Renault car 'goes berserk' on French motorway

6th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 6 (AFP) - Experts at the French manufacturer Renault were Wednesday examining a vehicle whose owner claims he was forced to drive for an hour at nearly 200 kilometres per hour (125 mph) because of a fault with its speed regulator.

PARIS, Oct 6 (AFP) - Experts at the French manufacturer Renault were Wednesday examining a vehicle whose owner claims he was forced to drive for an hour at nearly 200 kilometres per hour (125 mph) because of a fault with its speed regulator.  

Hicham Dequiedt, 29, said that on overtaking a lorry on the A71 motorway in central France on Sunday the automatic speed control on his Vel Satis became stuck at 190 kph and he was unable to slow down.  

After contacting police on his mobile telephone Dequiedt was finally able to switch off his engine and the car cruised to a halt about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from a toll-gate near the town of Riom.  

Renault's chief executive Louis Schweitzer was sceptical about the incident but said the vehicle would be thoroughly examined as a matter of course.  

"Every time there is an incident like this, we have to look into it on the principle of basic precaution. But the way this has been described to me, I find it very surprising and most unlikely," he said.  

The Vel Satis was placed under seal and transported to Renault's technical centre at Guyancourt west of Paris.  

Fearing Dequiedt would be unable to stop, police on Sunday evacuated the Riom toll-station and lifted all the barriers. Warnings about a rogue vehicle were broadcast over the radio.  

"The driver was really afraid - especially at one point when he had to overtake at 200 kilometres per hour on the emergency lane," a police officer told AFP.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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