Too easy? The mechanism was too long-lasting and cheap?

Carmakers are fundamentally like huge, dumb animals. When they do bad things, you have to be firm and forceful and tell them NO BAD, loudly and often, and that’s where we are right now.

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So, GM: NO. BAD. BAD COMPANY. Stop. The right thing for GM to do right now, at this very moment, is to recall every single fucking Lyriq out there and retrofit a real glove box latch onto these. I do not care what it costs. It’s worth it. They should also send fruit baskets or cookie assortments or something to every owner that had to deal with this horseshit even once along with a formal apology. And the company should pledge, hand on the gold-covered skull of William Crapo Durant, to never, ever pull this shit again.

You know what? Make Tesla do it, too. Recall every Model 3 with this stupid touch-screen glove box release setup and go through the same shit I said GM should do, but swap William Crapo Durant’s skull for Elon’s groin or something.

Any other car maker who has committed this atrocity should do the same, but I’m not going to look up who else may have done this because I’m a caring, tender human and my very soul can’t take the onslaught of knowing how far this bullshit has spread. It just has to stop. Now.

I’m very curious to see if anyone disagrees with me in the comments. Could there be people out there who like this insipid horseshit? Is it possible? Could there be masochistic, perverse simpletons out there who want to navigate a fucking touchscreen menu to open a lid inches from their fucking stupid fingers? That can’t exist. There have to be more Sasquatches that read this site than blighted morons who somehow, perversely want touch-screen-menu based glove box latches. In fact, I hope there are. I’d rather spend time with Sasquatches, any fucking day.

So, again, to all automakers now or in the future: DO NOT MAKE GLOVE BOXES OPEN FROM A TOUCH SCREEN MENU.  

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NO. BAD. STOP.

 

 

 

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Brooks Fancher
Brooks Fancher
1 year ago

Amen.

10001010
10001010
1 year ago

“while one of Doug’s many handlers surrounded him”

Please, we all know that Doug’s “many handlers” is nothing more than Noodles wearing a hat and tie.

Ash78
Ash78
1 year ago

My entire theory on Tesla is they’re the most cost-cutting carmaker in existence, but because they package the cost-cutting so neatly, it turns a moan into awe.

F*cking magic.

Citrus
Citrus
1 year ago
Reply to  Ash78

That is 100% what they’re doing. Every function moved to the touchscreen is a function they don’t need to manufacture a unique button for, or borrow from someone else’s parts bin. Screens are cheap to buy in bulk, especially if you’re just doing one big screen, and you can’t spot the parts bin they’re from.

PatBateman
PatBateman
1 year ago

Pro-tip: if you carry an ???? in your car, you can always gain access to the glove box.

PatBateman
PatBateman
1 year ago
Reply to  PatBateman

AXE. IF YOU CARRY AN AXE. Apparently, we can’t do emojis up in hurr.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  PatBateman

Also particularly handy for getting a dinner table at Dorsia…

PatBateman
PatBateman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason Smith

Dorsia is fine, but have you tried Texarkana? The mud soup and charcoal arugula are OUTRAGEOUS there.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago

What’s wrong with a regular door handle again?

PatBateman
PatBateman
1 year ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Not fancy enough. Don’t say plebeian things.

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
1 year ago

I’m actually kind of impressed they still label it “glove box” on the touch-screen. Sewwww pedestrian. Why not complicate things further and affix a label along the lines of “Dash Container: Large”, or even better “Very Important Vehicle Document Vault”, and then seriously up the bullshit factor by having a number pad appear on screen and making the user type in a combination. Of course, the combination only works if it’s in the range of the key fob, which is subscription based.

Just a sec, I’m going to go join Demuro vomiting behind a tree.

3WiperB
3WiperB
1 year ago

In my wife’s car, it could be labeled, “excessive number of napkins compartment”. Imagine the greasy fingerprints all over the screen as you just want a darn napkin. Good thing the center console is full of napkins too. The key to the wheel lock is in there too, somewhere under all those napkins.

Mr. Frick
Mr. Frick
1 year ago

This needs to be done with hidden cup holders, interior door handles and sun visors.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
1 year ago

It’s an instant-gratification gimmick for people who have lost the ability to stop for 5 seconds and determine if they like a feature because it’s cool or just different. When it comes to cars, different does not equal better unless it’s done by the French.

You know what is cool? A glovebox release that’s integrated with the trim of the dash. The second-gen Audi A3 and Saab 9-3 come to mind.

IanGTCS
IanGTCS
1 year ago

We have a couple of 2007-2013 GMC trucks at work and the upper glove box release was fairly integrated into a trim line. Well, integrated for a truck at least. I can’t see it being that much harder to make it look even better on a vehicle for a more particular buyer.

Mike McDonald
Mike McDonald
1 year ago

Poor, poor, Jason. I’m sorry, but you are going to toss your turret higher than a T-90 when GM makes the glove box door button a subscription-only feature. Tsk tsk. Some souls are too sensitive for the world our corporate overlords are fashioning for us.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago

Well, it would certainly inspire me to “move fast and break things,” likely with a crowbar. Pop that sucker open, destroy the latch, install a $1.98 screen door hasp from the hardware store with wood screws. Done.

3WiperB
3WiperB
1 year ago

I have a RAM 1500 and I have very little to complain about (I’m used to the rotary transmission selector now), but I hate that the controls for the heated and cooled seats, as well as the heated steering wheel are in the touchscreen only. At least it pops up on the screen for a few seconds when you start the car, but they could have put a dedicated button in for those.

Also, there’s no “off” button for the climate control outside of the touchscreen. Everything else for the climate control has a dedicated hard button, except “off”.

3WiperB
3WiperB
1 year ago
Reply to  3WiperB

Perfectly explained. It’s still annoying, but it makes sense (just as you started by saying). All in all, they are really minor gripes. I think the ergonomics for the RAM are some of the best of any vehicle I’ve owned. I even like the rotary gear selector, since it frees up space for the center console (which is just a great design). I wouldn’t trade that giant screen for those physical buttons. I love the simplicity of my MG, but I also love all the gadgets and comfort built into my truck.

Stacks
Stacks
1 year ago

HEAR HEAR, TORCH FOR PRESIDENT. Of GM, at least.

Last Pants
Last Pants
1 year ago

Good. Good. Let the hate flow through you.

Ken Beauchamp
Ken Beauchamp
1 year ago

Recently drove my cousin’s Tesla and when I got in, I wanted to adjust the side mirrors – took multiple steps AFTER my cousin was even able to remember what menus to go through on the touchscreen to find the adjustment menu, then you had to use buttons on the steering wheel that weren’t intuitive at all. And don’t get me started on the fucking HVAC controls in that thing.

Give me simple controls please. Especially on an EV – I want simple physical controls (door pulls that aren’t electronic, manual glovebox releases, analog gauges, manual trunk releases) that DON’T REQUIRE POWER FROM THE BATTERY TO FUNCTION. Isn’t it in a EV’s best interest to reduce the amount of things requiring power from the battery? Doesn’t that increase range and reduce complexity?

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 year ago

I read the headline and thought to myself “I didn’t know that touchscreen gloves even had latches much less box latches”

Touchscreen gloves are pretty great by the way. When you need them you need them

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago

This is one of the 9000 examples of the “change for the sake of change” tech brainrot that permeates the EV side of the car industry these days. Just stop it already. We don’t need to over engineer complicated solutions for problems that don’t exist.

95% of people want a car/EV that has buttons, switches, handles, et cetera. No one wants to drive a damn Apple store and the sooner the folks designing EVs get this the better. Stop trying to be Tesla.

The type of people that are into Teslas aren’t going to consider other options anyway. Telling them to consider another EV would be like trying to tell a dude who’s walked into a Ford dealership looking for an F350 Big Balls Of Texas Edition that what he really needs a hybrid Maverick. You might be well intentioned but it’s not worth your time.

Cars are an emotional purchase and people want what they want….why cater to tech bros when you could cater to the millions of people who want an EV that doesn’t come with a learning curve?

Jason Smith
Jason Smith
1 year ago

Lot of facts here. The sooner the powers that be get this beaten through their skulls (maybe taped to a rubber hose or some other bludgeon) the better.

Brandt S
Brandt S
1 year ago

I remember back about 10 years ago, I tested out a lightly used (green!) C6 Audi A6 Avant. I loved a lot of it, but the one thing I really didn’t understand was the location of the glove box release. It was a button up high near the infotainment screen rather than a latch on the actual box. It confounded me that this design was so non-bauhaus that I thought: man, no way am I paying for this repair when the button eventually breaks, because it will almost certainly cost $1000 and require coding to repair. Coming from a VW Passat of the early 2000s, I knew too well of the strange decisions VAG were making that resulted in costly repairs.

Should have known it would get to this point. Why make things simple when you can make them way harder for no reason at all. As others have said, it’s a solution in search of a problem.

PlaysWellWithNOthers
PlaysWellWithNOthers
1 year ago
Reply to  Brandt S

Yup, my C6 Avant has that button. So far, no issue. I think it’s a cosmetic thing. Most glove box release handles just don’t look all that great and they were going for a smooth uninterrupted surface. At least they put a physical button and not some function in the MMI’s “Car” menu…

Zerosignal
Zerosignal
1 year ago
Reply to  Brandt S

My MKX has a glove box button on the passenger side of the center console. It’s at least close to the glove box, but it’s annoying as hell when I want to open it and have to remember where the button is.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

But what if I want the glovebox to open, but do not plan to reach a couple inches farther to actually touch the glovebox or anything in it? For some reason?
(I know, manufacturers are probably touting this as security, since someone breaking into your vehicle won’t be able to access the glovebox unless they can turn the car on, but locking gloveboxes exist already.)

clear_prop
clear_prop
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

Someone breaking into a car is fine with breaking into a glovebox as well. I’m sure the glovebox latch can be overcome with a small screwdriver.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 year ago

DISRUPT THE WORLD: Burry the door unlock deep within submenus of submenus.

PatBateman
PatBateman
1 year ago

That is horrible.

I FUCKING LOVE IT.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

Touchscreen interfaces are great. At some things. This is not one of them.

BAD GM!

Citrus
Citrus
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben

I think this should be the mantra for touch screens:

If it would take one button stab or a quick turn of a knob to activate it without a touchscreen, don’t put it on the touchscreen. Like finding the right song? Takes several button presses, that’s fine. Turning on the steering wheel heater? One button, keep that shit off of there. Adjusting a bunch of rarely used settings? Yeah, touch screen that. Changing the temperature? That’s a quick dial turn, keep the dial.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 year ago

I think there’s room for a compromise solution in which the glove box latch is controlled by a touch screen but absolutely no function of any other aspect of the car is.

Brummbaer
Brummbaer
1 year ago

As oft mentioned, I and the bank own a 2019 Cadillac CT6. It has this “feature” right there on the dash/screen right next to the 4-way flashers. Not a hassle to use but does leave yet another finger smudge on the glass. Possible advantage? Not having to lean all the way across the car to reach the glove box latch? I’m actually pretty ambivalent. I’ve long since accepted that all the electronic stuff is a waiting time bomb, so it will quit along with everything else sooner or later. Of course the same could be said of a mechanical button, albeit, a whole lot later on.

FUCK YOU
FUCK YOU
1 year ago
Reply to  Brummbaer

If you’re opening the glove box, presumably you want to access what’s inside. That requires you to lean across the car, regardless of how the glove box was opened.

Mr.Asa
Mr.Asa
1 year ago

I’ve got a better example than the above:

What if you’re in an automobile accident and you need to get your documents out, but the car has cut power as a safety measure?

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
1 year ago

100% this.
I recently rented a Tesla Model S just to try one out. I was not impressed.
It was a 2015 model, so the glovebox opened by pushing a small physical button on the dash, which is find, I guess, although why wasn’t it located, you know, on or near the glovebox?
But the most hilarious thing to me was that you could use a voice command to “open glovebox”. Could you use a similar command to “close glovebox”? Hell no! You had to use your grubby mitts, like some kind of filthy animal to shove that bitch closed.
This solution in search of a problem is just ridiculous and I agree with you – the fate of Democracy depends on us stopping this now!

T Beam
T Beam
1 year ago

“Let’s minimize the cost of building new cars…except not.” While a manufacturer will cheap out on things that matter, they add cost in with this bullshit. I’m wholeheartedly in agreement with you, Torch! Good job calling this out, even if it was a little too late.

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