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March 19, 2011


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Then you have the bureaucratic mindset. Our office (a government operation) has 4 vehicles with this awful "feature". Although it can be disabled, it has been decreed that this is an "occupational safety" issue, and that it may not be turned off. What the link between auto door locks and "occupational safety" is has never been explained to my satisfaction.


Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

This feature was driving me nuts.

Now is there any chance your colleague may also know how to reprogram the A/C so that it doesn't automatically kick in (without any visible signs like illuminating the A/C switch) every time you select one of the two defrost settings?

This is another annoying Nissan trait.


Here you go Jim, from the 2011 EX35 owners manual:
● All doors will be locked automatically when
the vehicle speed reaches 15 MPH (24 km/h).
● All doors will be unlocked automatically
when the ignition switch is placed in the OFF
The automatic unlock function can be deactivated
or activated. To deactivate or activate the
automatic door unlock system, perform the
following procedure:
1. Close all doors.
2. Place the ignition switch in the ON position.
3. Within 20 seconds of performing Step 2,
push and hold the power door lock switch
to the position (UNLOCK) for more
than 5 seconds.
4. When activated, the hazard indicator will
flash twice. When deactivated, the hazard
indicator will flash once.
5. The ignition switch must be placed in the
OFF and ON position again between each
setting change.
When the automatic door unlock system is
deactivated, the doors do not unlock when the
ignition switch is placed in the OFF position. To
unlock the door manually, use the inside lock
knob or the power door lock switch (driver’s or
front passenger’s side).

Anthony van Osch

Our Mercedes B200 had the auto locks enabled but it allowed us to disable this "feature" with a simple procedure using the buttons on the steering wheel. It took less than a minute. There is no excuse for any manufacturer not to have this option. Vehicles with "dumb" features, like red turning signals and door locks that can't be reprogrammed must be treated with suspicion; where else have they cut corners and possibly compromised safety and reliability?


You say GM doesn't let you do it? Why does my '03 Grand AM let me program it to either

1. Lock all the doors once you shift out of "Park" into "Reverse" or

2. Have all the doors automatically lock except the driver's door. Additionally, you can disable this feature to have none of the doors lock when the car shifts out of "Park."

Quite easy to do by the way, took less than 1 minute. I don't know why automatic locks would bother you. Good way to prevent a carjacking.


Hey Jim!

I've driven quite a few GM's, and I'm almost certain all late model's have the auto locks fully adjustable!

Greg Dickinson

This drives me crazy. I rented a Versa last weekend and every time you unlocked all the doors and then sped up past 25 km it would lock again. It is electronic though. If you unlock it the old fashioned way the "servo" still thinks its locked.


Thanks Jim. My Versa annoys me a little less now.

Jim Kenzie

Hi Chris:

There is a fractional - and I do mean fractional - advantage in having doors locked in the event of a crash.

But the slice of the bell curve is surely so slight that this is beyond spectacularly stupid.

I mean - if you're going 38 km/h with the doors locked you'll survive; if you're going 37 km/h with them unlocked you won't?

Come on.

The irritation this feature causes is surely a far more serious traffic safety issue! An angry driver is not a safer driver.


Jim Kenzie

Jim Kenzie

Hi 'Johnson':

Almost all cars do this, not only to dehumidify the air which helps keep the windshield de-fogged, but also to help lubricate the seals in the A/C system which usually would not be running in the winter months.

In the Nissan Maxima I have at the moment, the A/C light does in fact come on when this happens - I thought it did in the Versa too, but maybe not.

But you can manually shut the A/C off by pushing on that button. Not that I know why you would want to necessarily, but if the Versa is like the Maxima, you do have that option.


Jim Kenzie

Jim Kenzie

Hi Emro:

Yeah, that portion of the EX manual fooled me too.

It is referring to Auto UNLOCK feature, whereby the locks UN-lock when you select Park.

What I'm going on about is the Auto LOCK feature, which CAN be disabled (do as you describe above, except instead of holding down the 'Unlock' side of the button, hold down the 'Lock' side).

But THAT'S the thing they don't mention in that manual!

I wonder why?


Jim Kenzie

Jim Kenzie

Hi Jason:

RE: your 2003 Grand Am - that was then, this is now. GM no longer enables the 'disable' feature. They claim a safety benefit, but I don't buy it.

I'm delighted that you worry about someone car-jacking your 2003 Grand Am! Wasn't aware it was such an, um, hot target...

But if you've ever taken your kids out on Hallowe'en, picked up several people in succession going to lunch or a party, forgotten to hit 'unlock' when you get out of the car to grab your brief case from the back seat...

All I'm saying is, give US the choice.


Jim Kenzie

Jim Kenzie

Hi Jamie:

As I said to Jason above, that was then, this is now. GM no longer enables the 'disable' feature. They claim a safety benefit, but I don't buy it.


Jim Kenzie

Investigation Services

This is really knowledgeable. I'll keep visiting for more of your posts.


what i don't like about my versa,my wife has locked herself out twice now.if you on hit the unlock button once,it only unlocks the drivers door,which will relock in 1 minute,you have to hit it twice to unlock all 4 doors,then it will not relock,i work in the automotive industry and have had several people do the same thing.nissan dealer didn't have a clue about this,they should be telling people this,nissan is not the make that does this,double unlock :)

Jeremy Wells

So I ran into another infuriating issue with the auto-lock feature today. Apparently if you disconnect your car battery, and then reconnect it, the door locks automatically engage. Even if, like me, your keys are still in the ignition, so you are stuck by the side of the road with no way into your car. Easily the MOST frustrating issue I've had with an auto-lock since I swore off electronic locks and windows of all sorts after I abandoned a Delta 88 with electrical issues.

Carol Jones

I worry I could be locked in my car in the event of a crash. The manual for my X-trail says that the superlock system may activate in the event of a crash and that you can unlock the doors by using the intelligent key or turning the ignition switch. However, in a crash it is possible for the intelligent key and ignition to be out of reach - especially if you are unconscious - and then no-one else can get you out of the car. Great. Also, since the intelligent key is not placed in the ignition, it is quite possible for it to be pressed inadvertently if say it is stored in a handbag whilst the car is being driven. Since a crash can cause doors to jam anyway, this 'feature' could have already caused fatalities and no-one would know. I will try disabling the autolock as described in the other posts but what about everyone else who owns a Nissan and is not aware they could be trapped in their car at the worst possible time?

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