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Unintended Acceleration Redux
Unintended acceleration does exist, just not lately in Audis.
Cleaning out my office this weekend I flipped through a copy of ADAC magazine.
ADAC is, I think, Germany's largest auto club. They are much more involved than
anything like AAA. They do lots of auto testing, have their own rescue
In the article it described very briefly Audi's troubles in the US, but went on
to state that the cause was driver error. In their opinion it doesn't really
matter much: the cars still accelerated when the driver didn't want them too.
This is brought up now, years later because there has been a rise of such
incidents in Europe. Cars with auto trannys will run out of control, with and
without occupants. I'll speculate that this is due the rise in popularity in
autos in Europe, and the fact that almost all driver's training is done in
standards -- there is very little familiarity with an auto tranny. Test on an
auto -- licensed for auto only, test on a stick -- licensed for both.
The big irony here is that several makes have been immune to such incidents.
Can you guess who? VW, Audi, Mercedes, and Porsche Carreras. All of these cars
have the shift locks that were mandated after the US debacle. The other makes
don't have them. ADAC praised the locks as a sensible item. Also lacking on
euro models with the auto tranny: a "Park" lock. You can often remove the key
regardless of gear position.
ADAC is pushing for both of these items to be mandatory. Comments like "saving
money at the expense of safety" appeared in the article. BTW: In every
"unintended acceleration" case but one, the driver was found to be at fault. In
the cases where the driver claimed "It just blew, it was a glitch, a technical
malfunction...." the cars were examined, all makes and models, and no defects
Vorsprung durch Technik, sorta....