Renault sues over 'berserk Vel Satis' claim

7th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 7 (AFP) - The French manufacturer Renault is to go to the courts to protect its reputation after a motorist claimed to have been forced to drive at nearly 200 kilometres per hour (125 mph) because of a fault with his car's speed regulator, the company said Thursday.

PARIS, Oct 7 (AFP) - The French manufacturer Renault is to go to the courts to protect its reputation after a motorist claimed to have been forced to drive at nearly 200 kilometres per hour (125 mph) because of a fault with his car's speed regulator, the company said Thursday.  

Tests on the Vel Satis saloon showed no sign of malfunction to support the story of Hicham Dequiedt, 29, who claimed that on overtaking a lorry on the A71 motorway in central France on Sunday the automatic speed control became stuck at 190 kph and he was unable to slow down, Renault said.  

"In light of these tests, and concerned by the impact of this affair on the image of its products, Renault has decided to file suit," it said.  

The company said it would seek an interim ruling on the basis of new tests by a third party in order to establish its case. It did not rule out suing for damages at a later date.  

The incident received widespread coverage in the national and international press, but Renault executives were sceptical from the start about the truth of Dequiedt's claims.   

Police who spoke to Dequiedt on his mobile phone as he sped for an hour on the motorway said they were convinced he was telling the truth. Eventually he said he was able to switch off the engine and the car cruised to a halt 20 kilometres (12 miles) from a toll-gate near the town of Riom.  

Press reports Thursday said Dequiedt had just had his licence returned to him after it was confiscated for four years for drunk-driving. Police said he would face prosecution if he was found to have lied.

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

 

 

 

 

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