Defective Auto Products Comments Off
Elez Lushaj, a Texas teen, never thought he would ever take such a harrowing ride in his Hyundai Elantra. According to a report in The Daily Mail, the video of Lushaj driving at speeds over 120 mph for almost 90 minutes as he begged law enforcement for help to make it stop, went viral on the Internet.
Lushaj says it all happened last December when the accelerator on his Hyundai Elantra jammed and he was unable to free it. As the car suddenly accelerated and gained speed, Lushaj said he called 911 for help. He told officials that he was “stuck in his car” going 125 mph.
A Wild Ride
Lushaj told police that he had tried everything he could think of, including the emergency brake, but could not get his car to slow down. He had several near misses on the road and had to pull off heart-stopping maneuvers to even stay on the road. At one point he went onto the shoulder to narrowly avoid colliding with a truck.
A deputy who tried to follow Lushaj’s car and was unsuccessful said the Hyundai was the fastest thing on the road and that he was sure the teen wasn’t going to make it out of this alive. 911 dispatchers even tried to call a Hyundai dealership as they grappled for answers about this auto defect, but no one could come up with a solution. All they could hope now was that Lushaj would run out of gas.
Eventually Lushaj swerved hard to avoid a semi-truck. His car left the road and flipped four times before settling. Emergency workers had to cut the car’s roof to free Lushaj. Miraculously, Lushaj was not seriously hurt, although his back and neck hurt. Hyundai is already defending itself saying that it is highly unlikely for the brakes, accelerator and transmission to fail spontaneously all at once. The National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) is also investigating the incident along with local law enforcement. No recalls have been announced yet.
An Ongoing Investigation
It is indeed fortunate that Lushaj was not killed or catastrophically injured in this horrific rollover crash. One can only imagine this young man’s state of mind for the 90 minutes he was stuck on the highway in a speeding car trying to avoid hitting anything on the roadway and trying not to go off course. I certainly hope investigators are closely examining the vehicle.
What went wrong here? Hyundai officials’ contention that this sudden acceleration scenario is “improbable” is appalling. This was an episode that was caught in camera. If these vehicles are defective, they need to be recalled and repaired. Other drivers may not be as lucky as Lushaj.