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Old 06-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
Hexar
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unintended acceleration ?

Hi Guys,
I drive a 2002 Ford Focus wagon, love it.

So this past weekend when I needed to rent a car for 2 days, I chose to rent a 2013 Focus sedan just to see what the Focus is.

The car was practically brand new with only 91 miles on the clock when I rented, it was a SE model. I drove it for 2 days registering 550 miles.

I found 2 big problems with the car, the first one is it sways quite noticeably on highway, when the highway surface is not flat. I drove it from Seattle to Portland OR, and some of the surface on I5 is kind of not even/flat, with two long "groves" settled along the highway, created by past traffic, like ~~~. When Focus' tires run into these groves, the steering wheel is kind of twisted/moved by itself, not a very confident feeling.

The other problem is more major I think.

Usually I wear a pair of sneakers all the time. This time, since I need to attend a ceremony, I wore a pair of dress shoes, with the shoe sole wider than the lining, about maybe 3/8" on each side. And Focus' center console's plastic piece extend not all the way to the carpet, It is about maybe 2 inches over the carpet, and the plastic piece is about maybe 1/2 over the carpet.

So on highway, when I try to pass, I step on gas, the car accelerates perfectly, and after I pass the other car, I try to release my right foot, but then the car keeps accelerating, I was like "WTF"? I notice the cruise control is not on, then I finally notice that my shoe got stuck. I had to pull my right foot hard to free it, then the car slows down.

I think, when I press the gas pedal, my shoe sole got in under the center console's plastic piece, and when I release the pedal, its spring pushes my shoe against the plastic piece, and the shoe pretty much "wedged" in there.

It is not very hard to get the shoe free, but when it happened the first time, it is quite scary, and it happened 4-5 times, then finally I took my shoes off and drove the Focus bare footed. :) It is much better that way.

Anyone else noticed this "design flow"?

Cheers,


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Old 06-10-2013, 01:43 PM   #2
zetecDon
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Originally Posted by Hexar View Post
Hi Guys,I found 2 big problems with the car, the first one is it sways quite noticeably on highway, when the highway surface is not flat. I drove it from Seattle to Portland OR, and some of the surface on I5 is kind of not even/flat, with two long "groves" settled along the highway, created by past traffic, like ~~~. When Focus' tires run into these groves, the steering wheel is kind of twisted/moved by itself, not a very confident feeling.
Not sure how this is a design flaw or problem actually. You are talking about driving on an uneven surface and expect the steering to hold true? The wheels are only following the path that you lead them into. By driving into the grooves you run the chances of the steering wheel not wanting to hold straight.

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The other problem is more major I think.

Usually I wear a pair of sneakers all the time. This time, since I need to attend a ceremony, I wore a pair of dress shoes, with the shoe sole wider than the lining, about maybe 3/8" on each side. And Focus' center console's plastic piece extend not all the way to the carpet, It is about maybe 2 inches over the carpet, and the plastic piece is about maybe 1/2 over the carpet.

So on highway, when I try to pass, I step on gas, the car accelerates perfectly, and after I pass the other car, I try to release my right foot, but then the car keeps accelerating, I was like "WTF"? I notice the cruise control is not on, then I finally notice that my shoe got stuck. I had to pull my right foot hard to free it, then the car slows down.

I think, when I press the gas pedal, my shoe sole got in under the center console's plastic piece, and when I release the pedal, its spring pushes my shoe against the plastic piece, and the shoe pretty much "wedged" in there.

It is not very hard to get the shoe free, but when it happened the first time, it is quite scary, and it happened 4-5 times, then finally I took my shoes off and drove the Focus bare footed. :) It is much better that way.

Anyone else noticed this "design flow"?

Cheers,
Are you talking about the center stacks lower plastic apron that is catching your shoe? I don't think this is much of a design flaw or anything of that nature.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:53 PM   #3
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I'm originally from Seattle and know what you are talking about in the highways, but every car I've ever driven has done that (the tires follow the grooves like its on a track). It's from lack of maintenance on the highway and the amount of traffic that follows that path on the road has worn it down in those spots.

Definitely not the car's fault.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
bringler26
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any car will follow those ruts. Things that will make a difference for that type of situation is to try and stay out of them as much as possible and also tires. Tires make a huuuuge difference.

if you want to feel unintended acceleration try driving a newer international dump truck. It has an electronically governed throttle and every bump you it that makes the seat bounce makes you punch the throttle as well while bouncing in the air seat. makes for an interesting driving experience. the 850ft/lbs of torque was nice though!
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
mac.mogul
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I don't see any of this as problems with the car.

It's more like you experienced a few events while driving a car that is not familiar to you.
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