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Short Story:
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Today, I found that I can replicate paddle stuck as many times as I want while my 2001 FWD B5 Passat (tiptronic) is parked.

It is a stock paddle with stock interior setup, including a stock VW floor mat which is hold to its factory position by 2 "buttons" toward the rear edge.

If I push the paddle all the way to floor before let go, the paddle would go to into a bind with front edge of the floor mat.

When I go home tonight, I will trim off around the front edge of the mat and retest until I am satisfied.

Or maybe I will look for something different to better protect the floor area beneath the paddles (thinner than rubber and not interfere)


Long Story:
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This happen twice while I am on highway in my B5's life, both times when I kicked the pedal to the floor, trying to move to a faster moving left lane in order to pass.

First time was in 2001 on packed but still fast moving SF Bay Bridge, way before all the discussion and pondering over Toyota/Lexus acceleration accidents. I complain to the dealer since the B5 was having free 2 year maintenance at the time. They claimed no fault to be found. I did not investigate myself.

Between these years, I put a thick / grooved rubber mat over the factory mat, to catch winter mud/snow and never took it off until about roughly a week ago. The rubber mat is larger and longer than factory mat. It was thick and prevented the paddle to go deep. I had formed a habit to kick at paddle really hard in order to get the proper acceleration I need. And for this exact reason, I plan not to put this rubber mat back. Note: on my other B5.5, it seems to have either more clearance or have different paddle position calibration, the same rubber mat does not create any interference to paddle feel.

This morning, on my way to work. I changed lane to left and noticed a car behind me was closing up quick, due to infamous turbo lag in action. I spontaneously push the paddle to the floor. Auto tranny downshifted and my speed went up. But when I lightened my foot, I noticed that fuel continued to be pumped into engine at the same rate, and engine revved past the red line.

The traffic was not heavy. Still, it is about 5-10 second distraction to my driving before I was able to release the stuck peddle (well, 12 years has passed since last stuck paddle).
 
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