A driver has said he was stuck on a Chinese highway for 520 kilometers after his cruise control malfunctioned, forcing him to drive until he ran out of fuel.
Mentioned in local reports as Mr. Luo, the man was behind the wheel of a Chinese-built Haval H6 Crossover as he drove through the city of Zhuzhou, Hunan province.
Mr Luo claims he put the SUV – one of the most popular car models in the country – in cruise control and set the speed to just over 100 km/h (62 miles per hour).
However, when he tried to slow down, he said the car refused to cancel the cruise control setting. At that time, according to local media, he also realized that the brakes were not working and was unable to come to a stop.
A driver has said he was trapped in his car for 520 kilometers on a Chinese highway after his cruise control malfunctioned, forcing him to drive until he ran out of fuel
As a result of the malfunction, the man would have to continue driving at the same speed for hundreds of miles, until his car ran out of fuel.
Chinese website AutoHome reported to the story that the incident happened on Dec. 2. CCTV footage and videos from other cars reportedly showed the car traveling on the highway through Zhuzhou.
While driving, Mr. Luo called the local authorities to inform them of his situation.
Police officers provided an escort to ensure the driver’s car did not hit any other vehicles on the highway. But even after Haval engineers from the local area spoke to the driver by phone, nothing could be done to stop the car.
The car drove about 200 miles on the highway before finally running out of fuel, which meant it took about five hours for the car to come to a stop (at a speed of 40 mph).
Mr. Luo was the only person in the car during the incident. AutoHome said that as soon as he realized his predicament, he became very upset and feared for his life.
It remains unknown why the car got stuck in cruise control mode, with the manufacturer still investigating.
Mentioned in local reports as Mr. Luo, the man was behind the wheel of a Chinese-built Haval H6 Crossover (pictured, file photo) as he drove through Zhuzhou city, Hunan province
The car drove about 520 miles on the highway in Zhuzhou (pictured) before finally running out of fuel, meaning it took about five hours for the car to come to a stop
The first generation of the Haval H6 was introduced in 2011, and as of October 2015, the five-door SUV is the best-selling SUV in China.
Haval does not sell cars in most Western countries, including the UK and US.
The incident is not the first time a car in China has become stuck in cruise control mode. In 2019, a Chinese driver had to drive more than 80 kilometers on a highway without being able to control his car.
At the time, driver Xue called the police after realizing he couldn’t stop his new £55,000 Mercedes-Benz, which was traveling at 75 mph in central China, according to Chinese media.
Fortunately, Mr. Xue is an amateur racer and survived the terrifying ride unscathed after staff at the automaker managed to disable his cruise control remotely, reports said.
A similar incident happened in the UK in 2016, but unfortunately the driver of the car wasn’t as lucky as the two in the Chinese incidents.
Kaushal Gandhi, 32, of Harrow, Middlesex, was desperately trying to stop his out of control Skoda Octavia before crashing into a parked lorry, killing him instantly.
Gandhi dialed 999 as his car was hurtling down a highway at 199 km/h after the cruise control locked, an inquest later found.
In the eight minutes leading up to the collision, Mr. Gandhi the facilitator that the cruise control was stuck and he couldn’t stop the car from accelerating.
A recording of the panicked phone call was played to a coroner in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. He told the operator, “My car won’t come out of cruise control… It won’t stop me. It (the speedometer) reads 70 mph, but I think I’m going much faster than this.” He was advised to try the handbrake before the crash.
The Skoda collided with a lorry parked in a car park shortly after 3am on 2 February 2016 after the M40 collapsed onto the A40 shortly after 3am. Mr. Gandhi was beheaded.
Robert Hague, a witness who called the emergency services, told the inquest that the car was ‘almost completely embedded in the truck’ and the roof had ‘peeled off’.