Well, the wife was pulling into the garage and she took her foot off the
accelerator to apply the brakes - the car maintained its' speed and ran
through the garage and into the wall leading into the house.
The insurance company has hired a team to investigate but I was just
wondering if anyone else experienced this problem.
BTW the damage is estimated at $7300+. The adjuster couldn't open the hood
and is waiting on the body shop to check for other damage... Don't know
the speed at impact.
Not 100% related, but...
As I had an accident 4 days ago where a X5 3d was in park and the
handbrake was on and the car was suddenly revving off the scale and
hitting a wall on the left and then onto a car 10 yards in front of me
even with both my feet on the brake by this time and my left hand
pulling the handbrake up as far as it would go I wouldn't mind knowing
Noone believes me, everyone thinks it was in drive and my foot slipped
onto the gas peddle, but I know the truth and think my X5 is a death
Colin Harris, West Sussex, UK.
I concur. If Mr. Harris had, as he claims, "both feet on the brake"
then there is simply no way that the car could have done this,
computer malfunction, stray cosmic rays, nothing..
One or both feet flooring the accelerator pedal will, oddly enough,
produce *all* the symptoms he describes, but given that an accident
and possibly serious property damage and personal injury has occurred
then I can understand why he or anyone would want to strenuously deny
even the *slightest* possibility that they may have been mistakenly
standing on the throttle and not the brake.
The other odd thing is that this only ever seems to happen to people
with automatics. Never a manual transmission. Weird.
I understand all this. Surprisingly - noone was injured or is claiming
to be and damage to property is very slight, and as I am obviously at
fault (I was the car behind) this is coming off my insurance. I am not
arguing with or disputing that fact. I live in the UK where you don't
sue for millions for every incident.
I am more worried I have a death trap!!
I too wondered about the throttle thing. But the fact is - at the time
- the car was idling and neither foot was on a peddle, because neither
needed to be.
Strangely BMW themselves rang me today and asked if repairs would be
through my insurance or if i would be taking action agianst them. They
will also be getting a specialist enginner to look at the car and a
mechanic who asked me not to quote him said they have heard of
something similar 'once'.
Basically I can get my car repaired and back on the road. But I want
to make sure this doesn't hapen again! There could have been school
children in front of me! I'm not an idiot - I wasn't drunk, I know
neither foot was on a peddle, it was like the cruise i'd been unsing 5
mins before at 75 had kicked back in, but can I can 100% of the exact
Colin Harris, West Sussex, UK.
On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 22:30:07 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Colin Harris)
You'll have to pardon my skepticism. I'm trying to understand - from
a combined mechanical and electronic point of view - how a vehicle can
get itself out of 'park,' open the throttle wide, and then disable the
(presumably dual circuit) foot brake and then the handbrake all at
once. OK, I'll grant you that the handbrake may not have helped very
much in that situation, but everything else takes a bit of explaining.
You're talking about simultaneous and catastrophic (and somewhat
perverse) failure of at least three systems. Your car must have a
The M3 had an "Easter egg" that would launch the car, nothing even
remotely serious as you describe, however maybe this one is a bit more
rogue. Did the car behave normally following this event, if so that
might (really stretching it here) point down the software/computer path
otherwise as it has been stated it would be a simultaneous and
catastrophic event of physical systems that probably has a million to
one chance of happening.
I've almost got the wife convinced for the OK on the new BMW
so I started reading the group ahead of time :)
Well I don't know what people are trying to say I want to get out of
this. I'm not looking to sue anyone, to get anything for free, and I
have no need to avoid any kind of lawsuit. I love my X5 and have been
looking forward to ordering the next version.
In the UK fully comprehensive insurance pays out for everything and I
am 'at fault' because I was the rear car in an accident. But unless I
have another 2 accidents in the next 3 years I won't loose my 65% no
claims discount because it's so long since I had another smash
(several years and that wasn't my fault).
Here are the facts as I can remember them and from witnesses....
I had just driven home about 300 miles some of it on cruise. About a
mile from home I stopped and filled up with diesel. I then went to
their automated car wash. Another car was in there. So I pulled up
behind it. Put it in park (It might not have slipped all the way in -
but it would surely have been in reverse then?) and pulled on the
handbrake. The car was not creeping or moving in any way. My feet were
not on the peddles. Either of them. I pressed the window open button
so i coudl tap in my code to get the car wash working for me as I
could see the car I'd been behind for maybe 30 seconds was almost
done. Suddenly I'm hitting the wall of the car wash on the left and
then into the car in front. I don't remember moving my feet. UNTIL I
started moving - then I put my right foot on the brake - nothing -
kept going forward and accelerating. Put left foot on brake (wasn't
gas - remember resistance) over right foot (right foot still has
bruises to show for it), pulled on hand brake in case main brakes had
failed or were controled my electronics. Still couldn't stop it.
The whole thing took less than a second until I'd hit the car in front
and was still revving. I now realised what to do and took the key out
- it stopped. The total distance travelled was about 10 yards.
I put key back in and restarted - now I could reverse out. I drove car
home about an hour later after I'd stopped shaking and it behaved
The guys from the car showroom at the back of the gas station came out
to help. They told me they assumed someone had gone mad through their
forecourt because the engine noise was so great. The people in the car
in front (very nice people who seemed more concerned about me than
their car - probably because i was so shaken after what had just
happened and I couldn't explain it) told me they heard an 'enourmous
noise' and then a crash and then they were hit.
BMW tell me 10 yards and a second is not enough time to rev the car
that high using my foot.
I can't explain. I've gone through it all - was it still in drive -
was the hand brake not on - did my foot hit the bottom hinge of the
gas peddle? They are all no as far as I can be sure.
I just want to know if this is mechanically possible - because it
sounds like nonsense to me. I just don't want this happening again.
Colin Harris, West Sussex, UK.
To rephrase that, no car that is at a standing stop can overpower its
brakes. A car that is moving at freeway speeds can overpower the brakes for
a while but the brakes will eventually win the battle. The problem here is
that the brakes might overheat in the process, but as a practicle matter, I
don't think this has ever happened.
I once had a car that tried to Resume its speed while the Cruise Control was
on, and I used the brakes. When I let the brakes off, the car went to Full
Throttle to get back up to speed, but using the brakes turned the gas off,
so it was no big deal to haul the car down to a stop.
The X5 is a fly-by-wire system, not operated by a throttle cable. I suppose
the car could go to full throttle, but if one was on the brake pedal, they
should be able to keep the car in place long enough to turn the ignitiion
off. Something is fishy here.
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