Clarity is an important goal in industrial design. A lack of clarity can cause some severe problems. Like, for example, thinking you’ve put your car in park and watching it roll away from you, which is such a problem with Fiat Chrysler vehicles they’re being recalled.
The issue is with the electronic gear shifter. Apparently, drivers believe they have the car in park, step out, and then their car decides to take a little jaunt back down the hill they just parked on. So if you own a 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans or the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and you keep finding it at the bottom of your driveway, good news! The neighborhood kids are not in fact messing with your head!
That said, this isn’t always funny: Fiat Chrysler reports there were 41 injuries related to rolling vehicles, although thankfully no fatalities. Over 800,000 vehicles are being recalled in the US to have their shifters fixed and new warning signals added, with another 300,000 being recalled overseas. The transmission won’t allow the car to move when there’s no one in the vehicle, which, while useful, one does have to wonder why that doesn’t come standard. You’d think a car not moving when nobody was inside it would be a useful safety feature, but we suppose it’s better late than never.