Industry Trends: Active Child Safety Lock

2020 Kia Telluride active child safety lock button.

Many people remember the good old days of the child lock, which was located in the jamb of the rear doors. The only way to open the rear door, was for someone to let you out. Many siblings have used this feature to torture their brother or sister, by locking them in the vehicle. Not to mention the annoyance this can cause a collision repair technician when they can’t figure out why the rear door won’t open from the inside. Well it appears, gone are the days of the manual child lock and onto an electronic child lock system. A system that also utilizes technology to make sure it is safe for the child to exit the vehicle.

Active child safety lock is a trend that is entering the industry. Using the same button that locks the rear windows, a parent can lock the rear doors so they can’t be opened from the inside. With the push of a button, the rear door handles can be disabled, which will be important to look for when the rear door won’t open from the inside after repairs.

However, this is not where the technology ends. Some vehicles that are equipped with blind spot detection and rear cross traffic assist, are pulling triple duty from the same sensors. These radar sensors, on the rear corners of the vehicle, look for traffic approaching from the rear and will actually reengage the child lock if there is danger. This is to prevent a child from opening the door into an oncoming vehicle, or worse the child being struck. A few examples of vehicles with this feature are the 2019 Hyundai SantaFe, 2020 Hyundai Palisade, 2020 Kia Telluride, and the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.

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