So you think junior is a little too lead-footed when he drives the family car? Starting next year, Ford Motor Co. will give you the power to do something about it.
The company will roll out a new feature on many 2010 models that can limit teen drivers to 80 mph, using a computer chip in the key.
Parents also have the option of programming the teen's key to limit the audio system's volume, and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn't wear a seat belt.
"Our message to parents is, hey, we are providing you some conditions to give your new drivers that may allow you to feel a little more comfortable in giving them the car more often," said Jim Buczkowski, Ford's director of electronic and electrical systems engineering.
The feature, called "MyKey," will be standard on an unspecified number of Ford models when the 2010 cars and trucks come out late next summer. The feature will spread to the entire Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup as models are updated, spokesman Wes Sherwood said.
Ford arrived at the 80 mph limit even though freeway speed limits are lower in most states because it wanted to leave a margin in case an unusual situation arises, Buczkowski said. In some states, freeway speed limits are above 70 mph, Sherwood said.
In addition to speed limits, MyKey also will limit the volume of the audio system, and it will sound a six-second chime every minute if seat belts are not fastened. The chime sounds for adult drivers, too, but ends after five minutes to avoid annoying adults who adamantly don't want to wear seat belts, Buczkowski said.
Parents also have the option of having the car sound a chime if the teen exceeds 45, 55 or 65 mph.
Forget instructing them on personal responsibility and defensive driving. Instead, just annoy the piss out of them until they correct their ways....or cut the speaker wires and re-chip the car.