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Unread 02-14-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
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Another runaway car story...

There was a series of these involving Toyota a few years back. Here's a new one involving a Renault. Driver takes hour-long ride trapped in car going 125 mph | Motoramic - Yahoo! Autos

Here's what I don't get...With all of these cars can't you kill the engine by taking the keys out of the ignition or shifting the car out of drive, or is there some technology that has replaced these basic functions?

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Unread 02-14-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
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I keep trying to use this an excuse to get out of speeding tickets, but it doesn't work for some reason.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 11:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
There was a series of these involving Toyota a few years back. Here's a new one involving a Renault. Driver takes hour-long ride trapped in car going 125 mph | Motoramic - Yahoo! Autos

Here's what I don't get...With all of these cars can't you kill the engine by taking the keys out of the ignition or shifting the car out of drive, or is there some technology that has replaced these basic functions?
No, the basic function of the human brain is the part that is missing from these stories. I don't think people understand the level of incompetence that is inherent in the general public when it comes to motor vehicles. A recent survey of BMW 1-series owners revealed that most of them thought their car was front wheel drive.
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Unread 02-14-2013, 11:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulletman

No, the basic function of the human brain is the part that is missing from these stories. I don't think people understand the level of incompetence that is inherent in the general public when it comes to motor vehicles. A recent survey of BMW 1-series owners revealed that most of them thought their car was front wheel drive.
That's the confusing thing. The article says he was on the phone with a Renault engineer...who never told him to take the car out of gear or turn the key?
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Unread 02-15-2013, 02:00 AM   #5
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This was a specially adapted car, as you can read in the article. I doubt it had the traditional "gears". It also had a push button starter. The hand throttle hints at everything being electronically controlled. The electronics could have borked.
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Unread 02-15-2013, 02:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
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This was a specially adapted car, as you can read in the article. I doubt it had the traditional "gears". It also had a push button starter. The hand throttle hints at everything being electronically controlled. The electronics could have borked.
That's why I'm asking the question. I don't really know how push button starters work. My (limited) understanding is that they should also kill the electronics. Also, even though it's a hand throttle and a hand control set, would it not still have the six (or so) positions of a traditional automatic (P, D, N, R, 2, 1)?

Of course, I'm not really as focused on this single case as the (seemingly) general issue of runaway cars that now seems to pop up every couple years.
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Unread 02-17-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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This was a specially adapted car, as you can read in the article. I doubt it had the traditional "gears". It also had a push button starter. The hand throttle hints at everything being electronically controlled. The electronics could have borked.
You're right. I'll admit I didn't read the article, but was just responding to the post.


Reason #546846734298578 why I find any electronic device that removes mechanical control of a vehicle undesirable.
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Unread 03-05-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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press & hold a push button start for a couple seconds and it'll turn off the car, just like the power switch on a computer (old computers were instant on/off toggles, since the mid 90's they've been "soft" switches that require a press & hold).

Honestly having read the article, it smells bogus to me. What's likely is that due to his disability and panic he couldn't stop the car, not that it couldn't have been done.

For what it's worth, shifting to neutral isn't the worst thing ever on a new car (as long as you shut it down ASAP since it'll sit on the limiter) but on old carb'ed cars it'll cause you to eat the valve, since there's no limiter at all
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Unread 03-08-2013, 02:21 PM   #9
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True, but eating a valve is still more fun than eating a jersey barrier.
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