back to article Ford spins pop-out anti-prang door shield

Time was when many car doors were fitted with a rubber doohickey to stop drivers and passengers opening them too rapidly and scratching the paint or denting the car they were parked next to. The notion fell out of favour in the 1990s, but now Ford has revived it in a slightly more hi-tech form. Prosaically dubbed the Door …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    When in uk parking spaces are the doors open to their full extent?

  2. Whitter

    Only opens on maximum extent?

    Utterly useless if true.

    Pops out after it's moved a few inches (for that tight spot in the car park) is what you want.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    its a start, though would much rather my car had protection rather than protect the other cars. as it is i've never dinged another car yet my car doors resemble the surface of a golf ball.

  4. The BigYin

    Just one more reason...

    ...for cage drivers to not LOOK before they do something.

    Maybe Ford should put a sensor on the door's edge that applies some kind of lock to the hinge preventing it opening any further when in close proximity. Then cagers can just throw their doors open without a care in the world for others.

    1. Aaron Em

      "Cage drivers"...

      ...says the hardcore nutball motorcyclist. You guys aren't quite so bad as the Critical Massholes -- at least you can keep up with the vehicles the roads are *there* for -- but the victimhood nonsense still gets old.

    2. K. Adams

      That's a great idea, until...

      ... the mechanism traps someone inside his/her disabled and burning vehicle.

  5. Steven Jones

    For whose benefit?

    Unfortunately, the only person not to benefit from this is the vehicle owner. Any chance they could make it compulsory? Apart from my car of course - I'm always careful...

  6. Clive 3

    What about rear doors?

    I find that most parking damage to my car is caused by the rear doors of adjacent cars. Rear doors often have a sharp corner. Also the rear doors are frequently opened wide to get children in and out.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If that was all we needed to worry about....

    It's not an edge protector that I need but something to proetect my car from idiots who have as much parking sense as Ray Charles. In my locality parking by touch is the most common method.

  8. Simon Buttress

    Don't see how it helps......

    And how does that help when you're parked next a bloody pillar or something in a car park?

  9. Lloyd
    Thumb Down


    As others have already said, I need something that would stop other playing bumper cars with my parked car down the local Sainsbury's. Do they sit there and think "I wonder what that loud scraping noise is? I'm sure it's nothing, ah well, I'll carry on reversing".

  10. nemo20000

    World’s most altruistic vehicle feature?

    In the future I shall only park next to new Fords.

    1. Gav

      First rule of car park parking

      First rule of car park parking; Always park next to cars that are more expensive and better cared for than your own. That way you have a chance that the occupiers of it will avoid damaging their car on yours.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thing only engages if door opened to full extent --- so park near to Ford= no effect; park far away= no touch possible. Seems to have a small operating margin.

  11. Yann BZH

    Mechanical marvel

    Great! One more thing to go wrong in cars.

  12. darklord

    More useless technology

    Ford innovation

    1. alviator

      Maybe for you

      Still more innovative than any Japanese carmaker out there.

  13. 0laf Silver badge

    Actually it's not a bad idea. SWMBO has scraped that edge of our car doors numerous times opening them against walls etc. Obviously the walls were built in stupid places and it's nothing to do with her parking.

    And as other have said if they were fitted to all cars then my car might stand a chance in a supermarket carpark.

    Oh and when I park my car at the far end of the car park next to no one it is not lonely. It does not want company from some berk who has an OCD urge to park so close to it that I need to climb in the passenger door. Fuck off somewhere else.

  14. Kevin Johnston

    R&D Effort

    I can 't help but think that there are soooo many better things that this effort could have been pointed at. It took 'how long?' to have car headlights turn off when they key was removed and as for making it almost impossible to be certain where the 'contact corners' of modern cars are...... This is the sort of project that apprentices used to be given to help them understand devlopment/production life-cycles to great applause even though everyone knew it was never going to be used. Have the 'hard of understanding' apprentices now reached 'Head of Design' level?

  15. Lottie

    Like many others

    I'd prefer something to protect my car from other doors.

    And trollies. Could they fit this to shupermarket trollies? That would be cool :-)

  16. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    Lessons life has taught me

    A car is a tool with moving parts that operates in a harsh environment all day long. Don't buy or drive a car which you would care about someone writing off. It will get scratched, dented, scraped, stained, shat-on (only by birds, hopefully), get hit by rocks and other projectiles on the motorway (deliberate or just road-debris that's thrown up) and everything else even if you're the most careful driver in the world and everyone around you is being careful too. In the real world, that means it's DEFINITELY going to happen anyway, and the chances increase with the amount of time that the car is not in the garage.

    I use the lawnmower rule. If I bought a lawnmower, there's only a certain amount I would be willing to pay. It operates in a harsh environment so I would keep it well-oiled, etc. to ensure it continues working. But I'll be damned to be out waxing the damn thing at all hours, or fawning over the slightest scratch. At the end of the day, it's a tool to transport you safely. If it does so, it has earned its money. Everything else is for show.

    Although I would *NEVER* deliberately damage someone else's property, it can happen completely by accident anyway. Yes, there are careless drivers but there are also accidents, in the actual meaning of that word. Whether they come to me and say "Oh, I'm sorry, but I think I've scraped your door" or not, it makes no difference - it would still cost me X amount of money to repair that scratch even if their insurance pays for it (the no-claims-bonus scam - I had it explained to me when I was very young that this is NOT a no-fault-bonus like humans naturally expect at first). So worrying about a scratch here or there is pointless. Besides the fact, you can easily pick on up on any motorway that has oncoming traffic and small stones (if they can take out your windscreen, imagine what they do if they "just" hit the side of your car and you don't notice). Touching a overhanging tree-branch and other silly things can cause EXACTLY the same damage. Hell, I've bumped my car into posts and kerbs myself - sometimes it just happens and the post/kerb always comes off better. You can do it by brushing along your own car while wearing a zipped-jacket. I'll be damned to be paying hundreds of pounds on my own car for filling, resprays, etc. to cover a couple of bumps and scrapes. Most people will be selling the damn thing within a few years anyway, so why fuss over it?

    So worrying about scratching OTHER people's cars is certainly an issue. We solved that with the little rubber things that go on the door-edges (which are similarly completely useless because it's never THAT bit of the door that contacts!) and being careful. Worrying about your own car being scratched, though, is 100% pointless. It'll happen more by accident / chance than it will because someone is being ignorant and bashing their doors into yours (which damages their door-edge too, don't forget!).

    A bit of rubber isn't going to stop people's cars being scratched OR the edge of your door being scratched. I can't wait for the first rubber-flap failure that shuts it in the door along with it's plastic/metal components and damages the door itself.

    More importantly - when are we going to get a car with all-round bumpers (the Fiat Panda 1000S doesn't count because it dodgem-like by design) that are EASILY and CHEAPLY replaceable and don't damage other objects at low-speeds, a paint-job that doesn't expose bare metal from the slightest touch, and one that doesn't LET you open the doors far enough to contact another object (by rubberising the whole damn outer edges!).

    Gimme a car with a crap look and much, much longer-lasting paintwork and where I can just swap old bumper (the clue is in the name) for new on front, back and sides for minimal cost. If you can make it so that the exhaust isn't hanging precariously unprotected from underneath and poking out the back, even better.

  17. Little Me

    truly car manufacturers have peaked if this is progress.....

  18. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    And it's electronic.

    Instead of being an obvious and reliable toppling-spring arrangement operated by a Belden cable attached to the hinge.

  19. Lord Zedd
    Thumb Down


    You could simply not be jerk and not jam your door into other people's cars. Problem solved, no clutch need.

  20. skeptical i

    But what does it do for ME?

    Since I'm paying for the car, can I instead get some sort of bumper strips on the sticky-outiest part of the door, proximity- activated flame-throwers, or something to reduce the number/ severity of dings that *I* get? Not that I'm against being a "good neighbor" in the car park, but I'm not too keen on paying extra for it (and, has been noted above, the retracto-edge thingie won't work in many situations anyway).

  21. Stevie


    Don't spend money on this, folks. I've already got you covered. I carry a small ball-pien hammer in my car. If I come back to find you've left me a door ding (and the paint on your door matches the scratches in my door) I simply reward the bad behavior with some rough justice.

    I started doing this when I watched some git in an SUV smash his door into mine as I sat on my train powerless to remonstrate with the brain-dead tw*t. That day, the second payment was due on my car, and when I got home there was a neat, three-inch crease in one of my panels.

    I photograph cars I park next to so that I can track down those who ding and leave too (gotta love the modern cell phones. Idiots tend to park in the same spot so they're easy to find the next day or the day after. If I find my paint on their door, out comes Mr Hammer for a visit to SUVland. (And yes, it's always an SUV).

    For the people who park so close I cannot get into my car, I have a special treat - I leave an appropriate thank-you message on the glass of their door mirror in white paint marker. It comes off of course, with some elbow grease and a razorblade scraper. Less effort to park properly if you ask me.

    Park properly. If you cannot park it, don't drive it. If you're not gonna drive it, don't buy it.

    Words to grow on.

    1. a33a

      one word...


    2. Anonymous Coward

      "out comes Mr Hammer for a visit to SUVland."

      Wow. I knew he'd fallen from the days of "Can't Touch This", but I didn't realize it was that bad.

      And, yeah, psycho (assuming you're not a troll). Park at the far end where there aren't many cars, and walk further. Or, since you're being a prick anyway, you could just park in two spots and have plenty of space - sounds to me like it's wise to separate you and society as much as possible anyway.

      The whole post is bizarre, too - it's like comic book villains' back-stories, writ small: A genuine injustice done long ago, followed by a descent from self-defense to outscale, lunatic aggression.

      Congratulations, Stevie - you're the Magneto of car vandalism!

    3. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      And when *you're* arrested for criminal damage (which includes the wing-mirror thing - believe it or not) rather than your target, what will you do? Just because there's CCTV and you "took a photo" means nothing if you go back the next day and do the damage - you might be on CCTV damaging their car and there be NO proof (especially if, say, they moved their car during the day and another took its place) that they did anything to yours at all.

      And what if you *do* get the wrong person and they do the same back to you, or worse? You going to end up nuking each other to sort it out? If you want to be nasty, you put in an insurance claim, or a private damages claim. Infinitely more messy and expensive for them and completely legal. And, don't forget, someone can do EXACTLY the same back to you because you did something to their car, even if "they started it" (it sounds like a kindergarten phrase, because it *IS*).

      The best question to ask yourself is: "What if everybody did what I did?" You might think that would mean that nobody would ever park wrong, scrape cars by accident, or start "damage-wars" but in reality what would happen is that people would be rioting in the streets and burning down each other's houses because of a scratch of their precious paintwork done by a passing kid or someone else squeezing between two cars with heavy shopping.


  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The MILFs in the giant SUV's can stop dinging the doors on my Subie...

  23. Ian Ferguson

    Simple, cheaper option:

    Don't be pulled in by advertising and peer pressure to buying expensive brand new cars all the time and worrying about every little fucking scratch.

    Paying a garage to hammer out a tiny ding and respray the entire panel - probably about £300. You could buy another car for that.

  24. Vortigern


    Why not just put in a proximity sensor which stops the door opening too far

    ... or if it's too much hassle to stop the door get it to spray water in the crotch of your stupid passenger who thinks it's fine to bash the door as "it's only a scratch"

  25. Herby

    Now if only made people park better...

    ...but it won't. This IS a step in the right direction, even if it is electronically actuated.

    What is really needed is a "bumper sticker" (of the VERY sticky variety) that says "Parking Slob" (nice large type) that one can stick on the windshield (windscreen) of the offender, preferably in the drivers line of sight!

    Maybe this is a product ElReg can offer in bulk to us mere peons.

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