An Excuse To Speed…
from the that's-a-good-one dept
Want a good excuse to speed, while having the police help clear a path for you rather than chase you? Just make sure you get one of these newer cars that don’t use a key ignition, but have either a magnetic swipe card or a wireless ignition system, then set the cruise control up to 120 mph. Next, call the police from your mobile phone and tell them your cruise control is stuck, but you can’t cut the engine because it works off the magnetic keycard and the brakes don’t seem to be doing anything. Of course, it’s quite possible that it wasn’t so much someone trying to speed, but a real problem for a motorist in France who claims his car wouldn’t slow down as his cruise control took over and sent him speeding around the highways of France for about an hour with police clearing the way as much as possible. I don’t know much about the car in question (a Renault Vel Satis) or the magnetic card ignition system it used, but what kind of car doesn’t have some way to kill the ignition? What kind of car doesn’t have the ability to shift into neutral? Also, why is it that the brakes suddenly came back to life when he was approaching a tollbooth? While it is possible that something went haywire, it seems like more details are needed.
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In other news
While we can be suspicious, look at past incidents. BMW’s that lock businessmen inside, various drive-by-wire accelerations, computerized transmissions that shift by themselves into low gears at high speeds and self-destruct. Software is quite fallible, thanks to the humans who write it, and there will be an increasing number of problems like this as such systems become more common. And would you shift into neutral or low gear to slow such a crazy car and destroy the tranmission in the deal? Would the computer even let you if your would? In some cases no it won’t. I do agree that not having a traditional key that stops everything is nuts, but some cars are now built that way including the latest Corvette and some foreign supercars. Ah, progress. BTW, I’ve got a Chryler 300C on order that has already had a transmission recall (2 of them in fact) due to faulty software.
A few years back, the husband of a woman who worked in my building drove his almost-new Ford Explorer into the side of the building.
He claimed that he was pulling into the parking spot when the truck suddenly lurched forward and crashed into the building. It wasn’t anywhere near where his wife worked, so I don’t think he was trying to ram her or anything… 😉
They had the car towed to the dealership and refused to take it back until the dealership or Ford acknowledged there was a flaw in the truck (last I heard, they ended up taking it back with no acknowledgement of fault).
The funny part of the story takes place a few weeks later. The construction crew had erected a plywood awning over the hole in the wall and in the process of taking it down, the wind caught hold of a large section and sent it crashing directly onto the hood of the car belonging to the woman who’s husband had caused the hole in the first place.
I told her it was God’s way of letter her know not to park there any more…