Renault-Samsung Blames Driver Error For Unintended Acceleration Cases Linked To SM3 Z.E.


Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E.

Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E.

Renault-Samsung SM3 Electric

Renault-Samsung SM3 Electric

Unintended acceleration cases aren’t all that rare for electric cars. In fact, there’s been several such cases involving Tesla Model S sedans.

Most all of these are the result of driver error, rather than an actual issue with the car and such seems to be true here in regards to the Renault-Samsung SM3 Z.E.

Korea Times reports:

“A series of alleged sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) accidents have been reported involving Renault Samsung Motors’ SM3 electric cars on Jeju Island. The automaker is blaming the accidents on drivers’ poor driving skills.”

Renault-Samsung released a statement on the matter, saying that all 3 incidents were “caused by the drivers’ misperceptions or poor driving skills, not by model defects.”

Previous "Unintended Acceleration" Claim Involving A Tesla Model S

Previous “Unintended Acceleration” Claim Involving A Tesla Model S

Incident 1:

50-year-old Chung crashed into a horse racing track. No injuries. Chung stated:

“I was stepping on the brake pedal before I was going to hit a bump in the road. My car then suddenly went backward into the horse park.”

“My car was not supposed to run backward since the gear shift was in drive.”

Incident 2:

66-year-old Moon’s car allegedly accelerated and crashed into a laundry business. Moon stated:

“I was pulling over in front of the church. But my car suddenly accelerated when I took my foot off the accelerator to slow down. I believe this was a typical SUA case.”

Incident 3:

Another SM3 Z.E. driver, Moon (a different Moon) age 65, claims she pressed her foot down on the brake but the car accelerated across a parking lot making a roaring sound.

Renault-Samsung response:

A Renault-Samsung spokesperson discredits some of these claims, stating:

“Electric cars do not make roaring sounds since they have electric motors.”

“The electric data downloaded from the car showed the driver pressed down on the accelerator instead of the brake when making a right turn. Considering he just took delivery of the car, however, the company decided to install a new black box and other safety-related equipment for free.”

The police concluded that in incident 3, it was the driver’s fault. Police say the driver was pressing both pedals, not just the brake as she stated.

Source: Korea Times, hat tip to George K!

Categories: Crashed EVs, Renault


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7 Comments on "Renault-Samsung Blames Driver Error For Unintended Acceleration Cases Linked To SM3 Z.E."

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“Police say the driver was pressing both pedals, not just the brake as she stated.”

Well in this case it should brake if it has something like an “automatic gear box” – so e.g. like every EV?!


huh? What does the gear box have to do with the brakes?

Many newer ICE cars with drive-by-wire throttles will cut the gas if the brake pedal and the gas are both pressed. Usually both have to be held for a second or couple of seconds before it will cut off.

But it doesn’t have anything to do with the gears.

“Normal” emergency braking with manual gear box = Clutch and brake pedal. Hitting brake and gas pedal -> it won’t automatically shift down for better acceleration (because it’s an manual gear box), so the brakes can block the engine at least in upper gears.
Automatic gear box -> no clutch pedal, so the danger that brake and gas are hit is much higher. And the automatic gearbox would shift down so the brakes will have much more problems…

It’s a absolutely usual way to test the clutch in a manual gear box car by trying to “accelerate” from 0km/h in the highest gear with pushed brake pedal (engine should be blocked, if not, you need a new clutch).

And as you said: “Many *newer* ICE […]”


Yeah brake doesn’t always cut the motor though. In Tesla pressing both pedals won’t, but you do get an audible beep.

Note how all these drivers are old. I see a pattern…

50 is old? I thought 50 was the new 40.

Yeah, if you’re 50.

Just one reason all new vehicles should include forward looking radar and auto-breaking collision avoidance safety systems.

An auto-breaking system would also reduce many accidents associated with driving too fast (not breaking soon enough) and many distracted driving collisions (driving into slower or stopped vehicle, or stationary object).

example: Tesla added this feature in 2014/15 with the sensor package that enables auto-pilot functionality. Audi, BMW, and many other luxury models also include a similar auto-braking feature.

Cost of radar-based auto breaking radar is now less than equipping a vehicle with airbags … not only would it save lives, but prevent many accidents from occurring!
(greatly reducing insurance and medical related expenses)