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Old 24th November 2016, 22:06   #1
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Default Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

Guys. Just saw this horrifying news. Apparently this guy tried changing drive modes from Sport to Normal and the car stopped responding to his inputs and even refused to turn off.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...hed-lorry.html

I am not sure that the Octavia sold here in the UK is manufactured in India or in the Czech Republic. But I am sure the software/hardware for the cruise control and drive modes would be the same. Apparently the investigators did not find anything wrong with the electronics.

Scary stuff. Did someone in the forum face any such issue?

Last edited by racer_ash : 24th November 2016 at 22:10. Reason: added more detail
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Old 24th November 2016, 23:14   #2
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If cruise control had failed to cancel itself due to a bug or mechanical failure, it's scary to think of having such gadgets in the cars we drive. Hope the root cause is found so that it can be addressed before more lives are lost. May God rest his soul in peace.

By the way, in a lighter vain, if someone in this forum had gone through the same ordeal, he would not be answering your post.
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Old 25th November 2016, 04:00   #3
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Default Re: Skoda Octavia : Official Review

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Originally Posted by racer_ash View Post
Did someone in the forum face any such issue?
Though not in a Skoda, but not the first time with cruise control not disengaging.
This one's from my memory. This happened in a Ford Explorer in Australia: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...w-traffic.html
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Old 25th November 2016, 15:39   #4
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Default Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control out of control - Mumbai born UK based driver dead

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...operator-cars/

This looks like a scary case of unexplained electronic and mechanical failures. What's not surprising is the car manufacturer's response to the inquest. I imagine those harrowing 8 minutes when the car driver called emergency services and tried to find a solution, but couldn't!!

Many Indian cars have start stop button these days. Is there a way to cut the engine manually should the start button malfunction the way it did in this specific case?
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Old 25th November 2016, 16:01   #5
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

I guess the only way you could cut the engine is by engaging neutral. In an automatic vehicle this could be tougher considering its electronically handled.
In a manual, engaging neutral and by using the handbrake you could have a semi-controlled stop.

In a car with a start-stop button, the key needs to be present inside the car for it to start. So if you throw the key outside, the engine might cut off. Not too sure about this though.

There are other ways too. You could potentially start scraping the car into the guardrails present on most highways. The frictional losses should give some deceleration.

Maybe hitting a moving lorry could also help. The relative velocity will be lesser and the impact should disable the car's systems. The guard rails will prevent the car from going beneath the lorry.

The idea should be to disable the car somehow.
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Old 25th November 2016, 16:11   #6
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

Condolences to the departed soul. RIP.

This is the reason I prefer stuff the old school, mechanical way. More tech = more stuff that can fail. Especially true in systems where plenty of variables come into play, such as in cars.
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Old 25th November 2016, 16:22   #7
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

Hitting the brake pedal cancels the cruise control. Also one can switch off the thing completely.

There is no mention of the driver pressing the brake pedal at all. Very confusing why they would go for the handbrake option when there is a primary one available.

Terrible though to be in conversation and helpless to prevent anything from happening.
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Old 25th November 2016, 16:24   #8
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

Scary!! Though this could be termed as one of the rarest of rare cases, it still reminds us the possibility of electronic malfunction and machine refusing human to control it.

Since the victim had the presence of mind to call emergency services and stay on call for 8 minutes, in all probability it cannot be a mistake from the driver. Possibly he could have already reached great speeds when he realized that the machine is not under his control, which deterred him from progressively slowing down by scraping obstacles.

Hope the investigation will reveal the real cause. May his soul rest in peace.
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Old 25th November 2016, 16:26   #9
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

This happened in February 2016 and the news is coming out after 9 months. So I'm sure the issue would've got reported to Skoda and some investigation done. Will be good to figure out what was the root cause.
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Old 25th November 2016, 16:44   #10
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

Scary! Car won't come out of Cruise Control and won't slow in Neutral gear? And start stop not functioning too? Brakes not functioning too? It almost sounds like a total failure of the car. Was hand brake not working too? How did so many things fail? Considering he was on call for 8 minutes he would have tried all the things and it didn't work.

Would paddle shifts have worked? If he had shifted down manually using paddle shifts?

Once in my Duster I accelerated and my accelerator got stuck with a metallic designer part of the floor mat and accelerator was pressed full when I wanted to slow. I panicked for two seconds, not knowing what to do, I slightly pressed the brakes to slow down, but the engine was making so much sound with 100% accelerator pressed, I immediately pulled keys out and car stopped. It was scary. I threw away the door mats and got a basic one.

Last edited by GTO : 28th November 2016 at 11:03. Reason: Language
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Old 25th November 2016, 16:53   #11
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

RIP Mr. Gandhi

Sounds like a scene straight out of a horror movie. I don't understand why he didn't apply brakes normally. Was there a brake failure as well? Are the brakes in the Skoda Octavia electronically controlled?

Last edited by Enobarbus : 25th November 2016 at 16:57.
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Old 25th November 2016, 17:15   #12
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

A sad accident.

From that article -
Quote:
"At the time off the impact the speed of the vehicle was 152 km/h (94 mph). The accelerator pedal is recorded as having been depressed fully, five seconds prior to the impact but not depressed at all at 1.5 seconds prior to the impact. The steering input data indicates small deviations left and right during the last five seconds."
There can be a lot of 'what-ifs', but from the underlined sentence above is it possible that there was some loose floor mat or something that depreseed the accelerator pedal and the driver attributed the acceleration to the cruise control?
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Old 25th November 2016, 17:27   #13
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Didn't Toyota have a similar problem in America ? I guess something seriously went wrong. There will always be a series of events that go wrong in an accident rather than just one failure.
RIP Mr Gandhi.
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Old 25th November 2016, 17:37   #14
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

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Originally Posted by shifu View Post
A sad accident.
There can be a lot of 'what-ifs', but from the underlined sentence above is it possible that there was some loose floor mat or something that depreseed the accelerator pedal and the driver attributed the acceleration to the cruise control?
But if this is the case, why did the stop start button malfunction? Surely there can't be an obstruction on the button.
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Old 25th November 2016, 18:11   #15
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Default re: Skoda Octavia: Cruise Control malfunction! Mumbai-born UK-based driver dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by veedub89 View Post
In a car with a start-stop button, the key needs to be present inside the car for it to start. So if you throw the key outside, the engine might cut off. Not too sure about this though.
The car will give a warning that the key is not inside the vehicle, that's all. It won't stop.
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Originally Posted by greatestmj View Post
And start stop not functioning too? Breaks not functioning too?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enobarbus View Post
But if this is the case, why did the stop start button malfunction? Surely there can't be an obstruction on the button.
The Start-Stop button won't work when the car is in motion - this is to avoid a situation where your kid or a curious passenger presses it while you're cruising at 120 KMPH on a freeway, shutting down the engine resulting in power steering and brakes not getting any assist.

My answers on Start-Stop is based on my 2013 Verna SX (O), but I've the implementation to be very similar in other cars too.
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