Unexpected acceleration

Dear Tom & Ray:

I?ve been reading lately about cars accelerating unexpectedly. There have been claims about different manufacturers, but it?s been difficult to replicate the problem.

I?ve noted a similar problem with my 1998 Subaru, but I don?t think it?s the car?s fault. It happens that I have big feet ? not too big, just 12 medium, but when I wear sneakers with clunky soles, my right foot drags on the gas pedal. When I brake, my soles are wide enough to catch the edge of the gas pedal and cause the engine to race.

It?s a little unnerving when trying to stop for a pedestrian or an intersection. It only happens when braking. So my car probably needs some brake work but maybe I should I wear lighter shoes.

Manufacturers could put a little more distance between the brake & gas, and maybe make them different heights off the floor ? like they used to be in the old days.

Maybe sometime the pedals do stick under the carpet or there?s a computer problem, but I?ll bet big shoes account for a lot of it.

My question is: What size shoes do you wear?


Alameda, CA

Ernie, It’s Not Just People With Huge Shoes That Have This Problem.

Tom & Ray ordinarily don’t respond to the questions posed here, but rather an audience of pro mechanics, total car novices, and everybody in between who has an opinion.

I don’t have really large feet, nor are my shoes anything out of the ordinary, but I have driven cars with this pedal proximity problem and it’s dangerous.

None of the large cars in our family this problem and I think it makes this even more of a surprise when I drive other cars (usually smaller cars with less foot well room) and I find my shoe pressing the brake and gas simultaneously.

I check this when buying cars and would not buy a car with dangerous pedal placement.

Another thing Ernie, where I live we get lots of snow for many months of the year and things get messy. Try driving one of these problem cars with big 'ol “swampers” on your feet which are just about mandatory here.


http://store.nike.com/index.jsp?sitesrc=uslp&country=US&lang_locale=en_US&l=shop%2Csearch%2CsearchList-air%20monarch#l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-122925/pgid-122927 Size 13

Like CSA, I’ve noticed that a lot of smaller vehicles tend to have shorter distances between pedals, and god forbid someone like me had a 3 pedal to deal with. I’m pretty sure the few times where I’ll be sitting at a light and my Civic felt like it was trying to take off on me that my foot was touching both pedals at once. I’ve learned to feel where my feet are at on the pedals and have even used my left foot to hold the brake pedal while I move my right foot over more on the pedal