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Car Tech Spotlight: Annoying 'Eco Pedal' in the 2013 Infiniti M Hybrid

The accelerator actually pushes back against your foot if you're trying to goose it too hard.

By Douglas Newcomb May 17, 2013 6:03AM

Infiniti Eco Pedal feature.In a market surrounded by relatively high gas prices, nearly every car on sale has an "eco" feature of some sort. From simple dashboard indicators to sophisticated engine stop-start systems, automakers are employing a wide range of technologies designed to help drivers squeeze every mile out of each tank of gas.

But none is as annoying as Infiniti’s Eco Pedal, which takes an overly aggressive approach to saving fuel. Parent company Nissan noted that with the Eco Pedal feature engaged, “Each time the driver steps on the accelerator, a counter push-back control mechanism is activated if the system detects excess pressure.”

In other words, as I found out while testing a 2013 Infiniti M Hybrid with the feature, if you push the accelerator too hard and the Eco Pedal determines you’re driving in a fuel-inefficient manner, it pushes right back.

According to Nissan, the Eco Pedal feature can improve fuel efficiency by 5 to 10 percent, depending on driving conditions. The supporting system behind the Eco Pedal analyzes data on fuel consumption and transmission efficiency and calculates the ideal rate of acceleration. Pressure on the accelerator to the point of inefficiency causes the pedal push-back control mechanism to kick in and lift the accelerator -- and the driver’s right foot.

Fortunately, the Eco Pedal feature can be turned off, and it can also be adjusted with two settings: Standard and Soft. Equally fortunate is that, although the feature has been available for several years on Infiniti vehicles, it hasn’t been adopted by other automakers.
May 17, 2013 8:33AM

My thought on this:  Stupid!

1.  Talk about removing any form of fun from driving.  By the second time this thing pushed back on me, I'd be driving it into a brick wall.

2.  Am I the only one who fears what all this "technology" will be like for the second, third or fourth owners?  I can just imagine it now.  Service advisor:  What seems to be the problem?  Customer:  Well, I don't know really.  It just isn't going like it should.  S.A.:  What do you mean?  Can you explain it better?  Cust:  I don't know how to explain it.  I had an opening in traffic and decided to hit the gas, but the car just seemed to stall and that pedal kicked back and now my ankle hurts and it's the cars fault that I got into the accident as I tried to merge.  I'm going to sue this dealer and Nissan!

May 17, 2013 6:13AM

Where was this "technology" during the unintended acceleration debacle?


Perhaps Toyota could license it from Nissan.

May 20, 2013 6:11AM

Reminds me of a customer who used to come in all of the time complaining of poor fuel economy.

The boss finally got tired of his whining about gas mileage, and installed a very heavy return spring on the customer's carburetor. Needless to say, his gas mileage improved immediately.

May 20, 2013 9:11AM
The "Eco-Pedal" on Infiniti is like the price hike at the gas pump/filling station....we don't like it but it does help to change our behavior from being wasteful to being more kind to our environment and our wallets. There are many other parallels in our individual financial behaviors at the present  time and the evidence reveals itself in the lack of soundness in our nation's financial vitality. Just my humble opinion.
May 21, 2013 8:19AM
"This is absolute false information, although the (gas) pedal did counter driver input it was part of the traction/stability control system that responded to wheel spin or yaw (over/understeer) and could be turned off with a push of a button."

That car was my "Summer car". While the traction control could be turned off to a degree (never completely), the pedal resistance feature could not be turned off.

"This is not the first time Annatar has made comments that where completely false and where anything but factual, we certainly welcome you here and your opinions but don`t comment on things that you simply have no idea on what your talking about."

What exactly is false? I know you would like to discredit me at every turn and opportunity because I think you and "Seville89STS" are ignorant about automechanics, but attempting to discredit someone who actually had and worked on the vehicle is a poorly chosen strategy.
May 17, 2013 11:26AM
Holden Monaro, also sold as the Pontiac GTO in the United States, had this feature as standard, and it could never be turned off. The faster the car went, the harder it was to push the gas pedal, and I mean one literally had to fight it.
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