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Old 15th February 2013, 20:46   #1
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Default Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...=SOCNETTXT6966

Car got maxed out and stuck at 125mph with no brakes! Poor driver tried in vain to stop the vehicle but had to wait till the car ran out of fuel.. well that happened only after 125 miles on expressway!

Quote:
When Frank Lecerf drove off to do his weekly supermarket shop in northern France, he was not expecting to embark on a high-speed car chase that would force him over the Belgian border and on to the national news bulletins.

Lecerf has filed a legal complaint after his Renault Laguna, which is adapted for disabled drivers, jammed at 200km/h (125mph) and the brakes failed, forcing him to continue careering along a vast stretch of French motorway and into Belgium. Police gave chase until he ran out of petrol and crashed into a ditch.

The 36 year old was on a dual carriageway on his way to a hypermarket when the car's speed first jammed at 60mph. Each time he tried to brake, the car accelerated, eventually reaching 125mph and sticking there.

While uncontrollably speeding through the fast lane as other cars swerved out of his way, he managed to call emergency services who immediately dispatched a platoon of police cars.

Realising Lecerf had no choice but to keep racing along until his petrol ran out, they escorted him at high speed across almost 125 miles of French motorway, past Calais and Dunkirk, and over the Belgian border.

Puzzled motorists gave way as the high-speed convoy approached. Three toll stations were warned to raise their barriers as Lecerf ploughed through. After about an hour, his petrol tank spluttered empty and he managed to swerve into a ditch in Alveringem in Belgium, about 125 miles from his home, in Pont-de-Metz, near the northern French city of Amiens.

"My life flashed before me," he told Le Courrier picard. "I just wanted it to stop." He was unhurt but had two epileptic seizures.

A Renault technician had been on the phone with police throughout the chase trying to help but couldn't come up with a solution.

Lecerf said that it wasn't the first time his speed dial had jammed but that Renault had looked at the car and assured him that it was fine.

His lawyer said he would file a legal complaint over "endangerment of a person's life".

Renault told France 2 TV that it would await the results of an investigation.


Points to note:
1. It was a modified car for disabled. Not sure if the mods were done by Renault.
2. The driver had unknown disabilities.
3. Apparently the car had only start/stop button and thus could not be 'keyed off'. Does the ECU does not allow to kill the engine if your car is cruising?

Last edited by bejoy : 15th February 2013 at 20:51.
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Old 15th February 2013, 20:49   #2
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

The first thing that flashed my mind when I read it in this mornings newspaper, was why did he not shift the car to neutral?
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Old 15th February 2013, 20:54   #3
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

+1 to that

and couldn't he apply handbrake to at least slow down by some amount(after toasting some car components though!)?
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Old 15th February 2013, 20:55   #4
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

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Last edited by GTO : 16th February 2013 at 14:05.
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Old 15th February 2013, 21:18   #5
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

And apart from neutral and all, what about engine braking? Does it take 125 miles for the car to stop standstill if foot/hand (whichever is applicable) left from accelerator?
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Old 15th February 2013, 21:57   #6
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

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Originally Posted by tbppjpr View Post
And apart from neutral and all, what about engine braking? Does it take 125 miles for the car to stop standstill if foot/hand (whichever is applicable) left from accelerator?
Traditional AT dont have engine breaking,
and as far as what i can work out, the brakes and accelerator seem to have malfunctioned probably due to an electrical fault. The car was made to work for the disabled so probably it could maintain a speed, like a cruise control.
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Old 15th February 2013, 22:14   #7
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

Wow, that must have been scary. One mistake at 200 and it is probably lights out.

Guess he tried whatever he could and apparently even the Renault technician could not figure out how to stop the car.

Even worse is this accelerator jamming problem has happened before. Luckily nobody was hurt in his drive.

I can only imagine the carnage if something like that had happened in India.
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Old 15th February 2013, 22:47   #8
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

Quote:
Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
Traditional AT dont have engine breaking,
and as far as what i can work out, the brakes and accelerator seem to have malfunctioned probably due to an electrical fault. The car was made to work for the disabled so probably it could maintain a speed, like a cruise control.
I second agambhandari's assumption. The car is automatic with cruise control which is almost sure. There may be some unknown issue with the cruise control then. Its so bad even the Renault technician could not do anything. However lets wait for the Renault investigation report(if the guardian keeps on tracking this event).
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Old 15th February 2013, 23:19   #9
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

Im pretty sure that the renault technician must have advised him to shift to neutral, even if he missed doing that himself.

All i can make out is that the car was stuck at 125mph . Thank god he was on the motorway, or else this story could have had a sad ending to it.
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Old 15th February 2013, 23:41   #10
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

It was a modified car for a disabled person. We have no idea what all controls were available to the driver.
Lets just be glad that no one was hurt.

On a lighter note, the dude got to drive 125 miles at 125 mph, with police escorts!! At some level, i envy him
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Old 16th February 2013, 00:50   #11
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

Quote:
Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
+1 to that

and couldn't he apply handbrake to at least slow down by some amount(after toasting some car components though!)?
Handbrake at 200 kph? I suppose that would be even more dangerous since he would risk spinning out of control.
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Old 16th February 2013, 12:49   #12
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

Why in the world did he end up in the ditch after the fuel got empty? I mean he managed to drive a distance of 125 miles at 125 mph with no brakes, yet he could not coast the vehicle to a stop?

Anyway whatever his disabilities were, he is a skillful driver for sure.
He managed to maintain his composure for an hour knowing that his life could end in a split second.

Also kudos to him for keeping himself and other drivers safe. And of course the emergency personnel who raced (pun very much intended) to him in no time.
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Old 16th February 2013, 13:38   #13
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

It seems that the owner of the car was a guinea pig of Renault's experiment for the disabled. The driver must have tried & the technician suggested putting the car in neutral, but, the controls have been overridden by the electrical fault in this case, & Renault might not have any explanation in this case (as it is not an Indian case, so that they could run the "illegal/ aftermarket mods/ fitments" tone across news channels).

Unfortunately, we blame homegrown auto cos for lapses, when the Europeans, who are worst at this are not just left free in India, but enjoy enviable reputation .

After my recent visit to Renault showroom & this incident Renault is off my radar for the next vehicle.
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Old 16th February 2013, 13:56   #14
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

Police role is really praise-worthy. Escorting him through and through and ensuring the barriers were lifted. Wow! Can you imagine that here? Forget cops. In India, Huuuuuge spead-breakers at toll gate would have ended this story in a big tragedy.
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Old 16th February 2013, 14:43   #15
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Default re: Driver trapped in a car speeding at 125 mph

Dont we have something called the IGNITION KEY.

Take that off the car and the whole car will stall the moment u do it.
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