Tech­no­log­i­cal ir­ri­tant

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

One of my orig­i­nal elec­tronic car keys went bad re­cently. I thought maybe the bat­tery in the key had ex­pired. And I thought I could re­place the bat­tery at Wal-Mart for a few dol­lars.

So much for what I thought. Since no one at Wal-Mart could open the key to re­move the sup­pos­edly ex­pired bat­tery, I went to a deal­er­ship with my prob­lem. There it took a wait of 2 ½ hours and a bill for $312.43 be­fore I had two work­ing keys again.

Can’t help won­der­ing what the ben­e­fit is that I en­joy at such a high cost. Cer­tainly not con­ve­nience. So what if an elec­tronic key en­ables me to lock and un­lock my car from across the street? How much is that worth?

Is my car any bet­ter pro­tected from auto theft? Maybe. But, at best, it’s only a lit­tle bet­ter pro­tected. I’ve been driv­ing all my adult life and never have had a car stolen from me.

I’m forced to con­clude that some­one over-en­gi­neered my car at great cost to me and al­most no ben­e­fit.

So the next time I shop for a car, you can be sure that my very first cri­te­rion in se­lect­ing one will be whether a re­place­ment car key for it will be made of solid metal and cost me about $3 or will have to be a $300 gad­get. I’m thank­ful that at least some car man­u­fac­tur­ers are still pro­duc­ing the for­mer. BILL SHEP­HERD Lit­tle Rock

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