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Brake Pedal Position & UI

Allen said:

>Actually, the pedals are moved to the left in the models with
>automatic transmission, so the gas pedal is placed pretty close to 
>the place where the brake pedal would normally be. I guess this may 
>have caused some of the incidents.

That's my bet as to the problem.  My theory is that many of the 
people driving Audi automatics were graduating from Olds Cutlasses or 
similar middle-'Murrican cars (a status move) and simply were not the 
kind of drivers who were aware of anything about their cars - 
including the relative positions of the pedals.  If you think about 
brake pedal position in the American slush-tranny cars, they're 
generally far removed from the gas, making heel-and-toe braking 

Now, the Audis are set up so that someone who DOES know something 
about driving can use the gas and brake to advantage.  This also 
means that someone who is an INattentive driver could simply mash 
whatever pedal is in the general area - and sometimes, it was the 

Here's more evidence to back my theory: my 280ZX has a superbe 
brake/gas pedal relationship for heel-and-toe operation.  I can put 
my size 9 vertically on both pedals at once and just roll it left and 
right to modulate the pedals.  Easy as pie.  Guess which make and 
model had the second most UI incidents?  The Z-car!

My comclusion based on empirical evidence is that drivers simply 
didn't pay enough attention to get their foot on the correct pedal.

AND - as Pat Bedard explained pithily in Car & Driver - if you put 
enter any stock passenger car and plant one foot on the brake as HARD 
as you can, you CANNOT make it move, no matter HOW hard you push 
on the gas.  It will NOT happen, because it is not physically 
possible (absent catastrophic brake system failure, which was NOT 
found in these cases.)  End of story.  Cause = Driver error.  My 
theory is that pedal position and incompetence of the drivers was to 

Al Powell                        Voice:  409/845-2807
107 Reed McDonald Bldg.          Fax:    409/862-1202
College Station, TX 77843