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#1 Feb 14 2013 at 4:19 PM Rating: Good
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Nope, not Nikola.

Shit's going down between NYT and Tesla Motors. A guy wrote an review of the new Model S for the NYT, which had nothing good to say about the vehicle. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, was not too happy, and was noticeably angry in an interview he had in reply to it. The NYT came out in support of their writer. Elon Musk then releases logs from the vehicle in question disputing a lot of the author's claims.

Fun, I wonder if anything else will come of it.

Edited, Feb 14th 2013 5:19pm by TirithRR
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#2 Feb 14 2013 at 4:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Keep getting an error on first link. "We were unable to return you to nytimes.com." Second link worked just fine though.
#3 Feb 14 2013 at 4:48 PM Rating: Good
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What I'm getting from all this is that the Tesla S is not for people who don't know how to read instructions.

Then again, conventional cars aren't either. I'm the dork that sits down to read the manual when I get a new car, so I know that I need a new timing belt every 90,000 miles and that my car will not, in fact, run any better on a higher octane fuel like my mother swore it would. This is why my car is at 209,000 miles with only a few scratches on the hood to show for it.
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#4 Feb 14 2013 at 4:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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catwho wrote:
What I'm getting from all this is that the Tesla S is not for people who don't know how to read instructions.


The gist of it appears to be that some journalists intentionally ***** with cars they're testing in order to write a negative story about it, and they're claiming that's what happened in this case. And looking at the data they provided it does look like this guy wanted to make the car stop and lock itself up so he could write a story about how he was stranded by his electric car and had to be towed. Dramatic? Yes. Truthful? Not so much. When he failed to make it die the first day, he intentionally undercharged it for the second day, then when he still made it to the next leg, undercharged it even more, each time putting less charge in the car relative to the next leg until he got the result he wanted.

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Then again, conventional cars aren't either. I'm the dork that sits down to read the manual when I get a new car, so I know that I need a new timing belt every 90,000 miles and that my car will not, in fact, run any better on a higher octane fuel like my mother swore it would. This is why my car is at 209,000 miles with only a few scratches on the hood to show for it.


To be fair, electric cars do require a bit more knowledge and awareness. But that's something you should consider when buying one. The Model S is pretty amazing in terms of how far it can go compared to any other production electric car on the road. Obviously, if you attempt to go farther than that range, you'll run into problems. And with electric cars, the problems will tend to take longer to deal with than if you run out of gas in a traditional car. But then, you're starting with a car that you can only drive for a couple hundred miles or so at a stretch anyway. You should come into it knowing that.
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#5 Feb 14 2013 at 5:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well someone sucks at lying, that much is obvious. Didn't he know they were monitoring the car? Seems like the type of homework you'd do prior to a stunt like that.
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#6 Feb 14 2013 at 5:04 PM Rating: Decent
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I dont really see the point in a $100k "green" sports car. For 100k, you can get such an amazing gas powered car.... If you want to drive a green car get something cheap and slow and spend the 70k you have left over on a solar panel roof or something.

I'm still partial to the Chevy Volt myself though, I thought that was a great platform and wish the car would sell better.
#7 Feb 14 2013 at 5:10 PM Rating: Good
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The Model S is different from the Tesla Roadster. The Model S was taking a stab at the luxury sedan market, and was supposed to be priced around $40,000 last I heard.

Their rumored next model, the Model T, would be on par with the Chevy Volt.

I've actually been thinking about a Chevy Spark. I don't need a big car, nor do I need a hybrid, so a tiny car a bit more stylish than the Smart car that gets 50 MPG on the highway is pretty attractive, especially considering the very low price tag. ($16,000 ish for the fully loaded ones.)
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#8 Feb 14 2013 at 5:14 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
The Model S is different from the Tesla Roadster. The Model S was taking a stab at the luxury sedan market, and was supposed to be priced around $40,000 last I heard.


I think 40k is the starting price for the low end version. You basically pay for how far it can go between charges (i.e. Larger battery packs). I do believe the highest end model is over 100k.
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#9 Feb 14 2013 at 5:42 PM Rating: Good
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..."Elon Musk"?

Seriously?

Edit: Heh, I thought that was the CAR name at first. Not the name of some sadly named person.

Edited, Feb 14th 2013 5:43pm by Jophiel
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#10 Feb 14 2013 at 5:55 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
catwho wrote:
The Model S is different from the Tesla Roadster. The Model S was taking a stab at the luxury sedan market, and was supposed to be priced around $40,000 last I heard.


I think 40k is the starting price for the low end version. You basically pay for how far it can go between charges (i.e. Larger battery packs). I do believe the highest end model is over 100k.


The low end model hasn't been released yet, and it'll start around $50k. The problem they're having is trying to put a battery pack into a large sedan capable of sufficient range, while also keeping costs down. The initial models are much more expensive, topping out at around $100 for the limited signature editions with all features. The current top model is like $85k and with all the extra features will probably run about $10k more than that (so just slightly less than $100k if that makes much of a difference anyway).

The goal is to make an electric car to compete with the high(er) end luxury sedan customer first so as to gain revenue for lower cost models. A lot of the extra cost isn't just the battery (although that's a biggie), but the features. They want to compete with BMWs and Mercedes running in the $60-$80k range.

Edited, Feb 14th 2013 3:59pm by gbaji
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#11 Feb 14 2013 at 5:55 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
..."Elon Musk"?

Seriously?

Edit: Heh, I thought that was the CAR name at first. Not the name of some sadly named person.


No, just a crazy rich guy who made a lot of money from PayPal, then used it to make Tesla Motors and SpaceEx.
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#12 Feb 14 2013 at 10:15 PM Rating: Good
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I like how he says his feet were freezing and his knuckles turned white cause he couldn't have the heater on... yet the logs show that it was over 70 degrees for most the trip and never hit lower than 64 (which is an entirely reasonable winter driving temperature).
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#13 Feb 14 2013 at 11:18 PM Rating: Decent
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I drive a (semi)hybrid...2009 Malibu. And I've put 32k on it in nine months.
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#14 Feb 15 2013 at 12:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
..."Elon Musk"?

Seriously?

Edit: Heh, I thought that was the CAR name at first. Not the name of some sadly named person.

Edited, Feb 14th 2013 5:43pm by Jophiel


Yeah, but he also ownes SpaceX, which is awsome, so he's got that going for him? ******* still owes me $500 from that paypal debacles 6 years ago though...
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#15 Feb 15 2013 at 1:08 AM Rating: Good
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Paypal debacle?
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#16 Feb 15 2013 at 1:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kao "purchased" a wombat from someone who stiffed him. He paid via PayPal.

#17 Feb 15 2013 at 2:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
Well someone sucks at lying, that much is obvious. Didn't he know they were monitoring the car? Seems like the type of homework you'd do prior to a stunt like that.
When you have the technology to do it and you already got ****** over once because your car running out of batteries makes for a good joke you're not going to take risks I guess.
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#18 Feb 15 2013 at 5:42 AM Rating: Good
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Mr. Broder strikes back.

His explanation for the speed differences is? The car has 19 inch all season tires, not 21 inch summer tires like specified. For now I'm calling BS on that one. Now sure, if the tires were really the wrong size for how the car was configured the actual vehicle speed would be less than what was reported. But I'm pretty sure it would still report to the vehicle operator what it thought the speed was, meaning if the vehicle was recording 54MPH instead of the 45, then the operator would see 54MPH on the speedometer, not 45.

Goes on to say that the logs show he did have to turn the heat down (from 72-74 down to 64 at one time). But that's hardly frozen feet and white knuckle temperature.

And the damning part at the end where he supposedly lost battery charge completely because he took a 50 mile with a 30 mile charge? They told him he could!

While many of the faults that occurred during the trip were the result of the Tesla being an Electrical Vehicle, they were not really faults of the design of the car, they were faults in the way the user treated the vehicle. I wouldn't try to take my car on a 50 mile trip with only a gallon of gas available in the tank, even if someone from Chrysler told me it'd be enough.
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#19 Feb 15 2013 at 6:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
Mr. Broder strikes back.

His explanation for the speed differences is? The car has 19 inch all season tires, not 21 inch summer tires like specified. For now I'm calling BS on that one. Now sure, if the tires were really the wrong size for how the car was configured the actual vehicle speed would be less than what was reported. But I'm pretty sure it would still report to the vehicle operator what it thought the speed was, meaning if the vehicle was recording 54MPH instead of the 45, then the operator would see 54MPH on the speedometer, not 45.


IIRC, the writer also claimed to go around 60-65 mph or so on average, when the log clearly showed he was going 70-80 almost the entire time.

Basically: NYT was caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

Edit: I also recall reading that a bunch of other testers are now trying it out and they're corroborating what Tesla says: it's a good car and Broder is full of it.

Edited, Feb 15th 2013 7:17am by LockeColeMA
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#20 Feb 15 2013 at 6:33 AM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:

His explanation for the speed differences is? The car has 19 inch all season tires, not 21 inch summer tires like specified. For now I'm calling BS on that one. Now sure, if the tires were really the wrong size for how the car was configured the actual vehicle speed would be less than what was reported. But I'm pretty sure it would still report to the vehicle operator what it thought the speed was, meaning if the vehicle was recording 54MPH instead of the 45, then the operator would see 54MPH on the speedometer, not 45.

If the tire size skewed the velocity calculation, then it likely skewed the internal mileage calcuations as well.
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#21 Feb 15 2013 at 6:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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..."Elon Musk"?

Good name for a half-elf Ranger.
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#22 Feb 15 2013 at 7:24 AM Rating: Decent
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Publicity stunt. Not the first time. Don't be such suckers.
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#23 Feb 15 2013 at 8:48 AM Rating: Good
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Oh lordy lordy, a media source is less than scrupulous.
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#24 Feb 15 2013 at 5:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
Mr. Broder strikes back.

His explanation for the speed differences is? The car has 19 inch all season tires, not 21 inch summer tires like specified. For now I'm calling BS on that one. Now sure, if the tires were really the wrong size for how the car was configured the actual vehicle speed would be less than what was reported. But I'm pretty sure it would still report to the vehicle operator what it thought the speed was, meaning if the vehicle was recording 54MPH instead of the 45, then the operator would see 54MPH on the speedometer, not 45.


Yeah. First off, the difference in MPH between 19 and 21 inch tires is maybe one or two mph at speed. It's not enough to get a speeding ticket if you've increased the size of the tires, something folks on car sites discuss all the time. Also, as you correctly point out, the reason tire difference affects things is because the cars sensors count the number of rotations of the wheel in a given length of time and calculate the MPH from that. So if you increase the diameter of the tire, the same number of rotations will represent a slightly greater total distance. This will cause the speedometer to report a slightly lower speed if you're driving larger tires than the speedometer was calibrated for. So even if we assume that they delivered the car with 19" tires instead of 21", and they didn't recalibrate the speedometer, that means that the speedometer would read slightly higher than the actual speed of the car.

But, as you say, the car would use that as the number to report (what other number could it use?). The speed he sees on the speedometer should be the exact same speed Tesla's data is based on *and* the same speed the computer will use to calculate range based on remaining charge. In other words, it should make absolutely no difference at all to anything.

Quote:
Goes on to say that the logs show he did have to turn the heat down (from 72-74 down to 64 at one time). But that's hardly frozen feet and white knuckle temperature.


Yeah. His original article fairly drips with exaggeration. Which is part of why I kinda side with Tesla on this one. If the author had come off a bit less obviously "thrilled" at how poorly the car performed, I might have taken his account with a bit more seriousness.

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And the damning part at the end where he supposedly lost battery charge completely because he took a 50 mile with a 30 mile charge? They told him he could!


According to him, of course. The question is whether or not the Tesla folks could get information about the car while it was operating, or just after the fact. If they were depending on him to tell them what was going on, it would have been quite easy to manipulate the conversation to make it appear like they told him to go ahead with a 60 mile trip on a 30 mile range. From reading even his account, they told him to charge it for an hour and that should recover the lost charge. But the interesting thing is that looking at the data, he never charged the car all the way up to begin with. So he's reporting to them that he charged the car fully, but then some magic happened in the cold that caused it to report a lower charge, so they think "it's charged, but just not reading a full charge for some reason", and give him those instructions.

But if he intentionally just didn't charge the car all the way up, but told them he did, he could get exactly the results reported. Obviously, I can't assume that this happened, but some of the stuff he reported just seemed strange. Now maybe there was some major malfunction with the battery system in that car. But if that's the case, it should have read differently. I'm not an expert on those kinds of battery charging systems, but basic understanding of batteries and how you read charge on them would suggest that a "full charge" is based on relative capacitance within the batter itself (how much it's got relative to how much it can hold to put it simply). That's how all battery charging systems know when the battery is "full". So even if the battery was failing somehow, the charging system should have reported a full charge.

What should have happened was he'd see a full charge, but only a short range reported (indicating an obviously busted battery). What he claimed happened is that he charged it to full (a fact not corroborated by the data), but then it somehow lost its charge and reported a lower charge *and* range later. We can speculate some undefined error that could have caused this *or* we can go with the far more obvious assumption that he just didn't charge the thing up all the way, but claimed he did. The fact that the cars system seemed to be somewhat accurately reporting relative charge status and range potential, it suggests that the battery system was working properly and the latter explanation seems more likely.

Dunno, coming from a computer support background, his whole account reminds me of folks who did something to make their computers break, but want to blame it on the computer instead of themselves, but don't actually know enough about the technology to lie correctly about it. It's really really obvious when people do this, but they don't realize it. I mean, I suppose there is a possibility something when bizarrely wrong with that car, but it does seem like an amazing coincidence that this seems to only have happened to him, and just while driving this one test.

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While many of the faults that occurred during the trip were the result of the Tesla being an Electrical Vehicle, they were not really faults of the design of the car, they were faults in the way the user treated the vehicle. I wouldn't try to take my car on a 50 mile trip with only a gallon of gas available in the tank, even if someone from Chrysler told me it'd be enough.


Yeah. Can't say for sure what happened with that, but I'm still going to go with him just not actually charging the thing all the way up like he was supposed to. It's interesting that on that trip he *never* actually charged the thing fully and there's no indication that it was charged fully, but then later lost charge (something which should be present in the data) like he claimed. To me, that's the most damning piece of information. Again, I'm not completely discounting the possibility of some failure of the car itself, but it really does look like it was mostly his own actions that caused this.
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#25 Feb 15 2013 at 5:37 PM Rating: Good
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But, as you say, the car would use that as the number to report (what other number could it use?).


GPS?

#26 Feb 15 2013 at 5:41 PM Rating: Good
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Ya, GPS... but you really think he was using GPS instead of the vehicle speedometer to set his cruise control?
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#27 Feb 15 2013 at 5:50 PM Rating: Good
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no i mean the speed could have been recorded via ups, not what was on his dash.
#28 Feb 15 2013 at 5:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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KTurner wrote:
Quote:
But, as you say, the car would use that as the number to report (what other number could it use?).


GPS?



TirithRR wrote:
Ya, GPS... but you really think he was using GPS instead of the vehicle speedometer to set his cruise control?


This. I'm sure they used GPS to track where the car went (the map data they have), but the speed data is probably pulled right out of the OBDII bus, which is exactly where the displayed speed on the speedometer comes from. How else would they get such detailed speed data for when he was driving around in the parking lot? GPS is nifty and all that, but it's not quite that accurate, nor is it typically polled at that kind of rate.
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#29 Feb 15 2013 at 5:52 PM Rating: Good
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KTurner wrote:
no i mean the speed could have been recorded via ups, not what was on his dash.


But.

If the problem was 19 inch tires instead of the configured 21 inch, his actual ground speed would be LESS than reported. Meaning if he thought the speedometer said 45, and the tire size was configured wrong, any GPS measurement would read LESS than 45mph, not greater.
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#30 Feb 15 2013 at 5:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Dunno, coming from a computer support background, his whole account reminds me of folks who did something to make their computers break, but want to blame it on the computer instead of themselves, but don't actually know enough about the technology to lie correctly about it. It's really really obvious when people do this, but they don't realize it.

From what we know of your ability to discern obvious things, I'm going to say a lot of people had hardware failures that you didn't help with.
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#31 Feb 15 2013 at 6:11 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
KTurner wrote:
no i mean the speed could have been recorded via ups, not what was on his dash.


But.

If the problem was 19 inch tires instead of the configured 21 inch, his actual ground speed would be LESS than reported. Meaning if he thought the speedometer said 45, and the tire size was configured wrong, any GPS measurement would read LESS than 45mph, not greater.


That's backwards, I think. The cars speedometer will report that it's traveling slightly faster than it's actually going. It thinks each rotation of the tire is X distance, when it's really traveling slightly less than X (cause of a smaller circumference). So the actual ground speed will be GREATER than that reported by the speedometer, not less. So if the speedometer says 45 mph, you might actually be traveling 47 mph. So an external measuring system (assuming it's accurate, which GPS isn't really) would show you traveling faster than what's reported on the dash.

The problem is that it assumes that Tesla is using speed data calculated via GPS (which they could, but I'd doubt it). Also, even if they were, it cannot possibly account for the vast differences between what the reporter claimed he was doing while "limping along", and how fast they measured him going. Oh. And we also don't know what the actual difference in total tire/wheel diameter is. The tire size is the inner diameter of the tire (the size of the actual wheel). The other numbers tell us how tall the sidewall is, and how wide the tire is (which is why when you see larger diameter wheels, they're usually accompanied with lower profile tires. The actual total diameter is unchanged). Most folks use offset calculations when changing to different wheel sizes so that the actual total diameter of the outer edge of the tire is very close to what it was with the original wheel size. Usually, when going to a smaller size, you get better performance and mph because while the total diameter doesn't change much, the weight of the wheel itself differs dramatically. That's weight that's pushed around with every rotation and has a bigger impact than the total diameter as the reporter seems to be trying to claim.


But then the reporter probably has no clue about the actual effect of changing out wheel and tire sizes. And of course, all of this assumes that Tesla didn't calibrate their speedometer to the size wheel that they themselves put on the car. Which seems unlikely to begin with.

Edited, Feb 15th 2013 4:16pm by gbaji
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#32 Feb 15 2013 at 6:16 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
KTurner wrote:
no i mean the speed could have been recorded via ups, not what was on his dash.


But.

If the problem was 19 inch tires instead of the configured 21 inch, his actual ground speed would be LESS than reported. Meaning if he thought the speedometer said 45, and the tire size was configured wrong, any GPS measurement would read LESS than 45mph, not greater.


That's backwards, I think. The cars speedometer will report that it's traveling slightly faster than it's actually going. It thinks each rotation of the tire is X distance, when it's really traveling slightly less than X (cause of a smaller circumference). So the actual ground speed will be GREATER than that reported by the speedometer, not less. So if the speedometer says 45 mph, you might actually be traveling 47 mph. So an external measuring system (assuming it's accurate, which GPS isn't really) would show you traveling faster than what's reported on the dash.


No.

If you're configured for a 21 inch wheel but have a 19 inch wheel, then your car thinks that the outside circumference of the tire is greater than it actually is. So your car thinks your vehicle is traveling further per revolution than it actually is.

If your car thought you traveled 20 inches per revolution, but you only really traveled 10 inches per revolution, your car would think you were going twice the speed.

Smaller tires than configured = slower actual speed vs reported.

Edited, Feb 16th 2013 12:36pm by TirithRR
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#33 Feb 16 2013 at 12:09 AM Rating: Good
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Dunno, coming from a computer support background, his whole account reminds me of folks who did something to make their computers break, but want to blame it on the computer instead of themselves, but don't actually know enough about the technology to lie correctly about it. It's really really obvious when people do this, but they don't realize it.

From what we know of your ability to discern obvious things, I'm going to say a lot of people had hardware failures that you didn't help with.


"I want to get a refund on my computer."

"Okay, can you describe your problem?"

"The cup holder was too flimsy and broke right off. Now my computer won't turn on."

".... Excuse me?"

"You know, the little cup holder tray. You push the button and it comes out. It's too weak for a Big Gulp. It snapped right off and spilled soda all over my computer. Now it won't turn on. None of the lights are working and it makes no noises."

"Sir, your computer doesn't come with a 'cup holder.'"

"Don't you tell me what my computer did and did not come with! I picked this model specifically because it had the cup holder."

"Yes, it has a tray that slides out, but -"

"You guys really need to design these things better."

"Sir, that's the CD tray."

"The - the what?"

"The CD tray. Your computer plays CDs. You put them in the tray and it reads them."

*click*

"Sir?"

Edited, Feb 16th 2013 1:10am by catwho
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#34 Feb 16 2013 at 7:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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catwho wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
Dunno, coming from a computer support background, his whole account reminds me of folks who did something to make their computers break, but want to blame it on the computer instead of themselves, but don't actually know enough about the technology to lie correctly about it. It's really really obvious when people do this, but they don't realize it.

From what we know of your ability to discern obvious things, I'm going to say a lot of people had hardware failures that you didn't help with.


"I want to get a refund on my computer."

"Okay, can you describe your problem?"

"The cup holder was too flimsy and broke right off. Now my computer won't turn on."

".... Excuse me?"

"You know, the little cup holder tray. You push the button and it comes out. It's too weak for a Big Gulp. It snapped right off and spilled soda all over my computer. Now it won't turn on. None of the lights are working and it makes no noises."

"Sir, your computer doesn't come with a 'cup holder.'"

"Don't you tell me what my computer did and did not come with! I picked this model specifically because it had the cup holder."

"Yes, it has a tray that slides out, but -"

"You guys really need to design these things better."

"Sir, that's the CD tray."

"The - the what?"

"The CD tray. Your computer plays CDs. You put them in the tray and it reads them."

*click*

"Sir?"

Edited, Feb 16th 2013 1:10am by catwho
http://www.reddit.com/r/talesfromtechsupport

Edited, Feb 16th 2013 8:55am by Spoonless
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Banh
#35 Feb 18 2013 at 2:20 AM Rating: Decent
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God I rated gbaji up to excellent. I feel dirty.
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clicky
#36 Feb 19 2013 at 8:13 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
gbaji wrote:
That's backwards, I think. The cars speedometer will report that it's traveling slightly faster than it's actually going. It thinks each rotation of the tire is X distance, when it's really traveling slightly less than X (cause of a smaller circumference). So the actual ground speed will be GREATER than that reported by the speedometer, not less. So if the speedometer says 45 mph, you might actually be traveling 47 mph. So an external measuring system (assuming it's accurate, which GPS isn't really) would show you traveling faster than what's reported on the dash.


No.

If you're configured for a 21 inch wheel but have a 19 inch wheel, then your car thinks that the outside circumference of the tire is greater than it actually is. So your car thinks your vehicle is traveling further per revolution than it actually is.


Yeah. Holy Brainfart Batman! Don't know what the **** I was doing in that one. Both the speedometer will report a higher speed than you're actually traveling *and* the ground speed will be lower than that reported on the speedometer. Cause that makes far more sense than what I wrote. Smiley: bah


Quote:
Smaller tires than configured = slower actual speed vs reported.


Which is funny because that's exactly what I was trying to say, but somehow turned myself around when writing it down. It's a common question raised on car mod sites when oversizing tires because there's a concern that you could be speeding while your speedometer reads that you're traveling the speed limit. The general consensus is that barring ridiculous total diameter changes (meaning something that can no longer fit in your wheel well), it should never create a large enough difference to be outside the margin of error when measuring speed externally anyway. And the concern is always with bigger tires resulting in lower reported mph than actual mph, so I have no clue how/why I wrote it backwards.


Point being that even if we assume that the total diameter of the tire he had was smaller than that the car was configured for (which isn't necessarily the case as I explained earlier), it could not possibly result in the speed Tesla reported him traveling (regardless of method) being greater than that which he reported seeing on his speedometer. So that whole bit (as you correctly pointed out) is BS.
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