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RE: BMW brakes in the news

Take it off list, please

- -----Original Message-----
From: owner-oilheads@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-oilheads@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Eric Renneisen
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 4:29 PM
To: oilheads@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: BMW brakes in the news

Not trying to start a senseless (off-topic) flame war here, but the list
HAS been kinda quiet of late...

> God.....I've had to put up with thoughtless 
> crap like that for my whole professional 
> career! 

Thoughtless crap?  Can you elaborate a bit, Ben?  Please be specific
about exactly which of my statements lacked so much cognition as to be
considered equivalent to feces.  I'm certain you didn't intend for that
to be as insulting as it sounds.  I'd expect someone in the "human
factors" field to be a bit more, shall we say, diplomatic.  Please
accept my apologies for banging on the keyboard randomly, as I
apparently did, zombie-like.  I'd blame it on the dog, but she's smarter
than I am.

> 1. Designers (like Audi perhaps) had lots of 
> ways to differentiate their pedals (size, 
> shape, spacing, positioning, orientation, 
> height, texture, feel, sound, maybe even 
> smell, etc.). But if they had given twenty 
> seconds of thought to the driver, they would 
> have done it differently... they weren't 
> OBLIGED to do it the confusing way. 

Interesting perspective.  Again I ask you, where do you draw the line?
No matter where you put the pedals, these unintended acceleration claims
won't ever go away completely.  I just read about a report from the
NHTSA on an investigation into certain Toyota cars LAST YEAR.  Verdict:
driver error.  This scenario has been replayed many times.  I submit to
you that 20 seconds of thought BY the driver about their pedals would
have prevented the majority of these incidents.

> And yes, people make mistakes in all cars 
> but my impression is that is wasn't just a 
> PR failure on Audi's part, gimme a break.

I'll be happy to give you that break... Now, let's discuss your
"impression."  On what do you base this impression?  20 year old
memories?  Vague recollections of media reports? Gut feeling?  Audi
wasn't alone in these problems.  There were plenty of similar complaints
about other cars at that time and ever since.  Audi's mistake was not
handling the PR in an effective way.  The popular media grabbed the
sensationalist story and ran with it.  Had it been one of the big three
(and they had their fair share) you'd have never heard about it (and you
still don't).  Jeep was accused of this exact same "defect" for many
years.  Surprised?

> 2. Sure, some folks like Eric never are 
> distracted, never make mistakes, never wear 
> new shoes while driving their car, never 
> fall into that "lowest common denominator," 
> and never in their lives have talked on 
> cell phones while driving. 

Again, I'm positive you don't mean this to sound as personally offensive
as it actually does.  Please consider the "human factor" of my emotions
before posting something potentially hurtful in the future, Ben.

I never claimed to be perfect.  Actually, I'll admit to being an idiot
most of the time.  My point is that if you design a vehicle to be 100%
free of the potential for driver error, it will lose a great portion of
it's usefulness.  To illustrate my point, imagine a motorcycle designed
to this standard.  We'll call it the Human Factor Cycle (HFC).  Would
you want to ride it?

> Even if geniuses make mistakes once a month 
> like dividing their attention while trying 
> to work the insanely user hostile BMW car 
> information gizmo to find a radio station, 
> that still means: dead bikers.

Distracting?  The pedals were distracting?  Maybe you mean the roaring
engine noise they heard when they thought they were mashing the brake?
I can see how that would be distracting.  Or maybe the tactile feel of a
light resistance and long travel on a pedal that they expected to be
firm?  That would surprise me, too.

If you truly are concerned about the risk to bikers, then please
consider that the "human factor" of driver training will go a lot
further toward that goal than the scented brake pedal.

Please forgive any thoughtless crap that has inadvertently been placed
in the email above.  Be assured that it was not the author's intention,
but his scented keyboard tends to induce a thoughtless state.  Feel free
to recycle the thoughtless crap into fuel for your HFC.

Eric Renneisen, idiot
'94 R1100RS
'93 Audi S4
'86 Audi ur-quattro
Chattanooga, TN


End of oilheads-digest V2 #157