A teenage driver was recently involved in an incident that is allegedly due to another case of unintended acceleration. The event occurred last December in Texas around the Dallas metro area. The teenager, 16-year-old Elez Lushaj, reportedly called 911 under a panic about his car, a 2011 Hyundai Elantra, having a stuck accelerator pedal.
Lushaj was noted for reaching speed nearing 120 MPH on Highway 183 as a local country sheriff pursued the supposed out-of-control Elantra. The 911 dispatchers urged Lushaj to attempt to shut the vehicle down by either switching the key off, putting the car in neutral, or simply using the brakes. However, Lushaj claimed that none of it was working.
That said, police were left stumped with nothing else to do but warn traffic ahead of the runaway Elantra and wait for it to burn its fumes. But unfortunately, Lushaj lost control on Interstate 30 after traveling 113 miles in just 90 minutes and ended up in a wreck that left him with several broken bones.
Now altogether, this just seems quite fishy as anyone with the basic knowledge of how to operate a vehicle and any common sense would immediately note that it is nearly impossible for an Elantra to be incapable of switching into neutral. Additionally, Lushaj’s claim that the accelerator was stuck would logically mean that the Elantra would’ve maintained its top speed of an electronically governed 118 MPH. If you pay attention to the local ABC News8 video report on the incident around 0:57 seconds in, you’ll see the sheriff’s dash cam, which shows the county’s Charger approaching the runaway Elantra at a fairly high speed. That said, if the Elantra’s pedal was stuck causing it to hover around the 118 MPH, the Charger must’ve been doing at least 10-20 MPH more in relative according to that bit of video.
However, interestingly enough, if you rewind and watch again and pay attention to the road, the white lane divider markings don’t seem to be zooming past the Charger at 130-140 MPH, which could indicate that the Elantra wasn’t maintaining a constant speed. Lushaj could’ve been using the brakes…oh wait, those were claimed to have not been working. Even many web goers expressed their disbelief in AutoBlog’s comment section, with some even finding a few of Lushaj’s tweets on Twitter that suggest ulterior motives.
Hyundai immediately responded after the original report aired and spokesperson Jim Trainor said that it was “extremely unlikely for simultaneous and spontaneous total system failures for the brakes, accelerator and transmission to occur at the same time” and that they’d like to investigate, in an email to WFAA.
Could this have been some elaborate scam gone wrong from an attention seeker? Either way, I call a BS flag on the play.
What do you guys think?
– By: Chris Chin