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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone be able to turn off the "mystical sound" when the car is in Drive (not the Jetsons-like beeping sound in R)? When we first got the XC40 Recharge, it wasn't, or at least I thought it wasn't, there. Not annoying, but just a bit, well....must be some regulatory thing...
 

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It is a federal requirement for all EVs and hybrids.
^ this. A completely silent car is a major hazard for the blind community. They learned that early on with the Prius...
 

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2022 XC40 Recharge Twin Fusion Red
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We're lucky (unlucky?) we don't have that requirement in Australia...thank dog it doesn't sound like a Harley with no muffler! :)

I know this is opening a can of worms, but why aren't bicycles required to make a noise? I mean you see these people in Lycra flying down the road...I feel for the blind people TBH, but I think the vehicle sound is probably more for the people too busy to look both ways as they're on their smart phones. I guess a car is much more deadly than a bicycle, so the bicycle is not as likely to cause significant injury to an unwary pedestrian...but I remember fondly putting playing cards in the spokes of our bikes when we were kids and the noise that made! :)
 

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We're lucky (unlucky?) we don't have that requirement in Australia...thank dog it doesn't sound like a Harley with no muffler! :)

I know this is opening a can of worms, but why aren't bicycles required to make a noise? I mean you see these people in Lycra flying down the road...I feel for the blind people TBH, but I think the vehicle sound is probably more for the people too busy to look both ways as they're on their smart phones. I guess a car is much more deadly than a bicycle, so the bicycle is not as likely to cause significant injury to an unwary pedestrian...but I remember fondly putting playing cards in the spokes of our bikes when we were kids and the noise that made! :)
Have a 2021 recharge and no sound required in Canada either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We're lucky (unlucky?) we don't have that requirement in Australia...thank dog it doesn't sound like a Harley with no muffler! :)

I know this is opening a can of worms, but why aren't bicycles required to make a noise? I mean you see these people in Lycra flying down the road...I feel for the blind people TBH, but I think the vehicle sound is probably more for the people too busy to look both ways as they're on their smart phones. I guess a car is much more deadly than a bicycle, so the bicycle is not as likely to cause significant injury to an unwary pedestrian...but I remember fondly putting playing cards in the spokes of our bikes when we were kids and the noise that made! :)
Yeah in China these are so quite too. I also noticed the sidewalks have bumps but honestly....really?
 

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OP, you're right that the sound was not present initially. Car was completely silent on the early software versions. I believe I started on 1.6 and the car clearly had no sounds. It seems updates change more than the published features/revisions. For example, in one pedal drive on the early software versions I would get a bunch of pedal clicking sounds on deceleration, then they seemed to reduce that. Now after 2.1 the clicking pedal is back. The only drag about over the air updates is when they alter something you were pleased with.
 

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I am NOT suggesting you do this, but over on the MacheForum, they have explored and executed a modification where the external speaker was removed and replaced with a heavy duty resistor of the same resistance as the speaker. Just sayin'.

FWIW, the XC40 seems to have a front and a rear speaker, and the Mystical Sound seems to come from the front, with the backup sound coming from the back.
 
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My personal experience with the "mystical sound", or rather lack of a mystical sound.

Some years ago, probably 10-15, was walking down a quiet, one way street with 2 kids & wife, came time to cross the street and I stepped off the sidewalk onto the street, then took a look if any cars were coming. Prius was coming down the street at a reasonable speed (25mph or less), probably within 1-2 car lengths of us, and I heard absolutely nothing, no road noise, no "mystical sound", nothing to alert me/us that a car was coming. If I hadn't stopped to check for traffic, good chance I would have walked in front of the Prius, and the driver would not have had much time to react.

The point of the story is that we often rely on the sounds of traffic before we step off the sidewalk, if all is silent, or we're distracted (kids/wife/friends/etc), it's easy to step further out into the street then we should before we visually check for oncoming traffic. For me, this was lesson learned that with Hybrids (and now BEV's), we can't rely on sounds (road noise, engines, etc.) to alert us that a car might be much closer than we think.

IMO, the XC40 making the "mystical sound" at low speeds is a good thing. When I drive the car through a neighborhood, I'm always extra cautious when approaching pedestrians as I know firsthand how easy for them not to hear us approaching them.
 

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My personal experience with the "mystical sound", or rather lack of a mystical sound.

Some years ago, probably 10-15, was walking down a quiet, one way street with 2 kids & wife, came time to cross the street and I stepped off the sidewalk onto the street, then took a look if any cars were coming. Prius was coming down the street at a reasonable speed (25mph or less), probably within 1-2 car lengths of us, and I heard absolutely nothing, no road noise, no "mystical sound", nothing to alert me/us that a car was coming. If I hadn't stopped to check for traffic, good chance I would have walked in front of the Prius, and the driver would not have had much time to react.

The point of the story is that we often rely on the sounds of traffic before we step off the sidewalk, if all is silent, or we're distracted (kids/wife/friends/etc), it's easy to step further out into the street then we should before we visually check for oncoming traffic. For me, this was lesson learned that with Hybrids (and now BEV's), we can't rely on sounds (road noise, engines, etc.) to alert us that a car might be much closer than we think.

IMO, the XC40 making the "mystical sound" at low speeds is a good thing. When I drive the car through a neighborhood, I'm always extra cautious when approaching pedestrians as I know firsthand how easy for them not to hear us approaching them.
Totally agree with you.

Something we find strange is that Volvo doesn’t have the same sound for all their cars. Our XC60 makes a very different sound when running on EV mode, but contrary to the XC40 the sound is noticeable lower meaning you will hear the XC40 coming but the XC60 would be a bit harder to hear/notice. I asked the service dept if there is actually a way to increase the volume it
 

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Totally agree with you.

Something we find strange is that Volvo doesn’t have the same sound for all their cars. Our XC60 makes a very different sound when running on EV mode, but contrary to the XC40 the sound is noticeable lower meaning you will hear the XC40 coming but the XC60 would be a bit harder to hear/notice. I asked the service dept if there is actually a way to increase the volume it
I’m sure there’s a regulatory volume requirement (probably minimum volume, but could they also have a max volume? Hmm). I believe Tesla got in trouble fairly recently for allowing people to choose between several comical sounds, and they had to do an OTA “recall” to rectify the situation to ensure whatever sound the car makes falls within the regulatory framework…there may even be requirements that it can’t quack like a duck but must make some sound that a reasonably intelligent human would recognise as a vehicle coming down the road…which is probably why Tesla got in trouble!
 
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