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Another 'Sudden Acceleration' lawsuit

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by Joelc, Dec 30, 2016.

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  1. dandelot

    dandelot Member

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    Parked on a hill I'm used to using 2 (or 3!) pedals at once to get going in ICE cars so do it out of habit and...Tesla Model S refuses to move. Message on screen says both pedals pressed.
     
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  2. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    I find the driver error (possibly driver not even knowing it) most likely, especially given the brutal acceleration of EVs.

    But I must say logs do not sound conclusive evidence to me. First they are not third-party, second if acclerator pedal had a physical fault like getting stuck, logs would show just the pedal pressed.

    I am not sure publicly commenting and attacking customers with details is the best PR policy either. I'd root for some more diplomatic middle ground. This current strategy can make them look unnecessarily hostile and give claimants sympathy votes... and it can make the company feel hostile towards its customers.
     
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  3. Zythryn

    Zythryn M3 Silver, M3 Midnight Silver

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    Have you SEEN the owner's public comments?

    As for logs, I have heard they measure pedal position as well as pressure on the pedal.
    In this case, the owner is stating the car lept forward, so a stuck pedal wouldn't do it. It would have to somehow accelerate itself, and then get stuck.

    As for logs reliability, the NHTSA guys would be all over any sign of fake logging.

    Does anyone have numbers on how often this type of thing happens to any car?
    A simple, first level test, would be does Tesla have a higher rate of incidents than other brands?
     
  4. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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  5. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    I maintain a more diplomatic PR policy would be beneficial to Tesla. There is no reason to reply in kind or deliver to public unnecessary details. A company can be expected to be "the bigger person" than a family going through a personal shock.

    I simply think it would be a good PR move and a customer-friendly move to adopt a less public and less confrontational way about it.

    Many companies have a privacy policy to never discuss customer complaints in public even if customers do - beyond a generic response.

    There is a reason such policies exist. Tesla has shown a very different policy lately.

    As for logging, I guess my point was fairly generic. We have very little (and no third-party?) data to go by when saying logs prove something. Just something to keep in mind. For example if pedal physically got stuck, it would seem like a foot there... not saying anything like that would be likely of course.

    I still consider unintentional and possibly unknown-to-him driver error most likely.
     
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  6. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    #46 Tam, Jan 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
    Wow!

    I just glanced through the court document and it really bashes Tesla and holds Tesla high tech responsible for prevention of an accident.

    Jury is human, not robots so just because Tesla has all scientific evidences, it might not be enough.

    Just like the case of OJ Simpson, a jury can still be dissuaded from all scientific evidences if the jury can't make an emotional connection to those evidences.
     
  7. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    There is no such thing as uncontrolled sudden acceleration. Brakes overpower the motor(s) in every instance.

    As others have posted, Malcomm Gladwell takes this subject on in his podcast:

    Revisionist History Episode 08

    The driver is responsible and the public does need to learn that there is no such thing as uncontrolled sudden acceleration. If the car is surging forward, it is because the driver is pressing the wrong pedal. Maybe if the public finally gets this, they will stop pressing the accelerator pedal earlier rather than holding it down as if it is the brake pedal.
     
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  8. Phil Seastrand

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    Interesting that all the Tesla unintended acceleration incidents occur just when the driver would normally be pressing the brake pedal. I don't recall any happening on an open road or city street. Seems pretty obvious what is causing these incidents.
     
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  9. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    • Informative x 2
  10. NikeWings

    NikeWings Active Member

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    It's a must-listen for anyone weighing in on this topic.
    Excellent podcast thanks for posting again!
     
  11. bhzmark

    bhzmark Supporting Member

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    This is 100% correct.

    And this guy is now also going look like an even bigger fool when he gets schooled in Tesla technology and US law. His attys are just taking advantage of his ability to fund foolish litigation.
     
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  12. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't call this as "foolish" when you talk about billions of dollars for this kind of lawsuit because Toyota was slapped with $1.2 billion fine to the Government and paid millions to owners.

    Toyota loses first acceleration lawsuit, must pay $3 million
     
  13. mmd

    mmd Active Member

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    #53 mmd, Jan 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
    Interesting, that there is a recent SA article mentioning this very subject. I quoted a part for those who don't like to visit SA. David Noland of greencarreports.com described his on-road unintended acceleration of his Model S as a 'Design Induced Operator Error'. If the design is found to be lacking, then the judgement could be to fix the design.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/4007186-exploding-myth-tesla-safety
    P.S: This SA article is actually quite investigative, worth a read for those opining here about UA for Model S. Noland's article is also interesting.
     
  14. weak_pig

    weak_pig Member

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    I felt Tesla should have handled this better. To placate the owner, Tesla should have invited him personally to their office and present to him the log evidences to convince him of his mistake, instead of simply insisting that they have conducted a thorough investigation and expecting the victim to accept their official response.
     
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  15. Kristoffer Helle

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    This never happen to young people.. wounder why :rolleyes:
     
  16. bhzmark

    bhzmark Supporting Member

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    #56 bhzmark, Jan 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
    Different facts.

    Toyota pedals were sticking when drivers pressed the gas pedal as, for instance, to pass another car.

    The Teslas that crashed are when driver is in position that would usually involve application of the brake.

    They are pressing brake pedal. As happens with all cars.

    Class action claim is laughable. A sure loser. His attys are taking him for ride. That is where he will really lose face.

    Face loser plaintiff will need to scrape up his face off the ground.
     
  17. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    Tesla is an engineering company so the value for objectivity of science is a very big part in its culture.

    However, when it comes to the matter of jury: It's an art of persuasion and you don't always win even when you have all the facts, truth, science... on your side.
     
  18. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    Different facts, same principle.

    How do you persuade the jury that you are right.

    If you listened to techmaven's link: Toyota is innocent but the other side was able to persuade the government and jury that it's hard to believe that car owners are dead because Toyota is not doing something wrong.

    The Toyota's car mats and sticky gas pedals are scapegoats for the real problem: Drivers who press on a pedal and the car suddenly accelerates so instead of lifting their foot off, they keep on pressing that same pedal but harder all the way to the floor!

    Car mats and sticky gas pedals did not kill anyone but pressing a pedal that accelerates a car and not lifting your foot off to try a brake pedal again is the cause of injuries and deaths.

    Car and Driver performed various tests with different cars, for example:

    "With the Camry’s throttle pinned while going 70 mph, the brakes easily overcame all 268 horsepower straining against them and stopped the car in 190 feet—that’s a foot shorter than the performance of a Ford Taurus without any gas-pedal problems and just 16 feet longer than with the Camry’s throttle closed. From 100 mph, the stopping-distance differential was 88 feet—noticeable to be sure, but the car still slowed enthusiastically enough to impart a feeling of confidence. We also tried one go-for-broke run at 120 mph, and, even then, the car quickly decelerated to about 10 mph before the brakes got excessively hot and the car refused to decelerate any further. So even in the most extreme case, it should be possible to get a car’s speed down to a point where a resulting accident should be a low-speed and relatively minor event."
     
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  19. PAmdad

    PAmdad Member

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    Funny to see that a couple of guys here just treat the driver as an idiot guy just because he is an asian celebrity?
     
  20. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    I saw a bunch of these and wondered what's going on. That's before I bought my Model S.

    Then, after I took delivery of my Model S, I experienced Step 1 and Step 2 of the event myself, and realized what's going on probably in some of these cases.

    On an old fasioned PRNDL (such as on a Chevy steering wheel automatic transmission lever, or a Ford Ranchero), first, you pull it clockwise (using your right hand), and that moves it from Park to Reverse. Then, you steadily apply accelerator to move backwards. That's as far as I got before I realized my error immediately and hit BRAKE. (For, you see, in the Tesla, turning the same PRND stalk clockwise does the opposite action, and instead of putting it into Reverse, it puts it into Drive! (!!!!).) But, from there, I can see where additional errors would happen by the driver-car interface mimicking the older standards that don't match the Tesla: for instance, a driver could think "oh, it lurched forward a bit, probably when some parking brake or transmission or motor thing jiggled loose and the car rolled down a small pothole or embankment, so I have to apply a bit more steady pressure on the accelerator to get it backwards over that hump ...", applying more acceleration. Then, the car is actually hitting a hump FORWARD, that it finally overcomes, and lurches into its flying Tesla causing injuries and damage mode that so many people are complaining about.

    I reach for the shift stalk in the middle of the console every day. When I first got the car, I was reaching for an F, R, D, or P button on the dash. Neither had anything. Instead, where the windshield wiper is on most cars, is the shifter for the Tesla (I can't even memorize what order it is in right now). Personally, I'd rather Tesla turn that into the windshield wiper stalk, and put the PRDN or whatever on the big screen. That would be safer, more intuitive, and faster for the drivers.

    This is a user interface issue.

    Did the drivers improperly control the car? Yes. Did the car present confusing controls that are apt to be incorrectly applied because they are opposite to existing standards? Emphatically yes.

    Tesla designers should spend more time in other luxury vehicles, such as a fully loaded 2017 Cadillac Escalade, and a fully loaded 2017 Mercedes S65, with all options in both cases, and others like a fully loaded Ford Expedition. Then, they can get a sense of what most people are used to these days, and stop trying to be cute and say "oh driver error! Our lawyers are awesome! Butts to you!"
     
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