Honest John’s Motoring Agony Column 12-10-2019 Part 2

Published 10 October 2019

In Honest John’s Motoring Agony Column 12-10-2019 Part 2 we return to the vexed question of left-foot braking, ponder zero emissions by 2050, try to right a write off, advise on dangerous safety equipment and get stuck in to a lot more.

Click back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 12-10-2019 Part 1

Pedal confusion again

Can you help me please? I have mislaid the actual newspaper but I am sure that in your column dated 29th June 2019, in one of your replies you advocated that drivers should use their left foot for braking when driving an automatic vehicle. If I am right can you tell me why you would say this when it is such a bad/dangerous practice. I speak from experience having driven automatics for over 40 years and still happily drive manual without any confusion which using my left foot to operate the footbrake on an auto would cause, meaning that I would be likely to push much too hard on the footbrake in effect thinking it was the clutch. I hope that is fairly clear but I am concerned that your advice may be misinterpreted.  

PM, via email

Left foot braking is the only way to remain fully in control of an automatic two-pedal car at all times. You have two feet. The car has two pedals. What could be more stupid than using one foot to control two pedals and leaving the other foot redundant? Why allow the car to travel for a second or two under power and out of control while you move your right foot from accelerator to brake? Even at 20mph a car travels 9 metres (20 feet) in the ‘thinking distance’ required to move a right foot from accelerator to brake. Left foot brake and you eliminate that thinking distance entirely. Every year, dozens, if not scores of pedestrians are killed by foolish, arrogant, or otherwise deluded elderly drivers who do not have the cranial capacity or co-ordination to properly control their limbs. We did some tests in a C63 AMG at Mercedes Benz World in May this year and by left foot braking I was able to brake much faster than any of the right foot brakers simply because the 'Highway Code' ‘Thinking Distance’ is completely eliminated. I'm right and I've proved it and anyone who ignores me could be the next to cause an unnecessary death. Pilots of small planes, F1 drivers, motorcyclists, pianists, severely disabled people, even child go kart racers are all puzzled by the ridiculous notion that drivers should only ever brake with their right foot.

MB GLC 2019 300d Emissions System (2) 

Zero ambition

I have been thinking about the implications of "zero emissions in 30 years", and I have not yet read any forecasts of the future for the motor trade over this period, so wonder what your thoughts are? My suggestion is that those of us with diesel cars are going to be offered lower and lower trade-in prices, which I understand is already happening, until new diesels will become unsaleable, and there will be a second-hand market only, with prices falling and falling. But then, as the 30-year deadline approaches, trade-in prices for petrol-driven cars will also keep falling, until on December 31st 2049 they will be worth absolutely nothing but the scrap-metal value. So where will people find the money for deposits for their electric cars? Also, there will be a need for enormous dumps for all the useless cars and motor-bikes, and a vastly-increased requirement for smelters, or whatever they use to melt vehicles into re-usable metals. How will the dealerships survive? How do you visualise it?  

MC, via email

Basically, forget old diesel-engined cars. They already face increasing restrictions on where they can be driven both in the UK and in Europe. Whole regions are out of bounds to them already in Germany and France. The latest scrubbing equipment to clean up new diesels is actually bigger than the engines themselves. The future isn't electric cars with great big heavy batteries. It's plug-in electric cars with hydrogen fuel cells or solar panels that effectively can provide free fuel as long as the sun shines. Intermediately, petrol cars with 'Mild Hybrid' 12v or 48v systems bridge the gap. The World is in a mess. Especially Europe.

Electric Motorcycle Socovel 1936

Righting a write off

A couple of years ago, I rescued a non-functioning electric motor scooter from a motorcycle showroom and got it back on the road. A month ago my wife was knocked off it by a car and the insurance assessor wrote it off. I can't agree with this assessment as the only broken bits were moulded plastic and I can fibre-glass them. There was a scuff on the frame and that is the only so-called structural damage. We were given a pittance for the machine, considering it ran on £1,500 of batteries, but I was told that "batteries are only cosmetic." I have been told to scrap the bike and if I repair it and put it back on the road, the DVLA will have a record and I will be breaking the law. I have been told that there are test centres that can overturn this ruling? Are there? I've been informed that my motorcycle was unique, the last of these machines on the road. It would be sad to see the species become extinct. My wife has now asked whether, after 40 years of motorcycling, she could have a small runabout car instead. We do about 2,000 miles a year locally; Can you recommend the sort of cheap little old car that we can give a semi-retirement home to? Thanks for your help and also for producing one of the best bits of the Telegraph.

GH, via email

This is what you need to re-classify the scooter: https://www.autolign.co.uk/ The insurance assessor obviously did not know what he was doing and simply valued it as a combustion-engined scooter. The best little old car is a Toyota Yaris 1999-2005. 1.0 or 1.3. Manual or 4-speed auto. But not the automated manual. I sold my mother's 29,000-mile Y reg Yaris 1.0 S in July for £500.

MINI Countryman 2018 Side 15 Inch Wheels

Duff stuff 

I took delivery of a brand new £32,000 MINI Countryman in April this year. I leased it from BMW alphabet with the driving assistant pack an extra £800. From the beginning, these safety features have proven to be faulty, useless and unsafe.  I reported the issue to my local BMW MINI approved dealer and took it for inspection. I was treated with utter contempt over several days and the car was returned, with no inspection paperwork, verbally declared no fault found. I have asked BMW UK HQ and BMW alphabet for standard videos showing how a driver would know these systems are performing and both point-blank refuse. I have asked the same of the dealer who supplied the car, and the dealer who inspected the car; neither have done so. I have sent BMW Alphabet a letter of rejection asking that they take car back, they insist I have the car inspected again by another dealer, or by a court approved independent assessor (they have offered to cover cost if faults found), and refuse to do anything until I do.  I am tearing my hair out, I have spent days on this already, to say nothing of the dangers. Problems: Car is supposed to have collision detection and avoidance systems for both vehicles and pedestrians. I believe this does not work at all. Car has ‘active cruise control’, which is supposed to keep a safe distance from vehicles ahead, yet intermittently it slows car down for no reason on empty roads, accelerates dangerously at cars in font, turns itself off. Basically, I cannot rely on these systems at all. If they are working to specification as BMW MINI claims, then they are utterly useless and dangerous. What is your advice? Surely I do not need to resort to a court claim with the cost of expert witnesses, etc.

GW, via email

If they refuse to accept that the safety pack isn't working and is dangerous then do as they ask and have an independent assessor assess it and write a report. If you don't trust the AA and RAC, try http://www.scotiavehicleinspection.com/ But be sure to send a letter agreeing to the dealer's recommendation of an independent inspection (which the dealer will fund if fault is found) to the dealer principal of the supplying dealership. Send it by Post Office Special Delivery, keep a copy, and staple the certificate of posting to the copy so it becomes a ‘matter of record’ should you ever need it in the future. (GW successfully rejected the car.)

Volvo V70 Drive E 2012 R34 (1)

Emission decommission

I’ve owned my Volvo V70 from new, it’s now 9 years old, done 116,000 miles, has full Kastner VOLVO service record. This past week experienced its first fault. The engine lost power and message on screen said engine management fault. I drove the car 8 miles to the Volvo dealer. Repair done, particulate filter and 2 sensors. Paid £374. Driving home after 10 miles, engine lost power and the same message came on the screen. I immediately returned to dealer, total of 20 miles. After 20 minutes they returned the car to me saying it was ok. When questioned as to what they had done, said they found a hairline crack in the inlet manifold and had done a liquid weld repair. I told them I was not happy, as I should have been asked if a new inlet manifold should be fitted. Also, in view of this, was the previous repair necessary. I returned home, after 8 miles, engine lost power and same message on screen. Returned to VOLVO again and spoke to the manager and technician who had done the repairs. I also asked to see the technician’s repair notes. Their explanation is:- On the first repair, technician spotted the hairline crack in inlet manifold, omitted to put it on his notes but carried out a liquid weld repair. I was then told that this had caused a build-up of carbon(only driven 8 miles) which caused the sensors to fail. New sensors fitted, car returned to me. First journey home the liquid weld failed. On return they do a second liquid weld which then failed on my second journey home. Apologies for this long description but can you tell me:- Would a hairline crack in inlet manifold bring up the engine management message on my screen? Or, as VOLVO maintain, the hairline crack has probably been there for some months which has caused the build-up of carbon and failure of the sensors. The car is only ever used for long motorway journeys at speed as i use a second car for local everyday use. I have dealt with this dealer for years and they have always been very good. I would value your observations/explanations as I will collect the car in the coming days after a new inlet manifold is fitted.

GT, via email

Basically, they have been trying to save you money. They have carried out a forced regen on the DPF, but at this sort of mileage it will be full of ash and really needs that chemically cleaned out (and fully documented for the MoT) by sending it away to Ceramex, which costs about £400 plus removing, carriage and re-fitting. A new DPF will be between £1,250 and £1,500. In addition, it needs a new exhaust manifold. They come up unbelievably cheap on eBay but I don't trust what I'm finding. I think an original part will be at least a few hundred pounds, plus all the gaskets and other bits needed to fit it. Google <Buy Volvo D5 exhaust manifold new>

MB 250SL Pagoda 1967 LHD Historics (1)

Lost and found

I have an issue. In 2002 I bought my wife a car: Mercedes 280 SL convertible, her dream car. Used it daily for 3-4 years, then needed work so put into storage pending funds and other matters to be completed. This became long-term, stored at dad’s place then my own garage. In 2008/9 I was recommended to a specialist in a rural area by a trader. He was no longer in business. The car was moved to this specialist by someone the trader recommended and he arranged for me to be introduced to the owner. But the specialist declined the work because he was busy. The car was parked on land adjacent to his workshop which was owned by a farmer he rented the workshop from. I returned frequently to see if he could start work, but he was always too busy and never started. I was concerned about storage so was introduced to the farmer, who was very relaxed and said no problem with keeping the car there. I returned regularly to check car. No problems until the last visit when I found it gone. I reported this to the police who would not accept my complaint stating it was a civil matter and that if they did investigate, they anticipated excuses from the garage owner, so it wasn't worth it. I should point out that at this time both my wife and I developed serious illnesses and a dishonest business partner ripped our business off massively. Against the backdrop of these events, the car was the least of our problems. Then last week I found my car in a garage only a few miles from where it went missing. My evidence is circumstantial but very strong. I always suspected the trader of being involved. He had been pressing claiming they had a buyer who was a farmer. Under these circumstances it justifies further. I know the car I found had been acquired by the garage at the same time as ours disappeared. During this time it has been used on roads with different number plates, which could be innocent and proof I am wrong, or could point to another problem. I am arranging to check the locks on this car with the keys to mine. Both steering/doors and boot (separate key). If they work, I will consider this as strong supporting evidence that both cars are probably one and the same. VIN identifications are to be checked for compliance and/or tampering. If a different VIN, this will support the possibility that car is ringed. I am engaging a Mercedes dealer to make the checks. They are obtaining a new key from the logbook we still have. They will only supply the key on the basis that they put it in the lock. The problem I face is that the Police still "cannot see that any crime has been committed" and say there "is nothing suspicious". I have written today to DVLA twice. The person who bought the car from the thief will not discuss the matter, even though originally I was happy to pass over original documents and make things good for her. She is hysterical and in panic that she will lose the car. The person undertaking restoration on her behalf is acting very suspiciously, changing accounts previously told to us and asking that I send him the chassis number for the car we lost. What do you think? My understanding is that a person cannot acquire good title to stolen goods and cannot therefore pass good title on. I acknowledge the water is muddied when a trader is involved, but the specialist we wanted to undertake the work was absolutely never engaged, the car never entered his premises and was only ever parked on land nearby. This workshop has now disappeared and the land been redeveloped.

PM, via email

Very simply, if you have the V5C (logbook) of the car with a VIN that matches the VIN on the car, then you can bring a private criminal prosecution against whoever has the car now and demand its return. Do not attempt to prosecute anyone else. You can anyway run a check against the registration of the car when you originally consigned it to be restored. For that you use this website: https://www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-information-from-dvla


L-o-n-g story

My issue with Direct Line insurance is, sadly, rather convoluted but I think it does bring up some wider issues and may be of interest to you and your readers. At heart it is that car insurers appear to have the right to treat customers as they wish with no oversight  or right of appeal. Tied in with that is that the Financial Ombudsman - supposed to provide that oversight - is utterly toothless. Back in April 2018 another driver reversed into me. It was on very quiet back streets where I was taking a left at a T junction when the other driver  backed out from a parked position on the road to my right, presumably with the intention of then heading down the road from which I was emerging, and collided with my  driver's side wing. The impact was centred on the hubcap of my front wheel. Not much above walking speed so no great impact although the plastic wing of my Renault Scenic was crumpled and the hub cap smashed to pieces. There was no damage whatsoever to the front my car. The photo I took and sent to Direct Line shows my car, and its wheels angled to the left at the junction with the other car's rear bumper nestling on my front wheel hub. The other driver said virtually nothing as we exchanged details - clammed up completely when I asked what on earth he was doing. I reported it all,  my car was fixed and I thought little more about it. Until on my insurance renewal in August I saw my insurance had gone up by some 30% and an open claim was listed. Since then I have lost count of the number of phone calls and emails I have made to Direct Line to find out what was going on. Not once in the fourteen months this has been going on have they given me any formal update on what is happening or their formal position on liability. I was driven to complain to the Chief Exec of DL about being ignored. I got a half-hearted apology and a hundred quid compensation - and then  they continued to ignore me. I took the case to the Financial Ombudsman in November 2018. Through pulling teeth on repeated calls to DL and, second hand through the Financial Ombudsman, I have learned that the other driver claims I ran into him - and, oh yes, he claimed compensation for whiplash.  That appears to be ongoing. In the wacky world of car insurance I learn that ANY contact with the rear of a car is deemed - in the absence of independent witnesses or video etc -   to be the other driver's fault. I have asked and argued until I am blue in the face how my car, turning left, could have crabbed right and somehow caught up with the other vehicle. Simple physics make it impossible.  DL simply ignore my point. The Financial Ombudsman official I am dealing with - a charming woman - says my account is "plausible" but in the world of car insurance it doesn't count. Legally, apparently, as long as they have "considered" evidence they can come to whatever conclusion they wish. I have asked repeatedly if an  engineer or any accident specialist has considered my point about the physical impossibility of my car generating the contact. Although DL won't tell me who made their decision when I asked how s/he was qualified was told: "they know the highway code". The Financial Ombudsman official also didn't think it much of an issue that DL has never given me a formal update of where we stand or what they are doing to fight the claim. I won't deluge you with more detail (although I'd be happy to give you anything else you need!)  beyond that I am escalating my complaint within the Financial Ombudsman service as I cannot believe they truly consider Direct Line's behaviour acceptable. But I believe you might get some interesting copy if you investigate and find that the laws of physics really don't apply to car accidents as far as the insurance world is concerned and that insurers have no responsibility to treat their customers fairly and honestly.

RD, via email

Quite simply, take the other driver to Small Claims and sue him for the damages he has done to you by his fraudulent claim. Quantify everything. Subtract the £100 'compensation'. Small Claims: https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money The other driver is trying to take advantage of the situation, but he won't risk prison for lying in court. Or contact timkelly@motorclaimguru.co.uk and see if he will take up your case.

Click back to Honest John’s Motoring Agonies 12-10-2019 Part 1



GingerTom    on 11 October 2019

We have seen several insurance claims through pensioners confusing their feet and pressing the throttle thinking it's the brake. The car doesn't slow so they press harder and .... bang.

This is a good example of what can happen.... the driver blamed the car but it was found to be pedal confusion.


I can easily drive left foot braking in an auto although I drive manuals but appreciate many people don't have the ability so they rubbish those that do.

GingerTom    on 11 October 2019

DL should have contacted their policyholder to state that the third parties version of events differ from his and asking for his comments and whether he would like to take it to court. Sadly, for cost reasons they much prefer to just pay the claims and move on to the next file. In the old days, your broker would fight these cases for you but to save a few quid people go direct then moan later when they don't get the same service. The answer is find a decent local broker who will provide the service you are demanding.

Brit_in_Germany    on 11 October 2019

Re Emission Decommission - maybe HJ would like to re-write this piece. The inlet manifold cracked, not the exhaust manifold.

eMBee    on 11 October 2019

Well, more left foot braking discussions. I would assume there are more drivers of manuals than autos. Over time, their brain and muscle is 'trained' to use the left foot to push the clutch. If they switch to an auto 'box they are much happier continuing that process since it is more 'natural'. It is extremely difficult to break these kinds of habits (just try explaining to someone how you fasten a shoelace without doing it physically). I can absolutely understand the logic of two feet in use for two pedals but it will take some time to work in. I'm going to replace our 308 manual with the EAT8 equivalent next year so it will be interesting to compare the techniques since my last auto was a '56 plate Jetta with DSG box and I did not use my left foot at all.

Heidfirst    on 11 October 2019

what I can't understand is HJ's statement that you eliminate the thinking distance by braking left-footed? Your brain still has to recognise a threat & instruct a foot (whichever) to move to the brake & press it so, as far as I can see, that should be identical.

(Additionally, moving your right from the accelerator would remove power whereas if HJ's argument is that you can move the left foot quicker than the right (why?) with the left you would still be under power for at least part)

groaver    on 11 October 2019

(Additionally, moving your right from the accelerator would remove power whereas if HJ's argument is that you can move the left foot quicker than the right (why?) with the left you would still be under power for at least part)

Excellent post. Hold on though.

Someone will be along shortly to tell you why you're not clever enough to understand their polar viewpoint.

Porky Pies    on 11 October 2019

Correct. HJ clearly doesn't understand the concept of thinking distance.

Car Crusader    on 11 October 2019

RDs Insurance Problems. As a former Traffic Officer I would recommend everyone to put a dash camera in their vehicle. If there are no witnesses to a collision and the two parties give different versions of what happened it's not surprising that the insurer will take the easiest option to close the claim.

DrTeeth    on 11 October 2019

For dash cam footage to be used in court, there MUST be GPS tracking. That will also give the speed so one can dispute a speeding ticket. All info must be written on the video too.

   on 11 October 2019

I enjoy HJ's site and visit frequently, but I'm becoming increasingly frustrated by his dogmatic views on left-foot braking. I have no problem with the concept per se, and if I were the owner of a vehicle equipped with automatic transmission I'd probably it. What I do struggle with is HJ's rationale which is patently flawed - there is absolutely no reason to believe that a left foot can travel from footrest to brake any faster than a right foot can travel from accelerator to brake. In fact, right-handed people (the majority) tend to be "right-footed" and therefore the advantage in reaction time probably lies with the said right foot. And an automatic is "out of control" if the right foot is removed from the throttle? Well, by that "logic" it must be out of control every time the driver releases the pedal to decelerate.......

Porky Pies    on 11 October 2019

I agree, generally enjoyable but dogmatic and often formulaic, prime examples being left-foot braking, DSG gearboxes, all weather tyres and making letters a 'matter of record'!

Steve Mugglestone    on 13 October 2019

You have summed up my opinion of left foot braking. I tried it for 2 weeks and gave up when I realised I was a danger to myself and other road users. Ir may work for some people but not me.

glidermania    on 11 October 2019

LFB is easy. It makes sense.

Use it when parking or reversing an auto. I can drive down a motorway and use my left foot for braking quicker than someone driving an auto and using their right foot only for driving. I once posted similar on HJ's forum to which several chumps said they'd rather I didnt drive on the road if I used both feet because I was like a 'go kart driver'!

But hey, if you want to keep using only your right foot in an auto, as HJ says, better hope you arent the next auto driver to wipe out a pedestrian. Your call.

groaver    on 11 October 2019

But hey, if you want to keep using only your right foot in an auto, as HJ says, better hope you arent the next auto driver to wipe out a pedestrian. Your call.

Utter bull.

Porky Pies    on 11 October 2019


An excerpt from one of this week's replies:

...foolish, arrogant, or otherwise deluded elderly drivers...

I'd say several of those adjectives could be properly applied to HJ and his propaganda.

Peter Farnham    on 12 October 2019

HJ provides excellent FREE advice. If you do not like his replies, don’t read them.

I drive automatic cars, I will not try left foot breaking as I would then have trouble driving any manual cars that I may hire/ borrow.

MP98    on 12 October 2019

HJ provides excellent FREE advice. If you do not like his replies, don’t read them.

That wouldn’t be too helpful for HJ or anyone else who depends on the site for their income. It’s not free because it’s his hobby, it’s free because that happens to be his business model, monetised through advertising which depends on clicks and reader numbers.

I’m a long-term reader and occasional questioner, grateful for the replies, but the LFB issue started as a viewpoint, moved onto being a “thing” and has now become an irritation creating unpleasantness from both sides of view which makes the site very missable some weeks.

My views; I suspect anyone could learn to brake with both feet. I’m a drummer and I learned to play double bass drums successfully..... but it takes time, which isn’t so easy on public roads.

I also don’t find it the most comfortable normal driving position - car designers don’t equalise the two pedals across the footwell (does anyone have the brake pedal where the clutch traditionally would be?). My unscientifically tested view is also that this makes distance to move your left foot to brake greater and therefore fractionally slower in normal driving conditions.

But if the advice was to LFB in parking and close manoeuvring situations I can see the sense IF it works for you. Personally i’ve never had a problem covering the brake with the right foot though and letting torque drive the manoeuvre. That might change with a lower powered car, different type of gearbox or age though. If it did, i’d like to think i’d be open to anything that extended my driving years, made driving easier or kept people safe (easy to say as a 40 something though hopefully 40 years off that decision!).

What I am struggling with though is the dogmatic suggestion LFB can reduce thinking time. That is simply ludicrous. Covering the brake pedal with EITHER foot reduces reaction time as it’s less distance to move the limb, but it can’t speed up brain reaction or instruction to that limb (and per the above, I still say in normal driving the left foot would be further away when at cruise).

The contention of LFB removing thinking time starts to undermine other replies. Where else is the reply wrong, assumed or poorly worded to the point of misleading? That starts to put the integrity of the site at risk, as does unseemly arguments in the comment section replacing insightful additions to interesting answers to good questions. I miss those days.

Edited by MP98 on 12/10/2019 at 18:54

Miniman777    on 13 October 2019

If we don’t read the replies, how do we know whether we like them or not?

Heidfirst    on 12 October 2019

Use it when parking or reversing an auto. I can drive down a motorway and use my left foot for braking quicker than someone driving an auto and using their right foot only for driving.

The first statement I can understand & probably would agree with. The second I don't.

elscint    on 13 October 2019

LFB is easy. It makes sense. Use it when parking or reversing an auto. I can drive down a motorway and use my left foot for braking quicker than someone driving an auto and using their right foot only for driving. I once posted similar on HJ's forum to which several chumps said they'd rather I didnt drive on the road if I used both feet because I was like a 'go kart driver'! But hey, if you want to keep using only your right foot in an auto, as HJ says, better hope you arent the next auto driver to wipe out a pedestrian. Your call.

My eighty year old mother turned into her driveway and accelerated into her garage door instead of braking. So much for automatics eh? Oh, forgot to mention that her car was a manual. People get confused, forgetful, react slowly, cannot concentrate etc, and they are not necessarily elderly. Find me an American driver who left foot brakes and I might be convinced.

Robert Highfield    on 13 October 2019

I use left foot brake when driving my automatic... but I am well-coordinated. For those like me who also regularly drive a manual, there is a danger they might press down the clutch instead of the brake with their left foot, thus not braking at all. That is why police and the IAM actively outlaw the practice.
It is a real possibility which you should consider when giving your advice.

Chris James    on 13 October 2019

Zero ambition - I'd be more concerned about where they are going to get the £27 billion a year in revenue from, that will be absent when sales of petrol and diesel are no longer a thing, that figure is not pocket change and in order to replace it I suspect we'll be paying it out through another means, so financially we won't be seeing any benefits at all from any new technology. In addition, we still employ 10,000's of people in Factories making Diesel engines in the UK, not to mention 10,000's of more employed in their supply chains, what is going to happen to all of these jobs when diesel engine demand drops to zero?, any Lithium mines opening? or Battery Manufacturing / Motor Manufacturers building factories in the UK to employ them?.

Rumours around the camp fire are that because the batteries cost so much and take so long to transport, that the Car Manufacturers will just build their EV / Hybrid manufacturing plants closer to, or in the Countries where the battery packs are sourced, inevitably meaning even more UK job losses. When all of these Engine manufacturing plants close, it will be far more sweeping than any closures on the High street, but I can't see any plans afoot to prevent the most obvious conclusion.

Edited by Chris James on 13/10/2019 at 14:20

Marcus T.    on 15 October 2019

The £27 billion will come from much higher electricity costs, when charging your car at night. That is what the smart meter roll out is really for.

Yes, car manufacturers are going to build there vehicles nearer to battery production. Thats why Honda are closing their car plants in Swindon and Turkey.

jchinuk    on 13 October 2019

Re Pedal confusion again

Please do not confuse 'thinking time' with the time to move your foot. Unless you have a very unusual anatomy, 'thinking time' is within your brain and nervous system, not your feet.
The fact you "proved" something with a test you conducted yourself is laughable. Any admissable test would need independant drivers, scruitiny and several people repeating the test. That's how science works!

jchinuk    on 13 October 2019

While I have witnessed confused drivers pushing the wrong pedal, that is not directly solved by using both feet, right foot go, left foot stop, as the driver is confused. That is an issue that needs to be addressed in thre mental abilities of the driver.

dfulton77    on 13 October 2019

As others have pointed out, LFB does *not* remove the thinking time. It might give you a faster reaction time, and then, only if the left foot is actually hovering over the brake pedal (possible in a manoeuvre, unlikely on the motorway). This is a dangerous claim and HJ should be careful about constantly repeating it, as it is *categorically untrue*.

I think LFB while parking etc, may well make sense, though I think it can also differ by car. My VW plug in hybrid has a regenerative braking mode (which I always use), which makes it behave much more like a manual - when I let go of the throttle, it already starts to decelerate.

HandCart    on 15 October 2019

When HJ "did some tests" at Mercedes Benz World, it follows that he KNEW that they were testing braking distance/times, therefore he would have been driving with his left foot permanently hovering over the brake pedal, and in permanent heightened anticipation of the emergency braking event moment.

No wonder he was able to stop more quickly.

Obviously one can more quickly get pressure onto a pedal when the foot is already positioned a millimetre from the top of it.

As I have posted before: If this test was so conclusive, then Mercedes are duty-bound to place the brake pedal further to the left, possibly with a physical barrier between it and the throttle, to FORCE drivers to use their left foot to brake.

Has this happened yet?

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