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Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard? 394

cartechboy (2660665) writes "When things go wrong with the Tesla Model S electric car, its very loyal--and opinionated--owners usually speak up. And that's just what David Noland has done. An incident in which his Model S didn't stop when he pressed the brake pedal scared him--and got him investigating. He measured pedal spacing on 22 different new cars at dealers--and his analysis suggests that the Tesla pedal setup may be causing what aviation analysts call a 'design-induced pilot error'. And pedal design, as Toyota just learned to the tune of $1.2 billion, is very important indeed in preventing accidents."
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Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24, 2014 @04:53PM (#46567753)

    And yet only one idiot has this problem.
    In the toyota case lots of people were having problems. Not just one with a tape measure and an axe to grind because he made a foolish mistake.

  • Re:Tesla (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Monday March 24, 2014 @04:56PM (#46567805) Homepage Journal

    Pretty much. I drive a car with a manual transmission; we don't get giant brake pedals, so I'm stomping on this tiny little square which my foot can easily slip from. It has, and has found the accelerator...which is usually non-functional because I'm out of gear.

    So yeah. His massive foot should have been able to find the massive brake pedal. It's the big, long, wide one. If you're hanging on the edge of the brake, you could slip off the edge and floor it. I've done it.

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Monday March 24, 2014 @05:14PM (#46568081) Journal

    Sports cars have the brake and gas pedals close together so that one can heel-and-toe them. Wannabe-sports sedans copy this, for the same marketing reason we were afflicted by spoilers on family sedans for a generation.

    Each "standard" has its place, the fault if any of Tesla was in believing their own hype that the Model S was some kind of sports car (hint: when your car's over 2 tons empty, that's not what "sports car" means. GT cruiser maybe, but no one's gonna be heel-and-toeing it through the race track in anything like stock.)

  • by amorsen ( 7485 ) <> on Monday March 24, 2014 @05:23PM (#46568215)

    Heel and toe is a bit stupid in a car without gears...

  • by MasterOfGoingFaster ( 922862 ) on Monday March 24, 2014 @06:26PM (#46569029) Homepage

    Audi got partial blame for their unintended acceleration problems because the brake and throttle were close enough that when it was fully depressed, the driver would have trouble telling from position which pedal was depressed.

    That was Audi's excuse - but not the actual reason.

    I was driving on an interstate highway on cruise control in an Audi 5000 Turbo, when the car suddenly went to full throttle. I could easily move the gas pedal up and down, so it wasn't stuck. I shut off the cruise control via a dashboard switch, and regained control. The throttle issue was clearly the cruise control malfunction. It never did it again. I could not duplicate the fault, so I suspect poor RF shielding (trucker using a hopped up CB radio?).

    Yeah - I contacted Audi with the "good news" and they had zero interest. They would rather blame the customer than recall the cars.

  • Re:Tesla (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <> on Monday March 24, 2014 @07:08PM (#46569379) Homepage

    Which is exactly why sane manufacturers have the parking brake actuator higher up and way off to the side and a large footrest left of the brake pedal.

    I never figured out WTF was wrong with having a hand brake... A recent trip to Canada saw me having to use a torch to actually find the foot operated parking brake every time I needed to operate the damned thing!

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