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I'm European and I don't understand the logic behind electric car windows commands. In a lot of cars, a driver can fully open the electric window on his side with a single push. But if he wants to fully open a passenger's windows he has to keep the pressure on the button.

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Isn't a bad user experience for the driver ? It's even dangerous because he has to drive with one arm during all the process.

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It is the cheapest possible solution that complies with regulations. –  Alex Feinman Dec 26 '13 at 14:03

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is very definitely a safety design.

What you will find is a feature known as "auto reverse", this means when the window is going up if a obstruction is detected it will sense it and go back down.

In America this feature was/is required with vehicles that have "one touch up" (what you have described). I have found several sources saying this is currently being reviewed (2012) but I can't find anything to see if this law has been retracted. The reason they were trying to retract it is because even with the auto reverse people were still being seriously injured, so still the safest option is not to have the "one touch up" option at all.

The reason you have it on the drivers side is actually again a safety feature, it allows the driver to return their hands to the steering wheel. The reason it is not on the passenger windows I imagine is due to cost of placing it on all windows.

It is also worth noting that the placement of window switches and the types of switches is something that has been scrutinised as certain placements and designs have been blamed in cases of injury or even death.

This NHTSA document has a lot of information about US laws (2004) it is very long and wordy so I haven't read it but should cover any points!

Lastly: I understand you are in Europe (as am I) so these US documents aren't neccessarily applicable but they should answer all your questions and provide enough reasoning for not offering one touch up on passenger windows in your region!

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I think for safety reason. As both buttons sit closely, a driver could push the passenger button by mistake. Pushing isn't visually controlled process.

Fully opened window by mistake brings danger, as there could be children, pets, etc. on the passengers' seats or dangerous environment outside the car. So this is an example of making potentially danger action hard (more controlled) for the safety reason.

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Slightly far-fetched perhaps? It is about safety but not to avoid opening the wrong window. The safety is in enabling the driver to get his/her hands back to where they belong (driving the car, not opening/closing windows) as quickly as possible. –  Marjan Venema Dec 26 '13 at 11:55

I have the same thing in my French car.

I figured that this is an upgrade from previous models where both windows would be opened manually. Then this was introduced for the driver, so as to quickly press the window button and put his/her hand quickly back on the steering wheel, versus having to press and hold on the window button until the window is fully open.

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+1 Yes, it is to enable the driver to get his/her hands back to where they belong (driving the car, not opening/closing windows) as quickly as possible. –  Marjan Venema Dec 26 '13 at 11:55

Another alternative explaination to safety is convenience. Imagine what you do while driving into a car park. You need to pull the window down completely to access the terminal that either brings you a parking ticket or you can open the gate using your credit card or another valid parking device. Having to push and hold would make that process difficult, inconvenient and unsafe.

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