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'kidnapped' by his own electric car



Man 'kidnapped' by electric car called police to ram him off road​

Brian says the new car suffered a catastrophic failure and he couldn't stop it. Police were able to use their van to bring him to a halt


Brian Morrison and his MG ZS EV

A man says he was ''kidnapped'' by his own runaway electric car - forcing him to dodge red lights and roundabouts and call police to ram it off the road. Brian Morrison, 53, says his new posh motor started driving itself - and he had to dial 999 from inside.

He had been heading home from work on Sunday when he says his brand new electric car decided to take control - and the brakes wouldn't work. Becoming stuck at 30mph he says his MG ZS EV fully electric vehicle suffered a ''catastrophic malfunction''.

Brian called police who were forced to forcibly stop the runaway car by allowing it to slowly crash into their police van. Even after forcing the car to a halt Brian says that the car tried to keep moving once police tried moving their vehicle.

A roadside repair mechanic later said they had 'never seen' anything like the incident. Brian said that he was 'lucky' that the incident had taken place late at night at just after 10pm.

He said: “I realised something was wrong when I was coming up to a roundabout, and went to slow down - but it didn't do it. Then I heard a loud grinding noise that sounded like brake pads - but because it was such a new car I knew it couldn't be a problem with them.

"I managed to get around the roundabout going at about 30mph, and then had long road ahead of me, so I assumed it would stop without me accelerating - but it didn't. I have mobility issues, so I couldn't even jump out - I was completely trapped inside the car going at 30mph.

"It might not sound like it is very fast, but when you have no control over the speed and you're completely stuck inside it's terrifying."

Brian initially called his wife in a panic to ask her to warn cars ahead of him that he could not stop his car. After realising that he would soon have to navigate traffic lights and several roundabouts, and worried about crashing into pedestrians and pub-goers headed home, he eventually called 999.

He said: “The car was just running away on its own, there was nothing I could do. When I dialled 999, they sent police to help and put some engineers on the line to try and solve the problem, and they were asking if it was a self-driving car.

"It was the first time that the call handlers had experienced the issue, and they had no idea what to do. 'So eventually three police vehicles arrived and were driving in front of me and behind me.

"I was 100% concentrating on my steering, so when a police van pulled up beside me and asked if I was Brian and if I was okay, I just yelled 'no I'm not, I can't stop'."

Police initially tried having Brian throw his electronic key through their van window before driving off - but this failed to disengage the engine. After that, they tried to get Brian to forcibly shut off the engine by pressing the power button three times, which also failed.

He then was asked to hold the power button for over two seconds, which also failed to stop the car. Police then decided to get Brian to crash into the back of their van before he got into a more built-up area.

Brian said: "After trying to shut the car down, my entire dashboard lit up with faults, and then it all went away after a second and just had a big red car symbol that said 'drive safely, stop driving immediately' or something. Eventually, I came up to a roundabout, which slowed the car down to about 15mph, and the Police van was waiting for me on the other side.

"I went into the back of the van while it was moving, before they put on the brakes to stop me. After that, a police officer jumped into my car and did something which seemed to keep the car still.

"After I got out though, they tried moving their van and the car kept going - so they had to sit with the van there for ages until the RAC got there. I still have no idea what happened, but when the RAC got to me about three hours later he plugged in the car to do a diagnostic check and there was pages of faults.

"He said he had never seen anything like it, and decided he was not willing to turn the engine on to see what was wrong."

Brian's insurance say they are now investigating the incident which has left Brian questioning if he would drive another electric vehicle again. He added: "I don't know if I'll get another, frankly I've not even tried driving my wife's car - it was a terrifying experience."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 10.35pm on Sunday, 1 October, we received a report of a driver unable to stop his electric car on the A803 heading towards Kirkintilloch. The car was travelling at a low speed and officers carried out a controlled halt with the aid of a police vehicle. There was no damage to either vehicle.

“The driver arranged for the vehicle to be recovered.”

MG Cars Europe was contacted for comment.