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Old 08-26-2012, 04:40 AM   #1
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Runaway Truck Story on ABC

OK in a johnny danger homage, it's a comment thread but relevant to this story. ABC News just showed a woman claiming to have a stuck accelerator going speeds up to 118 for thirty miles, swerving into the median, it was to be sure, wreck- less. She manages a call to 911, they tell her to shift to neutral, no result, in the end the motor stalled they did not reveal the problem.

So two questions, in the same situation would you be able to shut off the ignition or is that going to lock the wheel immediately?

What about the emergency brakes, would that just cause a roll?

Question is in general not specific to our cars, when I say truck it was a small size SUV

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:50 AM   #2
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if you've seen the dashcam video, it is quite the ride. she was able to manuever the car in and out of traffic by driving into the median to get around cars.

i can say that i believe this woman, my mother's car does the same thing (though thankfully she's never had to deal with it in this manner, but it did cause an accident.) i used to think my mother was "crazy" or possibly hitting the pedal by mistake until i saw it with my own eyes. both vehicles are the same make (Kia) and both have received the same response from KMA "we can't reproduce the problem."
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:34 AM   #3
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if you shut the ignition off the steering will lock if it's turned, probably about 1/8th of a turn. best do that on a straight.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:47 AM   #4
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also of note was that the 911 operator suggested the woman shift into neutral, but the car would not shift. to get it to stop, the woman had to depress the brake and use her right foot to pull up on the accelerator (again, my mother reports having to do the same thing).

in this case, turning off the ignition would have been a bad idea since she was on a highway with plenty of cars around and she wouldn't have been able to avoid them with the car going at speeds up to 120mph.

here's some video from the dash cam, quite scary: US woman survives runaway vehicle scare |****CarAdvice

also, this quote: "According to police, the Sorento’s brakes were burnt out, the gearbox had failed and Ubelstad was unable to remove the car’s key as the vehicle employs a push button start ignition system."
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:00 AM   #5
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I'm always very skeptical about these claims, but I've never owned a Kia. Seems like the brakes would slow most cars down, especially a fairly low powered Kia.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy986 View Post
I'm always very skeptical about these claims, but I've never owned a Kia. Seems like the brakes would slow most cars down, especially a fairly low powered Kia.
if you'd ever driven a kia you'd know their brakes seem to be made of cardboard.

in this case the police noted the brakes were completely burnt up meaning she had been attempting to stop with the brake. and i tend to agree that brakes should be able to overcome the engine but that's not always the case. maybe they keep the vehicle down to 50 mph instead of 100 but at some point they'll fail to be effective.

the stories do not mention which trim package she has, but there is a V6 275 hp available, and with crappy brakes it's not going to stop you if you're essentially flooring the gas pedal.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:23 AM   #7
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Try it some time, even in a low power car the brakes can't overcome engine power to stop the car, and as mentioned, they will only keep your speed down for a limited time. I tested the theory with a '94 Integra back during the Toyota scare.

I can't think of any reason a car wouldn't go into Neutral though.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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I still believe there is no way an engine can over power it's brakes. I have never tried this, but it is hard for me to imagine. . Perhaps if the brakes were malfunctioning or burned out / glazed over maybe. I might be able to see that.

And if you shut off the car, wait for the engine to stop, then turn the key back to running, the steering wheel won't be locked, but you would lose power steering. . At 100 mph, I'm not sure anyone would notice losing that though. You'd only get a couple of brake pumps too, but obviously they weren't working anyway so that doesn't matter.

IMO, these people with the run-a-way cars lately are crazy or just panicked.

I won't attempt this in my Boxster. Maybe I could try it in my POS pickup truck. So a good test, I'm thinkin' is to reach 60 mph. Floor the gas, then attempt to come to a stop using the brakes. I just have to find a stretch of road...
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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I didn't think so either, you'll be surprised!
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:03 PM   #10
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That woman is a perfect example of why we have to take the fun and excitement out of everything... because shes the lowest common denominator that we have to conform our 'limitations' to.

Car companies cant just make a car for the US market anyway they feel like, they have to conform to DOTs rules if they want to sell any cars here.

#1. Most cars can be pushed from drive to neutral without the brake pedal. And if they dont, all you have to do is activate the brake light switch circuit ( by pressing the brake pedal ) and move the shifter into neutral. This should have been done as soon as the accelerator was stuck.

#2. The key can be moved from position #2 on the ignition switch to position #1 on the ignition switch WITHOUT LOCKING THE STEERING WHEEL. Pressing the START/STOP on the ignition switch will accomplish the same thing. Should have been done long before 911 was called.

Why cant KIA duplicate the problem? Its not that they cant get the accelerator to stick, its that when they simulate the scenario, they can get the car to come out of drive and come to a safe stop.

People like this are why we have a non defeatable traction/stability control on many cars, and also why the speed limit is 55-65 in most places.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:58 AM   #11
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She's a publicity seeker. I just watched the video again this morning for about the third time. She doesn't even seem particularly excited. Supposedly she couldn't turn off the ignition because it was a pushbutton. Maybe, but that doesn't explain why she couldn't shift to neutral. I can move my transmission from Drive to Neutral any time by barely even touching it -- it's moving the trans to Park that requires the brake. And shouldn't there be continuous BRAKE LIGHTS the whole time from her supposedly dedicated efforts to stop the vehicle? I just watched the video and saw none. She said her brakes burned up ... so she stopped trying??? I think this is phony as heck and I hope they charge her.

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