Footnote Today – September 26, 2013

Tesla Model S hit with Sudden Unintended Acceleration Claim

2013 Tesla Model S. PHOTO: Net Car Show

2013 Tesla Model S. PHOTO: Net Car Show

Tesla has been on quite a roll as of late, but the electric automaker might be slowed down by a recent complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claiming the Model S is susceptible to unintended acceleration.

On September 24 a Model S owner filed a complaint with the NHTSA claiming that the vehicle accelerated out of control and resulted in a crash. The owner says the Model S was being driven down a short driveway at about 5mph with the brakes applied when the car suddenly accelerated, causing the vehicle to jump a curb and land with the front end resting on a 4.5 foot retaining wall.

The owner claims Tesla sent an engineer to investigate the incident and discovered that the vehicle accelerated from 18 percent to 100 percent in a split second. However, the engineer also mentioned that there is a safeguard built into the Model S that prevents it from accelerating beyond 92 percent, prompting the owner to cry foul and wonder about a mechanical defect.

Source: Leftlane News

Footnote – Drive by Wire?

Among the few things that can cause a vehicle to accelerate unintendedly, such as misapplication of the gas pedal, entrapped pedal, sluggish or sticky throttle butterfly valves, throttle cable with too much play they begin to jump their track in the throttle-body crank, all of which are mechanically related or driver-caused, electronic throttle control system is not exactly one of them.

The reason is ETC doesn’t apply much of these mechanical controls to operate the throttle valves but uses sensors that pick signals from the pedal and instruct the actuators to open the valves accordingly.

That is why it will be strange if the Tesla Model S really has a SUA problem because the model employs ETC. In any case, it may be due to some electronic failure related to the system.

Investigations and lab tests will reveal better, because if this SUA case isn’t driver-error, it’s still strange that it should occur at all because one great benefit of ETC is its integration with a drive-by-wire system – meaning that throttling, steering, and braking are all integrated, in which case, if the throttle valves were to stay in open position so that, as in an electric vehicle, the motor continued to receive AC-induced current, without command from the driver, the brake will override this driver-unintended situation and bring the car to a halt.

2015 Ford F-450 Brings Efficient Design Improvements to Its Power Stroke V8 Diesel

2015 Ford F-150. PHOTO: Ford

2015 Ford F-150. PHOTO: Ford

Ford, America’s truck leader, introduces the 2015 F-Series Super Duty lineup today at State Fair of Texas, featuring a second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel engine; increased towing capabilities; and a refreshed, Texas-inspired King Ranch model.

“Truck leadership means never resting, and the Super Duty team has been tireless in finding ways to improve the industry’s most popular heavy-duty pickups,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of The Americas, Ford Motor Company. “Super Duty diesel customers will benefit from improved performance and features backed by outstanding Built Ford Tough durability.”

Since the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel debuted in 2011, Ford engineers have listened to customers and continued to examine each component of the engine to develop improved performance.

Ford is the only heavy-duty pickup truck manufacturer that designs and builds its own diesel engine and transmission combination, ensuring the powertrain will work seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations – from concept to execution. This approach also enables Ford engineers to optimize the vehicle’s performance across the entire lineup.

Source: Ford

Footnote – Come to the Summit of Practicality!

The F-450 is usually the summit of Practicality, Capability, and Versatility. Ford is usually very keen on whatever it may do to enhance the final torque driving the wheels while not burning more diesel than necessary or overstraining an already heavy-breathing engine.

The secret has been in the Design of this power horse.

You know that turbochargers use hot exhaust gases to spin the turbo that compresses the air that is later charged back into the cylinders. Therefore, the closer the intake, cylinders, and exhaust and turbo, the more Efficient. In this design, Ford places the exhaust inside the engine’s V, literally between the cylinder banks, while the air intake is positioned on the outside of the V, or above the V at the top.

This ensures shorter distance of airflow from the exhaust to the turbocharger, which eliminates (or lessens) turbo lags, and improves torque at higher rpm’s. This positioning also ensures that the engine’s heat (hot gases) are converted (put to work) easily at the turbocharger, improving Performance and Efficiency. In here the turbocharger is housed in a more robust, shock-absorbing core, thus reducing noise, vibration, and harshness that may otherwise be perceived in the cabin while the truck is in operation.

 

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One thought on “Footnote Today – September 26, 2013

  1. It’s so easy to wonder if Ford does anything else but pickup trucks. I mean, the F-Series trucks are sooo incredibly gooood!

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