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Add an accelerometer to detect when the Volt is slowing due to driving in "Low mode" and make the brake lights turn on. (In addition to when pressing the brake pedal.)

Kinda the same way as we don't have a "gas pedal" any more, the "brake lights" should be called "deceleration lights".
 

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No worries.

I drove a stick Mini Cooper and a motorcycle the other week and downshifted to slow down without a brake light.

This topic has been vehemently talked about at GREAT length.

Try this in google:
site:gm-volt.com accelerometer
 

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I see this comment all the time but do we have a single example of a Volt being rear ended because the brake lights didn't go on when the Volt was slowing because of regen? I've never had an issue. If the driver behind you can't see a car slowing down then I'm not sure that adding a light will matter. Plus there is a big difference between how fast you decelerate when using the brakes and using regen.

Maybe we should have lights that go from green to yellow to red. Those would give other drivers great information about how fast you were slowing. On the other hand the people I've know who have been rear ended have all been completely stopped in traffic or at a red light so I'm not sure this would help much.
 

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This makes a lot of sense. Regenerative braking in "L" can slow the car much quicker than gentle application of the service brakes.
 

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I always drive in "L" and have never had a problem. However, the other day someone pulled up alongside of me to tell me that my brake lights weren't working. Later, I was in front of him and I hit the brakes a few times...he gave me a "thumbs up" in the mirror.
 

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This is indeed a hot topic. I use the low mode in my Volt daily and have found that tailgaters are the ones to watch out for from the beginning. Tailgaters and low mode do not mix. For this example I lift my accelerater pedal "slightly" so I don't go into a full blown low mode regen. While I do this I will tap my brake to let them know I'm slowing down even though your an idiot for tailgating me. In the state of VA, if you rear end someone its automatically you fault. I just don't want to mess up my new Volt's tail.
 

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An accelerometer is hardware and will not be a retrofit unless there is a serious bodily injury accident. However, the Volt computers know when regen is in effect and can command the brake lights to either go on or just flash to warn tailgaters.

BTW, in really heavy traffic (think Long Island Expressway) almost everyone is a tailgater. Regen is very green in that situation but even ICE vehicles get on either side of a rear-ender all the time.

I hope GM deems this a safety issue and adds it to the fix list for the next software refresh.
 

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Yes, all manual transmissions must now have the brake lights go on when downshifting. Not.

This (having brake lights go on when NOT using the brake) is unneeded. Hit the darn brake peddle if you want to brake lights to go on. You have a right foot, use it. Problem solved, no extra cost.
 

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I disagree. Brake lights are called brake lights because they indicate braking, not slowing down. One has to be careful in changing long standing, well understood functionality.

If the brake lights are insufficient for the Volt, then they should be redesigned, but should only come on when the brake pedal is used.

Additionally, brake lights (and how they are used by some people) are a root cause of many traffic jams beyond just too many physical vehicles. Brake light use has been shown in computer models to create traffic build-up whereas if people just maintained safe distance and a safe speed, most traffic build-up which is a root cause of jams would be reduced.

Having the vehicle turn brake lights on by just slowing down would contribute to that problem (granted the number of Volts in traffic jams is low at the moment).
 

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I disagree. Brake lights are called brake lights because they indicate braking, not slowing down. One has to be careful in changing long standing, well understood functionality.

If the brake lights are insufficient for the Volt, then they should be redesigned, but should only come on when the brake pedal is used.

Additionally, brake lights (and how they are used by some people) are a root cause of many traffic jams beyond just too many physical vehicles. Brake light use has been shown in computer models to create traffic build-up whereas if people just maintained safe distance and a safe speed, most traffic build-up which is a root cause of jams would be reduced.

Having the vehicle turn brake lights on by just slowing down would contribute to that problem (granted the number of Volts in traffic jams is low at the moment).
Normally brake lights are associated with slowing down.
 

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Normally brake lights are associated with slowing down.
We will need brake lights to also come on for gear shift changes in transmissions, since the car slows down between moving from one gear to the next, even though the intention is to speed up.

Let's simply have the brake lights on whenever the car is not accelerating. They would no longer be "I am braking" but "I am not accelerating" lights. Or maybe we need red lights for "I am hitting the brakes" and yellow lights for "I am slowing down a bit" Driving will then be much more colorful and exciting :)
 

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IMO brake lights are associated with applying brakes. This is a great idea though, let's start a blog to put pressure on getting all manual transmission vehicles retrofitted with this feature.
True. And brakes are used for what? To slow or stop a moving vehicle. :)
 

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Oddly enough, I had a guy pull up to me about 2 weeks ago, rolled down his window, and proceeded to tell me "you're brake lights aren't working". I just said thanks for the heads up....wouldn't have served any purpose to try to explain that I was merely decelerating.

My brake lights were working just fine. It's that I was rarely braking to make them come on.
 

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Long ago WOT pointed out that the legal requirement is that the brake lights go on when the brake pedal is depressed. Even if GM wanted to change how the brake lights in the Volt work -- and I doubt it does -- it couldn't.
 

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Out of curiosity I may shoot a short clip of me driving my wife's car while she drives my Volt. With me following behind her I'll instruct her to slow down using low and see if I'm really caught off guard or not by her slowing down in front of me.
 

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Our 1995 Solectria Force electric car does regen very much like what my Volt does. I could also pretty much drive it with one pedal. AND, it has a relay specially designed to turn on the brake lights on regen.

I agree that everyone should pay attention when driving behind another car and not just rely on seeing the brake lights. But, in reality, it is just another added safety feature to help to reduce traffic accident.
 
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