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Accident for unable to brake efficiently: Tesla's or my fault?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by GoodManFrank, Feb 29, 2020.

?

Who is at fault?

  1. Me

  2. Tesla

  3. Hard to tell

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. GoodManFrank

    GoodManFrank Member

    Joined:
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    Bay Area, California
    Hey all, I've got into a small accident couple months ago and hope we can discuss about this.

    Dash cam recording goes first:

    (I only blurred the license plate for privacy concerns. Nothing else edited, for example speed, resolution, color, etc)

    This rear end accident happened last year, and luckily nobody was hurt. My Tesla insurance covered this, and I told them the brake was not working as intended right after the accident. I also called Tesla roadside assistance & service center to report this malfunction, and they promised I would get an investigation result within 8 weeks. Not surprisingly that didn't happen. So I'm still wondering who is at fault in this accident, because it seems obvious to me that the brake wasn't right. Or maybe I could be wrong and need to be more careful in similar situations.

    Here're some key conclusions:

    1. The road was wet but not raining when it happened, actually it showered in the morning and stopped about half an hour ago. Temperature was around 50°F - 70°F (10°C - 20°C), speed limit is 35mph.
    2. My Model 3 LR AWD was very new with 2000 miles on it. It has the original 18'' aero wheels & tires. Manual driving all the time, no autopilot involved.
    3. I started to brake right after I see the red light & front car slowing down, with regen first and then immediately pushed brake pedal hard. I pushed as hard as I could and it still hit the front car.
    4. The wheel was making deep clicking sound, indicating ABS triggered, but car just won't slow down and tire is making abrasive sound.
    5. No collision warning, no auto braking or any other safety features triggered (I enabled all safety features).
    6. Brake & regen still working after the accident. Have't tried braking hard though as I don't trust it any more.

    Welcome to share your opinions. Thanks in advance!
     
    • Funny x 4
  2. Chisale

    Chisale Member

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    Indeterminable without an analysis of the car afterwards. For instance, speed, which safety features attempted to engage, which pedal driver was pressing at the time. So Tesla promised to look into this and didn't. Are you sure they didn't check your car remotely?
     
  3. NedH

    NedH Member

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    Looks to me like you skidded on the wet pavement. Why do you claim that the brakes didn't work as they were supposed to?
     
    • Like x 10
  4. GoodManFrank

    GoodManFrank Member

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    They said they pulled the logs and 'senior engineers' will take a look and respond within 4-8 weeks. Now more than 12 weeks have passed...
     
  5. GoodManFrank

    GoodManFrank Member

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    Well, according to my experience, normal vehicle would be able to brake much more efficiently under that situation, especially the last few feet, where it was not slowing down at all.

    Again maybe I'm wrong and it's also really hard to reproduce that road situation.
     
    • Disagree x 2
  6. Dante

    Dante Member

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    So really hard to comment without actually being there/seeing when the break was pressed, how hard, road conditions etc... HOWEVER, I have to say that a few months back, I had two instances fairly close together where I felt like my car was "out of control" when I hit the breaks. Did not respond as aggressively as it normally did to the break press, and this was on side roads going fairly slowly (ie under 50km/hr). Happened twice, thankfully both times nobody in front of me, but definitely made me scratch my head. Never persisted/recurred after those two instances, so never made any fuss about it. But definitely felt like the car was continuing to 'coast' despite me pressing the break. Tires didn't make any funny noises and no ABS sounds either. From your description though it does sound different, and sounds like you may have skidded a bit if ABS was activating.
     
  7. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2020: Drain the Sewer

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    Rainy day, low traction tyres.
    I cannot tell how fast you were driving but judging by the road markings it sure looks like you were late slowing down
     
    • Like x 10
    • Informative x 1
  8. Atari2600

    Atari2600 Member

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    I’m going to blame the tires. Tesla’s fault for using crappy tires and your fault for not realizing how it handles in some wet situations.

    I have the same config but got mine Sept 2018. I was driving one day after it had rained and had trouble with the tires losing traction on regen on an exit ramp. I had a few other times where the tires had wet traction issues slowing down and accelerating. What was your tire PSI set to? I kept mine at 45 and I’m sure that did not help things.
    My solution was to buy PS4S summer and Nokian winter tires. The Nokian tires are not star performers on warmer wet roads but not as bad as the factory ones. PS4S tires are like the car is glued to the road dry or wet.

    I still have my factory tires with 3,000 miles on them hanging on a rack in my garage. I guess I should try to sell them before they dry rot.
     
    • Like x 4
    • Disagree x 4
    • Informative x 1
  9. jkoya

    jkoya NA2 NSX

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    Were you going above the speed limit before you started to brake ?
     
  10. Leeclanual

    Leeclanual Member

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    #10 Leeclanual, Feb 29, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
    anytime you rear end another car it’s your fault... unless of course a system failure. It appears from the video that you were not adequately monitoring the wx/road conditions, closure rate, and probably distracted by something which caused a slow response... like 90% of all drivers texting and talking.
     
    • Like x 6
  11. qdeathstar

    qdeathstar Active Member

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    You appear to be the fastest car on the road. That alone is pretty damaging..
     
    • Like x 8
  12. jkdman123

    jkdman123 Member

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    Most likely the wet pavement. ABS can only do so much. On slick surfaces, your braking distance will be greater. Sometimes, markedly greater. As it stands, the ABS probably prevented the accident from being worse.
     
    • Like x 2
  13. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

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    Looks to be too fast and aggressive for conditions.

    ABS engaging tells you the tires were skidding on the pavement, which is the limiting factor on slowing the car - once you’re into ABS, there’s nothing the car can do to slow faster.
     
    • Like x 8
  14. polyphonic54

    polyphonic54 Member

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    I appreciate you posting this thread, definitely going to switch to PS4S when the M4MXs wear out.
     
  15. KenC

    KenC Active Member

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    Wet road, ABS is activated, indicating the wheels are sliding. Road is shiny, looks slippery in the groove. You pass the black Audi on your left, after it has already started braking, so you're not really slowing as soon as other cars are seeing the red light.

    It appears to me that you start to brake late, going faster than surrounding traffic, on a wet day, on a slick part of road.

    When it's slippery, try to drive outside of the groove, it's got more traction. Also, you had a bailout area to your right. You could have jerked the car over at the last second. I wouldn't worry about the hard braking, that's not the problem. The car's ABS was active, indicating braking was maximum for the slipperiness of the road. No amount of active safety features would have helped avoid that accident, other than slowing earlier like when the black Audi to your left began to slow, and/or pulling into the right bailout area.

    It's cold and wet. Ideal conditions for tires to not perform their best. Slower speeds and earlier braking and longer gaps to the car ahead are the normal response.

    Definitely not the car's fault.
     
    • Like x 12
    • Helpful x 1
    • Informative x 1
  16. smatthew

    smatthew Member

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    The brakes in your Tesla are conventional hydraulic brakes. If you push on the brake pedal, the brakes are activated. They're strong enough to stop the car even with the motor going full tilt. The car can apply additional braking force with the brake booster, but it cannot reduce the braking force generated by the pedal.

    I think you were driving way too fast. Probably about 50? And you didn't start slowing down until very late.
     
    • Like x 4
  17. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Well-Known Member

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    Looks like resifual oil on the road. If it has not rained for a while, oil builds up on the road. First rain will float this to the surface and road will become slick.

    Looks like your brakes were slowing down your car and you hit car in front at a reduced speed.

    Blame oil on the road, and not braking early enough.
     
    • Like x 1
  18. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    Too late!

    The car on the left was way ahead of you and you quickly passed that car even when that car on the left started to brake already.

    When the car on the left displayed red brake lights, it's time for you to apply the brake at that time too.

    Also, the car on the left had a very lengthy safe distance while you quickly shrunk yours.

    You should have duplicated the car on the left with its safe distance and brakings rather than passing it!

    They don't alarm and don't automatically intervene if you manually override them such as pressing on the accelerator, brake pedal, steering...
     
    • Like x 3
  19. NathanielHrnblwr

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    San Diego (Oceanside)
    Agree with what most in this thread shared. You were driving too fast for the conditions. You passed every car in the video.
     
    • Like x 1
  20. AGARubberDuck

    AGARubberDuck Member

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    There seems to be two drivers in la la land in this video. OP braked too late for sure. However, the lead car driver should have some situational awareness and notice the car in the rear view mirror coming in hot. There does not appear to be any pedestrians near the crosswalk and plenty of room to creep forward to allow more space for the Tesla driver to stop without collision.
    Defensive driving is the best kind of driving. You can't control other drivers, but you can keep yourself aware of what they are doing. Maybe that's the motorcyclist in me.
     
    • Disagree x 14
    • Like x 4

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