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Unintended Sudden Acceleration of an Hyundai Elantra Ended in High-Speed Crash

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Old 02-22-13, 12:47 PM   #1
ydooby
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Default Unintended Sudden Acceleration of a Hyundai Elantra Ended in High-Speed Crash

I believe the Elantra did not get a brake override system installed until the 2012 model year.

http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Sudde...192386781.html

Teenage driver says car sped out of control in 100-plus-mile ride

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 6:42 PM

ROCKWALL -– A North Texas family is trying to figure out why their teenage son’s Hyundai suddenly seemed to accelerate out of control.

The car raced along Texas highways for more than an hour at speeds of 100 miles per hour, while the 16-year-old driver pleaded with 911 dispatchers for help.

“Please, just do anything,” Elez Lushaj begged dispatchers in recordings obtained by News 8.

Emergency operators are heard on the calls frantically trying to find a solution. They urge the teenager - without success - to try different ways to bring the 2011 Hyundai Elantra under control, including putting it in neutral, or turning off the ignition.

“It won’t go in neutral. He can’t turn it off. The brake pedal won’t work,” a dispatcher is heard saying on the recording.

“I am calling a Hyundai dealership to see if they have any tips," she continues to tell the teenager, "because I have looked online and there’s nothing.”

It appears she never was able to connect with a dealership.

Lushaj told police his car first started accelerating on Highway 183 in Bedford Sunday morning on December 2. He continued driving at excessive speeds on highways and interstates for nearly 120 miles. 911 dispatchers alerted police officers and county deputies, who struggled to keep pace with the speeding sedan.

“It took me a while,” said Rockwall County Deputy Tim Williamson. “I probably got above 130 [miles per hour] trying to catch him… one of the lieutenants said we passed him at 123 [mph], and he knew they couldn’t catch up to us.”

Deputy Williamson’s dashboard camera captured much of the pursuit as he followed Lushaj traveling east on Interstate 30, away from the congested suburbs of Dallas. At times, the video shows the teen swerving onto the shoulder to avoid hitting cars.

“He just stayed right on the highway -- never tried to get off, never tried to do anything evasive,” Williamson said. “It’s pretty crazy. Being in his shoes, he did a good job driving.”

Williamson activated his lights and blared his sirens to clear traffic ahead of Lushaj. Unsure what else to do, he hoped the teen’s car would eventually run out of gas.

“When I passed him, he was kind of just sitting there, holding the steering wheel with both hands,” the deputy said. “Not looking left. Not looking right… if we had a long, open stretch of highway, he was pretty much in the left lane.”

Despite officers’ efforts to help, the teenager eventually lost control when a semi pulled in front of him outside of Sulphur Springs. The car flipped four times before stopping on its side along the highway.

Lushaj had several broken bones, but was talking when Williamson ran up to the vehicle.

“He had a little bit of blood, but other than that, he was in real good shape for having wrecked out at that speed,” he said.

Hyundai said it can’t explain what may have caused the car to suddenly accelerate, but called it “extremely unlikely for simultaneous and spontaneous total system failures for the brakes, accelerator and transmission to occur at the same time,” in an e-mail written by company spokesman Jim Trainor to News 8.

“We have heard nothing on this, which is extremely odd for a legitimate complaint,” he added. “We would like to speak with the customer and look into this.”

The teen’s father called the incident a “nightmare” and said his son will likely have permanent damage from the wreck. The Lushajs declined further comment, based on advice from their attorney, who said he is considering litigation.

In May, a Hyundai Sonata in Korea was captured on dashboard camera video speeding through crowded city streets at 80 mph before crashing. The Korean government said it planned to investigate if sudden acceleration was at fault.

That month, Hyundai announced that it would start installing brake override systems in all of its cars. The device is designed to stop sudden acceleration incidents. The Korean automaker said in a news release at the time it was making the move to avoid “the remote possibility” that a car would “accelerate contrary to driver input.”

Toyota faced enormous scrutiny after reports surfaced of its cars mysteriously speeding out of control. Since 2009, Toyota has recalled millions of its vehicles after allegations of sudden acceleration caused by sticking gas pedals or misplaced floor mats.
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Unintended Sudden Acceleration of an Hyundai Elantra Ended in High-Speed Crash-0221-out-of-control-hyundai.jpg   Unintended Sudden Acceleration of an Hyundai Elantra Ended in High-Speed Crash-0221-out-of-control-hyundai2.jpg   Unintended Sudden Acceleration of an Hyundai Elantra Ended in High-Speed Crash-0221-out-of-control-hyundai3.jpg   Unintended Sudden Acceleration of an Hyundai Elantra Ended in High-Speed Crash-0221-out-of-control-hyundai4.jpg   Unintended Sudden Acceleration of an Hyundai Elantra Ended in High-Speed Crash-0221-out-of-control-hyundai5.jpg  


Last edited by ydooby; 02-23-13 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 02-22-13, 01:05 PM   #2
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I'm glad the young man didn't suffer any serious injuries.

After following the Toyota sudden acceleration reports closely, I'd like to see more details on what happened.

Can an Elantra do 130 mph?
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Old 02-22-13, 01:10 PM   #3
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^^My thoughts exactly, and I'm amazed at how he managed to cover that much distance without hurting anyone else..
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Old 02-22-13, 01:20 PM   #4
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poor kid and crazy that he was able to get a hold of dispatchers
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Old 02-22-13, 03:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexBob2 View Post
Can an Elantra do 130 mph?
Yes..........
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Old 02-22-13, 05:46 PM   #6
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I dunno, I just don't believe in these unintended acceleration cases. I mean you have an e/parking brake, brakes, throw the shifter into reverse or park and if that's not working well you have a shift lock, and if that doesn't work well grind the car into a guard rail.
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Old 02-23-13, 07:57 AM   #7
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dash cam video link?
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Old 02-23-13, 08:24 AM   #8
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I agree, unless your car is named "Christine", there are just too many ways to slow or bring it to a halt. If the brakes went up in smoke and you can't knock it out of gear, turn off the ignition, or use the e-brake, you can at least find something soft and cheap to run into like a fence line, hayfield, shrubbery, brush, sand, or a thicket of small trees. Forget saving the car, save your life.
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Old 02-23-13, 09:45 AM   #9
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If they really did fake it, it's a shame that they put himself and all those people in danger.
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Old 02-23-13, 10:04 AM   #10
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Notice how all the unintended acceleration cases only started to really occur over the past few years. I had never heard of them before. Me thinks it's people trying to make a quick buck in a stupid manner.
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Old 02-23-13, 10:05 AM   #11
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glad the guy wasn't hurt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoovey2411 View Post
I dunno, I just don't believe in these unintended acceleration cases. I mean you have an e/parking brake, brakes, throw the shifter into reverse or park and if that's not working well you have a shift lock, and if that doesn't work well grind the car into a guard rail.
I don't either.

Let's start with the easiest and obvious by putting it in N.........and I want to see/hear someone prove/recreate it where you CAN'T put it in neutral.

Quote:
“It won’t go in neutral. He can’t turn it off. The brake pedal won’t work,” a dispatcher is heard saying on the recording.
Not calling this guy a liar, but I'm having a hard time understanding this.

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Old 02-23-13, 10:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoovey2411 View Post
I dunno, I just don't believe in these unintended acceleration cases. I mean you have an e/parking brake, brakes, throw the shifter into reverse or park and if that's not working well you have a shift lock, and if that doesn't work well grind the car into a guard rail.
You took the words out of my mouth.

Especially that Lexus ES350 crashed in San Diego, that car was a loaner, I would sooo grind it into a guard rail and call a lawyer. But then that would never happen to me since I would just reach down and pull the floor mat back. I think it is so stupid that a floor mat issue like that is totally the manufacturer's fault. I feel so sorry for Toyota for being blame for people's own stupidity. And we always wonder why manufacturers are always so afraid to sell their high performance models in the U.S., because they know U.S. drivers are dumb, they would hurt themselves from their own stupidity, then sue the manufacturers for it.

And that driver was a CHP officer, you would think he knows the basic function of a car

He died though, so at least we know he was not faking it.

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Old 02-23-13, 10:52 AM   #13
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To everyone, while it is second nature to us how a car works, I think there are tons of driver on the road really don't understand all the basic function of a car. I can see how if their gas pedal is stuck under the floor mat, they really have no clue what to do.

I really believe they have no clue how to or what "putting it into neutral" means.

So I think is more like they don't know how, is not that they can't do it.
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Old 02-23-13, 10:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNR34 View Post
To everyone, while it is second nature to us how a car works, I think there are tons of driver on the road really don't understand all the basic function of a car. I can see how if their gas pedal is stuck under the floor mat, they really have no clue what to do.

I really believe they have no clue how to or what "putting it into neutral" means.

So I think is more like they don't know how, is not that they can't do it.
I agree, and to that effect perhaps its a question or test that needs to be asked when taking a driving school course. What to do in the event of etc etc..

And yeah sure adrenaline is pumping in the event of a problem, but if you know what to do or heard in the past, there is better chance of success of taking over the situation
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Old 02-23-13, 11:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoovey2411 View Post
I agree, and to that effect perhaps its a question or test that needs to be asked when taking a driving school course. What to do in the event of etc etc..

And yeah sure adrenaline is pumping in the event of a problem, but if you know what to do or heard in the past, there is better chance of success of taking over the situation
Agreed. The U.S. driving test is really wayyyy too easy, it is a huge source of all the problems we have on the street.

We looked into cars because we are car enthusiasts, for the general public, they really are clueless. And cars and driving is such a huge parts of our live.
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