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2008 Passion, now a 2016
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... I'm driving my normal morning commute, but this particular morning I have a guy just riding my ass (that's California speak for tailgating). As I'm driving down Bolsa road, a windy little stretch that follows along a creek, I'm approaching that particular left hand sweeper that 6 times out of 10, will trigger my Traction Control System into a braking frenzy. This, I am assuming, is due to the fact that the previous owner of my 2016 smart 453 decided to run the same sized tires on all four corners.... ugh.

Anyway, sure enough, I've got this guy on my tail, and the TCS kicks in and sharply applies the brakes... but what I'm wondering is, did he get a face full of LED's? Did he see brake lights as this was happening... because I was just coasting through this curve and I did not apply any braking, but the TCS did.

Anyone know?

Jim
 

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Can't be certain, but I don't think the brake lights come on because the computer is activating the brakes directly, which bypasses the brake light switch. You could always have somebody follow you and see for sure. :)
 

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That’s a great question. I’m not sure of the answer.

That being said, in some cars if a “panic brake” is detected, the 4-way hazard flashers will automatically turn on. I’m not sure if that’s the case on the Smart, but it would be a good feature - so would turning the brake lights on with TCS.
 

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In the event of a "panic brake" situation the smart's 4 way flashers do come on. I don't think that's the case for brake lights with the TCS (or ESP in smartspeak) - would we really want the brake lights flashing all the time during "spirited driving?" As for the OP's tailgater - following too closely is normally a traffic offense.
 

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I'd be surprised if they did. Not only for the previously mentioned reason of it being the computer applying the brakes, but also because (assuming you're talking about traction control as in preventing you from losing traction while accelerating in slippery conditions or losing traction if cornering a bit too quick) it's not so much trying to STOP the car as it is just trying to slow a wheel down to maintain grip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
... As for the OP's tailgater - following too closely is normally a traffic offense.
Oh, there's no question ... it was offensive, but in 13 years of smart ownership, I've learned to just let the tailgaters blow on by. In the towing business we call them future customers.
 
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