Gas pedal stuck doing 130mph for 60 miles

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Following account taken from a British paper describing the harrowing account of a BMW 318 with a stuck gas pedal at 130 mph. I have to question the driver's sanity--when told his car is a write-off after he
had flipped it, he said..."I'd buy another BMW because, although there was a problem, it saved my life in that crash." Yes, but if the pedal didn't get stuck......
A motorist was trapped in his car driving at almost 130mph for 60 miles after the accelerator jammed.Kevin Nicolle, 25, was unable to stop the automatic BMW going at top speed after the malfunction on the A1.
Kevin Nicolle: 'I couldn't get the pedal off the floor. His terrifying journey, which was followed by four police cars and a helicopter, ended when he smashed the car into a roundabout, flipping it on its roof. Amazingly, the former lorry driver walked away from the accident uninjured.
"The whole thing was just a blur," he said. "I can't get it out of my head. I was terrified, hysterical and crying. "Every time I close my eyes I remember it. "It's a miracle I didn't collide with another vehicle or cause a pile-up, but I had a lot of close shaves with lorries and cars and swerved about trying to avoid them."
Mr Nicolle was driving back from friends in Newcastle to his home in Southsea, Hants, last Sunday, when the accelerator on his automatic BMW 318 jammed at Catterick, near junction 53 of the A1. He then travelled 60 miles in 26 minutes, passing through three counties.
"I had been driving for quite a while when I realised the accelerator pedal was stuck down," he said. "I had gone into the fast lane and I couldn't get the pedal off the floor. I used my hands-free phone and tried the AA to ask them what to do. At that point I wasn't panicking because I jammed my foot on the brake and that was keeping the speed to a steady 70mph. "I told the AA I couldn't slow down. I thought they might be able to give me some advice but they told me to hang up straight away and phone the police. I dialled 999 and spoke to a woman and by this time I was starting to panic because the speed of the car had increased to 100mph."
Police alerted a helicopter and four traffic cars set off to try to catch him as Mr Nicolle kept up a running commentary, all the time flashing his lights and sounding his horn to warn other motorists.
"My brakes were burning out and starting to fail - that's when the speed really started to build," he said. "I could see the speed building to 120mph or 130mph. I remember starting to shake and freeze up. I was really panicking and broke into tears. I couldn't help it because I thought I was definitely going to die.I was trying to slip the car into neutral but because the car was over-revving and red-lining I couldn't do it.
"I couldn't turn off the ignition because it would have disabled the power steering and made it even more dangerous. I was even shouting at the other drivers to get out of the way, I was getting hysterical. The traffic was getting heavier and I had to take drastic measures.I overtook someone on the verge outside the fast lane and police told me to get on to the hard shoulder. But I passed three or four slip roads and at one point I nearly T-boned someone trying to get on from the slip road.
"The woman operator told me the police were about half a mile behind me but they were finding it difficult to catch me. I told them to send an ambulance because I was going to die. I knew I was going to die.
"Then I saw a sign saying it was 800 yards to a round-about. There was a queue of cars and I swerved round them then I tried to go round the roundabout itself. I didn't deliberately try to crash the car to stop myself. I remember saying to the fireman, 'Don't cut my car, you'll damage it' but they were saying, 'Don't worry about that mate, it's written off'. I'd buy another BMW because, although there was a problem, it saved my life in that crash." Mr Nicolle overturned the car at the Blyth roundabout near Worksop. Nottinghamshire police confirmed his version of events.
A spokesman said: "Kevin was monitored doing in excess of 100mph and is lucky to have walked away with minor injuries. He phoned 999 to say that his brakes weren't working and was terrified for his life." The racing green R-reg car, which Mr Nicolle had had for a year, has been examined by police and he has been told he will not face prosecution.
A spokesman for BMW, which wants to examine the wrecked car, said: "We are unaware of any issues of that nature with that particular model."
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mistral wrote:

<snip>
What nonsense. At anything over 20mph, not having power steering would have made little difference, and would certainly not have been unsafe.
--
Grunff

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Grunff wrote:

maintain a steady speed of 70 mph untill they fried. If as soon as he noticed the problem he would have mashed the brakes he would have stopped. he also should have manually downshifted to the lowest possible gear, or just put the car in nutral. (let the engine kill itself not you).
--
========================================

Todd Zuercher
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Totally ignoring the fact that the steering doesn't lock until the key is actually removed. Mike.
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He didn't say it would have disabled the steering... just the power steering.
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I take your point, but if he knew that much, he should also have known that disabling the power steering, doesn't disable steering altogether. It's heavy yes, but easy to steer especially on a m/way. And how come the police appeared to be unaware of the fact? Pull over to the hard shoulder. Switch the ignition off. Coast to a standstill. Car stops with no drama. Instead of that scenario the car finishes up crashing into a roundabout. Something doesn't ring true to me. Surely the driver and the police involved can't all be that stupid? Mike.
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It's a scam that surfaces from time to time. Last time was only a few months ago when it was a heavy truck involved. These drivers, if they exist, could easily either turn the engine off of knock the gearbox into neutral or even brake the vehicle to a stall. If this one travelled at 130mph for 60 miles then there were no bends that would justify his reference to power steering even if it could be an issue, which it isn't. If it is genuine then he is a retard who should be permanently in a padded cell for the good of greater society.
Huw
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Urban legend. Never happended.
mistral wrote:

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JimV wrote:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4796264.stm
--
Grunff

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I can't believe that he thinks he will get away with such bullshit. Lock the lying imbecile up for everyone's protection. If anyone believes that he couldn't easily have stopped it then they too should be put away. If he were an animal he would be put down as it is cruel to keep him and he is a danger to others.
Huw
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Well, it certainly sounds odd. However the fact he was on the phone to the police during the event is certainly a twist to the "I wasn't speeding, honest officer" approach.
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By no means unique. A speeding trucker tried it not long ago. The real idiots are those that believe these stories or who give these imbeciles a licence to drive if they really can't stop their vehicles within a few seconds.
Huw
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On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 15:02:55 -0000, "Huw"

Come to California. You have no idea...
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On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 14:09:50 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@burnt.org.uk wrote:

A twist, perhaps. Proof of anything, it is not.
Unless there was an eyewitness to this bit (something the press story fails to provide) a thoughtful soul will consider this story to be nothing more than utter shite, a post-crash play-by-play performed by a mildly creative "accident victim" to cover up his random act of driving stoopidity...
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On Sat, 11 Mar 2006 14:09:50 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@burnt.org.uk waffled on about something:

I hope he was using hands-free. :o)
Dodgy.
--
MUSHROOMS ARE THE OPIATE OF THE MOOSES

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On Tue, 14 Mar 2006 14:52:25 +0000, Dodgy wrote:

Yes, he was - according to the BBC report.
Regards
Bill
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Like the Apollo 11 mission? ;-)
It's just been on the BBC news here with interviews with the driver and police who followed him.
--
*If a thing is worth doing, wouldn't it have been done already?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I don't think so, although the engine would scream a bit and maybe blow up.

It would disable the power steering and hydraulic brakes, the former is not required over about 25mph, and the latter would mean he would have to press hard to get a major effect, but hey a fit young man of 25? I would certainly prefer trying to pull up from 100+mph with no engine to trying to negotiate a busy dual carriageway at that speed.
Of course the driver might have feared activating the steering lock (which did happen to a colleague when he got his car back after theft), however he only has to turn back to auxiliary.

I have witnessed the result of a similar occurrence. About 25 years ago, a little old lady near me set off for the shops in her Triumph Dolomite 1850HL automatic. When setting off from junction of her street and the main road, she must have uncharacteristically floored it and the throttle stuck open. The car accelerated down the road, and she managed to miss a bus and just clip a Citroen, but quite soon she was doing 60mph+, and as she swung back in after overtaking some cars she overcompensated and ran the NSF into a cast iron lamp post near the kerbside. Somehow the box now jumped into reverse, and despite the damage the car now shot off backwards in a large arc, and although it missed any more cars it managed to hit another lamp post on the other side of a [very] wide road, more or less in the middle of the boot. This impact saw the post reach the rear screen and snapped the drivers seat back. The woman was taken to hospital and I presume the car was written off. The main difference is that in this case the elderly driver probably only had at most thirty seconds to decide what to do, whereas in the case above the driver was young and professional
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How would it impact on the hydraulic brakes?
the former is not

Oh you must mean the vacuum servo. You could brake steadily upwards of eight times or several times for prolonged periods before the servo assistance was lost.

Very old people or even younger ones suffering from mental degeneration get muddled easily and far-too-commonly lose control of their vehicles in situations that are quite normal otherwise. They may stand hard on the accelerator and press ever harder assuming it to be the brake while the car seems to them to inexplicably accelerate. In such a situation they just cannot understand or compute what is happening around them fast enough to react. Even after the event they just cannot comprehend what happened and will swear blind that the car just ran away despite their efforts to brake. In my local town I can remember a dentist, who was a distant relative of mine, run his car through the back wall of his garage and twenty yards up his back garden before stopping at another house wall. Also only a couple of years ago an old lady who should have been taken off the road some few years previously, lost control when parking outside a high-street supermarket and shot up the road taking another lady on her bonnet some fifty yards up the road, crossing a busy major road and stopping inside a travel agent's shop. All of these claimed that their cars took off on their own. There was only one common factor. Their age and mental agility.
Huw
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wrote >>

I am not 100% sure about the 318i, but all four 7 series I have had had hydraulic assistance on the brakes. This is more consistent than vacuum servo assistance when the engine is running, but there is no assistance when it is stopped (which would be the case of a switched off auto). The brakes still work however, but require considerable effort to get maximum braking effect.

Agree, although we have all pushed the wrong pedal occasionally albeit very briefly. In this case IME the problem was mechanical, since the car set off at max rev's in reverse after the first impact, when the driver was probably no longer operating the car.
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