smart65

Runaway car syndrome

17 posts in this topic

The recent death of the actor who was crushed by his runaway Jeep, reminded me of a bad habit of a lot of drivers these days. Every car must have an operable parking brake to be considered safe. Every car's operator's manual states that application of the parking brake is one of the actions to be taken when parking the car. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore this advice, assuming that the "park" position of the gearshift is good enough. If this young man had properly set the parking brake. he would still be alive today. The operator's manual instructions re. the use of the parking brake will probably not absolve Chrysler from liability in this case, but everyone should seriously consider following the manufacturer's advice on the subject..

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This generation of Jeep Grand Cherokee was already the subject of a recall for a poorly-designed transmission interface/lever.

I really hope all of the stupid "space saving" knob and pushbutton electronic transmission interfaces are legislated out of existence.

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I agree with Gary, parking brakes are there for a reason and this is it.

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Note the Smart 450 and many other makes have a spring mechanism that is compressed when parking brake is applied. The spring results in a softer feel when pulling on handle and ensures parking brake remains applied when brake cools down or mechanism slips a notch or two.

Spring mechanism is not checked at annual vehicle test and is often seized.

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I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee a few years back. Nice vehicle for the most part, BUT ............ The parking brake was a joke! Four-wheel disc brakes but the parking brake was rear wheel drum brakes. (rear wheels had both disc & drum .. drum for parking only)

When the parking brake was fully applied, the Jeep could still be pushed by hand if "park" had not been selected.

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A shifter that has to be operated 3 or 4 times to perform a single function is moronic. You can likely count on one hand the number of americans that use the parking brake in their automatic cars.

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Watch the instructional video for the Jeep Grand Cherokee's shifter and tell me that it's intuitive or makes any sense whatsoever.

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There is a lawsuit coming for sure and I heard something on the radio that said the recall notice was a voluntary one? That makes no sense and I doubt will make any difference for the suit to go forward.

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I have read where many people have exited their car and left the motor running because they forgot to push the start/stop button. The car companies are being pushed to add a warning buzzer or alarm to remind the operators to turn off the engine. At what point are people going to be responsible for their own actions? Do we have to treat every adult as a three year old?

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Mercedes still use drum brakes inside the rear disc.

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The designers of the Jeep's transmission controls have also not taken into account that there are many people who operate cars on a short-term basis. They need and expect controls to be intuitive. Most of these have jobs which require moving and parking various brands of vehicles. They cannot be expected to read the operator's manual or review an instructional video ... examples: vehicle sales and service personnel, valet parking employees, employees at small parking lots that require that keys be left with the attendant.

A rental car should not require special training to drive either. I guess the 450 smart fails on this point, since its controls are so unique. Its idiosyncrasies are fairly simply explained, although there's definitely a learning curve to be experienced in order to drive one smoothly and efficiently. Unfortunately, many drivers never figure out how to do the latter.

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I have read where many people have exited their car and left the motor running because they forgot to push the start/stop button. The car companies are being pushed to add a warning buzzer or alarm to remind the operators to turn off the engine. At what point are people going to be responsible for their own actions? Do we have to treat every adult as a three year old?

I have to agree. The more we make things idiot proof, the more manufacturers are held accountable when idiots sink to new lows.

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I recently had a ride in a 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris van, courtesy of M-B Oakville's shuttle service, returning home after taking my smart in for service. The driver drove into and slightly down our sloping driveway, then moved the transmission lever into the park position. I asked him if he was going to set the parking brake, since the vehicle was not on the level. He replied that it's not necessary, since the parking brake is applied automatically. Now isn't that a good idea! The industry should put this technology into all vehicles with automatic transmissions ... runaway car problem solved!

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...or just have basic driver training.....

The nanny aids will mean chimps can drive cars soon.

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With all the safety aids being standardized e.g. automatic braking, lane change warning etc.,

Darwin's Theory no longer applies as people who should be eliminated as a result of stupidity

will continue to survive... :puzzled:

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...or just have basic driver training.....

The nanny aids will mean chimps can drive cars soon.

From what I've seen on the highways, some vehicles already have chimps driving them.

Thumbs upon the basic driver training though.

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Refreshers are needed as well. Had to correct my Mother this weekend on the proper procedure for a 2 way stop.

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