A stuck accelerator recently forced an Iowa woman on a frightening, high-speed drive down Interstate 35 in Missouri.
Lauri Ulvestad raced in and out of traffic, swerving into grassy medians along the way for 35 minutes, according to media reports. (See attached video.)
She called 911 for help, and on the call she can be heard saying: "I'm coming up on a bunch of cars. I'm so scared."
-- Has this ever happened to you? If so, what advice would you give to others on keeping calm and getting control of their vehicle.
In 2009 and 2010 Toyoto issued a recall related to this very issue, and in a two-month span, there were 4.2 million vehicles included.
The vehicle involved in the Missouri incident is a 2011 Kia Sorento SUV.
In Ulvestad's case, pulling up on the accelerator while pressing firmly down on the brake finally did the trick, according to media reports. (This is what I had to do.) To get the engine to shut off in the Missouri incident, the battery had to be eventually disconnected.
In most cases: First, press and hold the brakes and shift the transmission into neutral. Then, use your brakes (hold the brakes down with exceptionally more force than you normally would) to bring the car to a stop on the side of the road and shut off the engine. Shift the car into park."In every car, the brakes are more powerful than the engine, so eventually the brakes will win," Popular Mehanics reported.
Do not pump your breaks, though you may be tempted. This could actually make it more difficult to stop a vehicle that is speeding out of control. Engineers found that pumping the brakes could cause the system to lose its power assist.
Be aware that if you have to turn off the engine while still moving, that it could be more dangerous than shifting into neutral because you could lose the power steering. In modern vehicles with a push-button ignition, engineers advised motorists to hold the button in for about 3 seconds before the engine shuts off. This could take a while for the engine to completely cruise to a stop.