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View Full Version : What's with the Oz runaway Ford thing?



Billy T
16-12-2009, 11:45 PM
Cruise control failure is all very well, but I can't see how it could lock the transmission in drive, or prevent the ignition key from shutting off the engine, cruise control wouldn't be linked to either of those so unless it was an electrical failure and both the transmission and the steering were electronically controlled it just couldn't happen like that.

On top of that, if the driver really did pull the key out (which means turning the engine off), the steering would have locked on him with any significant steering movement and he'd have speared off into the barrier pretty damned quickly. After all that, in the end he stopped it with the brakes anyway, so it all sounds like he was off his head to me, or was having a real US of A 'girly-girl' moment.

Is there anybody deeply technical with cars around who could explain how come the key didn't turn off the engine or key removal lock the steering?

I'd be curious to know what SJ thinks about all this too.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Cicero
17-12-2009, 05:55 AM
Like B,I didn't get any sleep last night over this question!

prefect
17-12-2009, 08:36 AM
I think the guy panicked.

Cicero
17-12-2009, 09:20 AM
I think the guy panicked.

We know he panicked,but what of the fail safe systems?

Paul.Cov
17-12-2009, 09:27 AM
Yeah, this has puzzled me too, with the conclusion that the driver has / had some issues with himself, not with the car.

First clue was that he was able to steer and still find the phone number for the Ford helpline. Honestly, if you couldn't stop your car, would you be phoning Ford?

Too busy grandstanding.

Brakes, throttle, ignition, transmission, clutch... too many good options that ALL weren't helping?

This nutter should lose his licence until he's had a psych assessment.

kenj
17-12-2009, 10:19 AM
...and trees.

Ken :lol:

wratterus
17-12-2009, 10:37 AM
Yeah when I saw the headline I expected it to be a blonde in Florida, but no.. :illogical

bob_doe_nz
17-12-2009, 11:32 AM
Shoddy US/Aus technology :D

R2x1
17-12-2009, 11:38 AM
Lucas would NEVER cause this problem
(The car would still be in the garage with the bonnet up.)

george12
17-12-2009, 12:05 PM
"He finally stopped the runaway Ford 54km later by slamming on the brakes and pulling the handbrake at the same time."

Why not do that 54km earlier?

Billy T
17-12-2009, 12:52 PM
He did play around with the foot brake earlier, but said the pedal went 'hard'.

Welcome to brake fade, which usually follows closely behind brain fade, especially as you approach right-angle bends at the foot of long steep grades at around Warp 9, while changing a CD..............:help:.

It was probably an automatic, which would at least excuse him for not depressing the clutch, but very little else. As for the Ford Help Line, I'm surprised he was able to leaf through a phone book while careering out of control down the motorway, or perhaps he got the manual out of the glove box, which, surprisingly, failed to lock automatically when he engaged cruise control.

This guy has caused no end of grief at Chez Billy because I've only just managed to convince Mrs T that cruise control is a fine and wondrous asset, and now she says I can't use it anymore.

Fortunately she doesn't know that it is controlled from the steering wheel so I'll be able to get away with it until the heat dies down.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Agent_24
17-12-2009, 01:00 PM
Ever had a computer with a brain-dead motherboard? sometimes the basic functions like the power button don't work correctly in that circumstance

It's probably unlikely but I wouldn't rule out an electrical failure either.

If it took the guy 54km to finally stop the thing, you'd think he'd have stopped panicking by then

I've seen cars being recalled for repair, there was some Japanese brand which had faulty brake lines, and a Citroen which had bad seals around some electrical part which eventually caused corrosion and led to a fire hazard

Cicero
17-12-2009, 01:05 PM
...and trees.

Ken :lol:

This nutter should lose his licence until he's had a psych assessment.

Do they do sych tests on trees?

--Wolf--
17-12-2009, 01:17 PM
A link in this thread would've been nice.

Couple of things people haven't pointed out: (from here (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/police-yet-to-examine-runaway-cruise-control-vehicle/story-e6frf7jx-1225811256036))

Pumping the brakes only slowed the car down to 80km/h and he couldn't pull the vehicle out of gear or turn the keys to shut off the engine.

The model was part of Ford's largest ever global recall on faulty cruise control devices but the company insists the incident has no link to known faults and problems with the device.

Sounds pretty legit to me.

Billy T
17-12-2009, 01:54 PM
Pumping the brakes only slowed the car down to 80km/h and he couldn't pull the vehicle out of gear or turn the keys to shut off the engine.

If you believe that, you'll believe anything, and I have some very old US Railway Stock Certificates that are now worth millions and they are yours for a very modest price.

If you read his own words, he pulled the keys out of the ignition, so unless you are extraordinarily technically challenged, you will know that you can't do that without turning the engine off (and locking the steering once you move it off centre).

As for the taking out of gear, it might be hard in a manual under load, but that is what a clutch is for, and in any automatics I've driven you could pull it out of drive at any time you like, it doesn't have to pass through lower gears.

He also claims that he did use the brakes to stop, which puts paid to that argument. The handbrake doesn't provide anything like the retardation that the foot brake can, its only advantage is that it still works when the brake fluid is boiling.

The Ford recall problem was nothing like this either, and didn't affect cruise control operation per se. See below:

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :confused:

Ford found that brake fluid could leak through the cruise deactivation switch into the cruise system's electrical components and cause corrosion. Corrosion can cause a short and keep the cruise control from working, but in some cases it can lead to a higher flow of current that can overheat and cause a fire at the switch.

prefect
17-12-2009, 02:06 PM
I agree the guy must be few sandwiches short of a picnic.

--Wolf--
17-12-2009, 03:13 PM
(rant)
so unless you are extraordinarily technically challenged, you will know that you can't do that without turning the engine off (and locking the steering once you move it off centre).
(more ranting)


Actually, I can do this in my car without turning the engine off or locking the steering. Granted, my car is 24 years old but hey I must be extraordinarily technically challenged right.

Oh, and you can keep your train pictures, I'm more into the cars :)

Billy T
17-12-2009, 06:28 PM
Actually, I can do this in my car without turning the engine off or locking the steering. Granted, my car is 24 years old but hey I must be extraordinarily technically challenged right.

Nah, just relevance poor and cognitively challenged, with a time-warp on the side.

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :p

beetle
17-12-2009, 06:36 PM
What are you guys on about?

link to this elusive piece of information that you are talking about?

Its been a hard day in my world, be nice to me......... :stare:

beetle

Billy T
17-12-2009, 07:09 PM
This Link (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/police-yet-to-examine-runaway-cruise-control-vehicle/story-e6frf7jx-1225811256036) will explain as much of it as can be explained beetle.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Sweep
17-12-2009, 07:11 PM
Link here:-
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/12/16/2773868.htm?section=justin

HTH.

kenj
17-12-2009, 07:11 PM
This nutter should lose his licence until he's had a psych assessment.

Do they do sych tests on trees?

Seriously about the trees... when I went on a defensive driving course in the '70s, we were told that a row of trees 2-3 inches thick were a great way to stop a car. At that thickness they snap off and slow things down rapidly without doing to much damage to the driver. Never had to try it out myself. :2cents:

Ken

wmoore
18-12-2009, 08:21 AM
I wrote about this in another forum and this was one of the replies.

It sounds like his biggest problem was his panic, I honestly can't see any reason to be stuck like that for such a distance.

I have a Ford Explorer and although I'd not recommend pulling the ignition key out of any car as it will almost certainly set the steering lock (yeah I know, Saab drivers and others can sneer here), he could certainly have turned the engine off without damage though he would definitely find the steering a complete bar-steward when the power assistance dies - I know because my idler pulley bearing went out 2 weeks ago and I had to wrestle the thing all the way home.

The Explorer also has the master switch for the cruise control mounted on the steering wheel - he could have used that to try to decelerate, cancel the speed setting or turn the cruise control off altogether.
Additionally, Explorers are not available with a manual gearbox so he could easily have shifted it into neutral from drive at any speed without damage.
The explorer handbrake is a dedicated rear shoe fitted inboard of the rear discs and independant of any of the foundation braking system or it's hydraulics so it would have been more than adequate for the job of slowing down once it was into neutral.

But I think the cruise control is a red herring here and the biggest clue lies in his statement that the brake pedal "went hard".
My opinion is that his ABS pump or sensors went faulty, putting the pump into "self test" mode (it does this itself every time the car reaches around12 MPH for the first time following an engine start; the pump runs for a few seconds and it performs all of it's electronic magickery).

When the pump is in self test mode, the brake pedal acts as if the ABS has been triggered, going rock hard and giving the classic "vibrating foot massage" whilst little or nothing happens at the wheels and there is no indication on the dash.
In this case I think the ABS self test has prevented the ABS deactivation switch from receiving the signal to turn off, resulting in exactly the scenario described.

tweak'e
18-12-2009, 05:20 PM
certainly sounds like panic. we had a diesel 4x4 locally that ran on its engines oil and took of. driver jumped out and let it crash !

PaulD
18-12-2009, 10:29 PM
Additionally, Explorers are not available with a manual gearbox so he could easily have shifted it into neutral from drive at any speed without damage.
The explorer handbrake is a dedicated rear shoe fitted inboard of the rear discs and independant of any of the foundation braking system or it's hydraulics so it would have been more than adequate for the job of slowing down once it was into neutral.



I've seen one forum post stating that the auto gear selection was electric rather than direct physical connection. If true it is possible that some fault was stopping the gearbox changing.

Drum or disc, most hand brakes are for parking and adequate for slowing down might be overstating the case. Have you tried the hand brake recently?

SurferJoe46
19-12-2009, 08:50 AM
Cruise control failure is all very well, but I can't see how it could lock the transmission in drive, or prevent the ignition key from shutting off the engine, cruise control wouldn't be linked to either of those so unless it was an electrical failure and both the transmission and the steering were electronically controlled it just couldn't happen like that.

On top of that, if the driver really did pull the key out (which means turning the engine off), the steering would have locked on him with any significant steering movement and he'd have speared off into the barrier pretty damned quickly. After all that, in the end he stopped it with the brakes anyway, so it all sounds like he was off his head to me, or was having a real US of A 'girly-girl' moment.

Is there anybody deeply technical with cars around who could explain how come the key didn't turn off the engine or key removal lock the steering?

I'd be curious to know what SJ thinks about all this too.

Billy 8-{)

Being FORD - I can believe almost anything negative - but I hate Ford-things anyway.

On another negative side, Ford ignition switches and steering locks have had mechanical failures for years - although I cannot recall THIS ever happening. It's just not logical.

Cruise control is SUPPOSED to release when the BOO switch (Brake-On-Off) is activated - and they are pretty failsafe.

Typically if it fails, the BOO defaults and releases the CC, ASC and ABS too.

Shift-by-wire isn't the culprit here either.

Pulling the key out obviates the locked steering wheel too, and if the Ford's new enough, it has to also be in PARK to get the key out anyway.

I smell an ambulance chaser (attorney) and client who aren't being completely truthful here. I hope Ford beats this in court and the guy and his mouthpiece get a thorough public pillorying.

prefect
19-12-2009, 09:09 AM
I love Ford especially English Fords and think it might be an anti Ford beat up.
Looks like the panic stricken plonker doesn't deserve to own or drive a Ford.

SurferJoe46
19-12-2009, 09:27 AM
I love Ford especially English Fords and think it might be an anti Ford beat up.
Looks like the panic stricken plonker doesn't deserve to own or drive a Ford.

No - there's also a lie involved here if I read the posts correctly.

The key cannot come out without a couple of things happening at or around the same time.

The steering will lock - that's a default. No key - no turn-y the steering thing.
It must be in Park - no Park position, no key release.

The ABS or ASC may have failed from lack of electrical power and/or loss of a belt or the engine died.

When a small bump is recorded by the ECM or the Dynamic Fuel Shut Off Sensor - the engine shuts OFF.

If the engine shuts off there is NO power steering, loss of braking is likely if the driver uses up all the a) EITHER reserve vacuum b) OR reserve accumulator pressure if so equipped.

You only get two or three brake pedal applications if the engine dies before you are on sub-manual non-assisted braking. But it will stop, albeit a longer stopping zone is required.

We don't see Fords here with electro-mechanical hydraulic brakes and accumulators, but they may be sold in Upsidedown Land #2.

Some big problems happen in Fords here when they strike an object that knocks the Fuel pump sensor off it's normal position and the engine dies. No power steering and loss of throttle can make people panic badly.

It's a poor design fraught with hyper sensitivity and causes more than it's fair share of accidents.

prefect
19-12-2009, 09:44 AM
Vacuum boosted brakes are nice for gays and old ladies. But whats the problem with having to push the pedal down harder to stop like un boosted brakes of yesteryear and purely mechanical brakes like on Model A and E93A.
I have vacuum booster its about 1 foot dia 18" long for brakes on my camper. It used to have a petrol six in it I have put a diesel six in it so the only vacuum for huge booster is from little vacuum pump on alternator.
Effectively going down a big hill like Mangamukas there is no vacuum left and COF brake test machine the vacuum has gone burger at idle through leaks in the door opener and booster.
I have spoken to the experts about it and they say just man up and push harder on the pedal

angry
19-12-2009, 10:49 AM
No truth in claim, unless igniton switch modded, or severly damaged prior to event.

just wants to be in news, or paid to stick the knife into Ford, possibly by GM HOLDEN.

PaulD
19-12-2009, 11:32 AM
I have vacuum booster its about 1 foot dia 18" long for brakes on my camper. It used to have a petrol six in it I have put a diesel six in it so the only vacuum for huge booster is from little vacuum pump on alternator.
Effectively going down a big hill like Mangamukas there is no vacuum left and COF brake test machine the vacuum has gone burger at idle through leaks in the door opener and booster.
I have spoken to the experts about it and they say just man up and push harder on the pedal

Great set of experts you have there. Hope they are all in the camper when you aren't "man enough".

prefect
19-12-2009, 11:46 AM
I might change the brakes to air boost as the new engine has a compressor on it.
Not sure whats involved cant be too hard.

SurferJoe46
19-12-2009, 12:15 PM
I might change the brakes to air boost as the new engine has a compressor on it.
Not sure whats involved cant be too hard.

Think about that and discard the idea fast.

Compressor, regulator valve, compound valve(s), treadle valve, service tank, e-tank, oil separator, air drier, Velvac SL-4 switch, low-pressure alarm LP3, PP-1 dash control valve, PP-3 auto-trip valve, Velvac 60/40 valve, TP-5 protection valve, MV-3 dash valve, RV-1 pressure reduction valve, R-7 pressure modulating valve, at least 2 R-8 valves, D-2 air governor, E-6 dual-circuit brake valve, SR-2 spring release valve, RT-4 multi-function valve, 4- Velvac In-line check valves, QR-1 quick release valve, LQ-4 limiting/release valve, 3-Way pilot valve, assorted air lines, plumbing and connections - then we get to the backing plates, the servos and the spring brakes and the shoe cams, followers, slack adjusters, shoes and drums.

It might be a project when you become the King of Upsidedown Land and can get your royal subjects to install and pay for it all.

prefect
19-12-2009, 12:34 PM
Thought I would check the yanks advice out rfn
I have already put in airtank, gauge and unloading valve for air to the airbrake from an abandoned truck.
Just rung Bedford God told him info from Surfer Joe and the Bedford God said Surfer Joe doesn't know what he is talking about.
All I need to do now is take off the vacuum booster and fit airbooster from TK Bedford goes straight on make an airline from tank to booster.
Gauge and warning buzzer are not required for COF because its not true air over hydraulic its air assisted foot over hydraulics. Which seems fair because you dont have to have a vacuum gauge and buzzer do you for COF.
He is sending me booster on Monday $250.00 said it would cost an extra $10 for 2 brass fittings, tee and a piece of plastic tube.
Who do I believe Surfer Joe or the Bedford God who has been doing only Bedfords for 45 years?.