Steering Locks! - Automobile Safety Foundation


An automobile is a machine, and machines must always be designed with human safety
as the number one top priority!
Any device that can potentially lock a vehicle’s steering while driving
is unsafe, unsound, hazardous and should be prohibited!

The ignition switch steering lock, standard equipment on most vehicles since 1969 (prior to 2001) is a hazardous and obsolete auto theft device. Due to the fact that the lock mechanism is spring loaded and combined with the ignition switch (engine on/off deactivation), this device can lock a vehicle’s steering while driving and therefore is unsafe at any speed! This dangerous device, steering lock ignition switch, should be factored in as a potential cause, or principal cause, in the many ignition switch recalls, and as the cause of a multitude of accidents, both past, and present! Steering lock ignition switches, cause accidents, increase auto theft, strand motorists by malfunction, and have no merit whatsoever!
Common elements of Steering locks: sudden lockup, steering wheel locked while driving, steering locked, steering wheel won’t turn, can not unlock steering, ignition locked, ignition malfunction, ignition recalls, ignition jammed, auto key jammed, can not remove ignition key, ignition jam call locksmith,can not start car, unsafe cars.

Steering Lock


By the turn of the century, and with eight years of backing from President Clinton/White House, and national DMV, ASF saw to the advent and the introduction of Immobilizer safe and modern auto theft prevention that replaces the steering lock ignition switches, and became law in Europe and Canada. US automakers have Immobilizer in full production. ASF liberates the automobile, and so today there is a choice for driving safer automobiles!

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Japanese Ignition Switch Locks
Accidental activation of the steering lock system while the car is in motion is very dangerous.

– Japanese Automobile Manufacturing Association

ALL AMERICAN MADE AUTOS have a safety device to prevent “inadvertent lockup” of a vehicle’s steering while driving, Most Japanese auto makers ignored this U.S. de facto safety measure until it was required by NHTSA regulation in 1988. Furthermore, Japanese steering locks have dangerous on/off key, ignition tumbler activation design more prone to sudden lockup!

Ignition Switch News
National DMV Steering Lock Warnings!

Working in conjunction with national DMV, ASF authored a WARNING about inadvertent lockup printed in DMV Handbooks across the nation. (also see “Letters” link).

At the turn of the century, Europe, Canada and Australia enacted law requiring the modernization of auto theft prevention technology that replaces the ignition steering lock. Since that time al all new vehicles must be equipped with “Immobilizer,” a safe and effective auto theft prevention technology to replace ignition steering locks!

Any device that can potentially lock a vehicle’s steering while driving is unsafe, unsound, hazardous and should be prohibited! So why do the Japanese, and some other foreign automakers still manufacture steering locks, and why are they now also equipping their Immobilizer vehicles with hazardous ESCL Electronic Steering Column Locks that have already been involved in numerous recalls?

ASF Liberates the Automobile!

ASF was founded in 1988 with the mission to abolish steering lock production. Since that time, working with the help of President Clinton see:  across the nation (that print steering lock warnings in their Driver Handbooks) CHP, the Vatican and others, ASF has succeeded in their mission to introduce safe and modern auto theft prevention technology!


The majority of new American made automobiles are equipped with Immobilizer.

Immobilizer technology is now the international auto safety and theft prevention standard that all countries and auto makers should observe!

When will the DOT & NHTSA prohibit ignition steering lock production and require modern auto theft prevention regulations that meet international safety and theft prevention standards?

Ignition Switch Steering Lock Facts

The United State Congress Subcommittee on Crime Stated in 1992 Anti-Car Theft Act (H.R.452): “…that the manufactures had a vested interest in seeing that the cars they built were stolen so they could replace them with new ones.

  1. The steering lock introduced in 1969, is unsafe at any speed, causing harm and death by locking a vehicle’s steering while driving.
  2. This ignition switch design has two fatal flaws: a. The steering lock is spring loaded, ignoring the fact that springs have built-in metal fatigue, and therefore must eventually malfunction or wear out. b. The ignition key that deactivates the engine, should never have been combined with a device that simultaneously locks the steering. c. Tumbler activated ignition switches are obsolete and innately dangerous due to metal fatigue as well as wear and tear degeneration.
  3. The 1969 steering lock is obsolete; a failed anti-theft device, that eliminates the need for electrical system knowledge to steal a vehicle. The lock can be defeated in 60 seconds. Auto theft has tripled since 1969!
  4. Steering lock warning and education helps prevent accidents and auto theft.
  5. Since the steering lock is spring loaded, it is likely unconstitutional as it does not offer freedom of choice, to lock or not to lock, imposing lockup per engine deactivation. (ESCL locks automatically too.)
  6. “Immobilizer” is safe and modern auto theft prevention technology that should replace all steering locks. Immobilizer currently also offers “Bluetooth” technology, and buttons etc. to replace obsolete ignition switches. Immobilizer should not be coupled with any other device such as ESCL electronic steering column lock as any device that can potentially lock the steering while driving is completely unsafe!
  7. Today US automakers just equip their vehicles with Immobilizer. Japanese (and some German) vehicles equipped with Immobilizer are also covertly equipped with ESCL which is unsafe.
Attention: ASF recommends to avoid the purchase or even use of any vehicle with an ignition switch steering lock!
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