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$2.3 billion Icy Road Regenerative Braking Lawsuit

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by Tam, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Class Sues Tesla for Dangerous Braking System

    Model X owner Roy Wiseman claims that Regenerative Braking is a danger on icy road because when he took off the accelerator it would automatically brake which caused the car skid off to a mountainside.

    I don't understand the merit of this lawsuit.

    I imagine if the car did not have Regenerative Braking, he would fly off to a mountainside instead of skidding off.
     
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  2. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    #2 Az_Rael, Jun 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
    That's why you use regen Low in icy situations.

    When driving on ice, for those unfamiliar, sudden velocity changes are bad. It's best to not use your brakes as much as possible and drive in a straight line. Any deviations to speed or steering can cause loss of traction. Source: driving on lots of solid ice during Texas winter storms (they were way worse than the snowy roads we used to get in Utah)
     
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  3. MarcusMaximus

    MarcusMaximus Member

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    Even more so: you can certainly coast in a Tesla. Just don't lift your foot as high. It's not like the pedal is just a binary button that either goes or stops.
     
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  4. X Fan

    X Fan Supporting Member

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    Don't know the facts on this one whether driver error, road conditions or "Tesla's fault" but its a shame how litigious our society has become.

    For this reason alone, implementation of full autonomous driving in U.S. is questionable.
     
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  5. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    http://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Tesla-Braking-Complaint.pdf

    "36. On April 7, 2017, at approximately 9:15 pm, Plaintiff Roy A. Wiseman was traveling on State Route 36 East, between Martin, CA and Chester, CA.

    As Plaintiff reached higher elevation, it began to snow. Plaintiff slowed down the Subject Vehicle for safety purposes.

    At or about 9:30 pm, Plaintiff reached a location where the road was curving to the right. Deciding to slow down even more to accommodate the curve in the snowy conditions, Plaintiff removed his foot slightly off accelerator of the Subject Vehicle.

    As Plaintiff released the accelerator, the regenerative braking system kicked in and applied negative torque to the wheels of the Subject Vehicle. In an instant, Plaintiffs’ vehicle slid off the road, heading down the mountainside, crashing into trees and branches.

    Plaintiff and his passenger remained in the Subject Vehicle stranded in the snow for more than an hour waiting and seeking help. The Subject Vehicle was severely damaged.

    37. Had Plaintiffs known that the regenerative braking system and/or the regen control system of the Subject Vehicle was flawed they would not have purchased the Subject Vehicle, would not have used the Subject Vehicle in winters and would have paid substantially less for the Subject Vehicle, or would have purchased another luxury SUV from Tesla’s competitors."

    I think MarcusMaximus has an excellent point that the plaintiff could control the pedal to any desired speed: faster, slower, or as plaintiff demanded "coasting".

    I don't know whether article has a typo or not, $2.3 billion is a lot for not learning to control the accelerator pedal!
     
  6. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    So he tried to slow down by applying regenerative braking, and then he's suing Tesla because the car applied regenerative braking, just as expected? Crazy.
     
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  7. John Green

    John Green Banned

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  8. mongo

    mongo Member

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    1: Doesn't traction/ stability control override regenerative breaking?

    2: Same thing happens with ICE cars (have spun out in a front wheel drive manual by letting off throttle too quickly, so i clutch first now). Engine breaking is a real thing on most cars (although many automatic transmissions will freewheel if you redyce accelerator input and are not specifically in not-D or tow/haul. But automatics have the issue of ill timed shifts..)

    3: Vehicle data logs will be interesting/ informative.
     
  9. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Will be ruled driver error. Case will be tossed out.
     
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  10. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I think so, but I would guess it takes some time for the car to figure out its wheels are slipping, at which point it's already too late.

    I suspect the fellow was traveling too fast for the conditions - I see people do that all the time in Texas ice storms. It seems "OK" until it's not. We once drove from Abilene to Snyder during a storm at less than 20mph on the interstate. People were passing us in the fast lane and we would then find them spun off the road a few miles up. Luckily no cliffs were involved.

    Suing Tesla for your own mistakes it a bit crazy. I had a manual RWD truck that I used to spin out in ice storms (no sandbags in the bed) - maybe I should sue Isuzu.
     
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  11. jschwefel

    jschwefel VIN#1249

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    I have a early P85 RWD, and it is phenomenal in the snow and ice, better than almost any other car I've driven. You can lift on the accelerator and engage the regenerative braking while turning on slippery roads, but the car only drifts a little bit before it corrects itself. It's really, really good and it has convinced me to forego the AWD dual motor when I order the Model 3. I'm sure the dual motor cars are even better, but to me it's not worth the extra money (and wait). Sorry Tesla. But of course, some people will manage to crash no matter how good the car is.
     
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  12. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    Likely a case of operator error. Excessive speed for poor road conditions coupled with an apparent lack of familiarity with a basic function of the car (when you let off the accelerator it slows down just like a manual transmission car would engine brake or an automatic car if you downshift on a steep hill). Probably was driving on crappy all seasons too which I suppose was also Tesla's fault.o_O

    The more interesting question is once bad drivers like this have more autonomous driving features, will the Tesla autopilot be able to handle these type of conditions with better results?
     
  13. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Bottom line:

    Regen braking is no different than regular braking. Both are under control of the driver. If the driver started skidding, he could have applied a little accelerator pressure to stop the braking effect, just as a driver in a normal car could stop pressing on the brake. Driver failed to maintain control of the vehicle, so driver error. Doesn't mean he was a bad driver. Maybe the ice came out of nowhere. Maybe he just made a mistake and was going too fast or applied the brake when he started to skid. Either way, unless there's some glaring issue that wasn't made public above, it's not the fault of the manufacturer.

    Nothing else matters.
     
  14. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Yes it takes "some time", as in milliseconds.

    None of us can know what actually happened in the situation the plaintiff is suing over. The only facts are the vehicle logs and the observed road conditions. Then there is the plaintiff's version of the story.

    I wonder what kind of tires were on the vehicle and what their condition was. The best drivetrain in the world cannot compensate for someone using all season tires with no chains on an icy road.

    Given the demonstrated competence of Tesla vehicle performance in snow and ice, I expect Tesla will prevail in court.
     
  15. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Driver error.

    If this fool had learned to drive on a standard-shift car with engine braking, like me and like millions of drivers for the last century, he would have known exactly how this works.

    I was taught if you are on ice in a skid, *shift into neutral*, and the Model S provides a very clear, easy, and straightforward way of shifting into neutral.
     
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  16. Pandamoanium

    Pandamoanium Member

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    Shift into neutral? I was taught that when skidding and the systems kick in to let them do it's job, and to not shift into neutral or pull a parking brake since it would actually turn off those systems. This was also back in about 2006 so it could have just been the car maker then.
     
  17. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Tesla does not have a Talent Meter to indicate when the driver talent is almost zero. This is the root cause.

    It will be awfully hard to prove that excessive speed with limited traction did not override the SC and ABS systems. He certainly should not be in charge of buying tires for his car. Or driving it.

    If the airbags deployed, unless Tesla 'Screwed The Pooch' the black box will indicate exactly how the driver responded prior to, and during the loss of control incident. It backtracks like a flight recorder.
     
  18. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    Decorum prevents me from commenting on this owner, his lawyer(s) and this suit.
     
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  19. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    Proposed class - "people that are not smart enough to stay off icy roads without snow tires or chains"...
     
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  20. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    This is really an excellent point.
     
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