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Jaguar XJ-Series: Sudden Acceleration

Help a Lemon Jaguar!!!!!!!!

A friend of mine has a new 2004 Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas. The car was delivered to him brand new and is leased. He has had the car for about 4 months. He is about 70. He asked me to post this, as he doesn't have the time or know-how to get on this board.

The car is loaded, even has the navigation system. But it appears to be somewhat of a lemon. He has had to take it back to the dealer several times already. One problem the dealer admitted they could not fix is a shimmey-shake in the steering when you are backing and turning sharply. The dealer said it is a design flaw in the new 2004 Jaguars and can't be fixed. This was his first disappointment with the 75 thousand dollar car.

The next problem started occuring a couple months ago. It would happen several times. One time on the way from Sedona to Flagstaff the car started shaking like a wheel was loose. He would stop and check it out and never found a problem. The car shook for 60 miles. Then the next day, it was smooth as silk again, like nothing had happened. He had clients with him, and was totally embarrassed. This situation reocurred several times. The dealer was unable to find a cause. I thought maybe it was a bad servo in the air ride control unit???

Now an even more interesting problem, this one deadly. The car seems to have a sudden acceleration problem. At first when it happened in La Jolla, CA he thought he had inadvertently put his foot on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. He had started the car and was moving it slowly to a new spot a car-length away. The car rammed a Mercedes at full force. These new Jags are a potent force, with their big engines. It smashed the hood of the Mercedes, damage to the Jag was limited. The airbags never went off. His insurance payed off on the damage, thinking it was an unfortunate accident. He was upset about the incident, but never suspected the car.

At this time the car has done the same thing two more times. Once while stopped in traffic it suddenly surged ahead and he barely got it stopped before it rammed another car. At this point he started to get a little suspicious, but again he assumed that perhaps he had done something wrong, but what?

The next time he was on a hill in a residential neighborhood. He had just put the car into drive and it suddenly took off like a bat out of hell. He held on for dear life as it raced down the hill toward the bottom around a long curve. He was unable to halt the speeding car. He said he hoped no one was in the road below. He put all his strength onto the brake pedal and it wouldn't respond. At the bottom of the hill he finally got the car stopped by turning off the ignition, and ramming it into park. The car jerked back and forth many times violently and finally died. At this point he was scared to death to drive it anymore. He realized that it was the car, not him that was creating this dangerous problem. He said the brakes even failed to work! I told him that the brakes may have been trying to work, but they couldn't stop a car like that on a hill under full acceleration with that enormous engine. He felt so unsafe with the car that he called his attorney. The attorney proceeded to advise him to call the dealer and tell them to come and pick up the car, immediately! He also told my friend, "to tell the dealer to bring you another vehicle to Sedona." "Also, demand that they go over the car thoroughly and find the problem. Don't drive the car again." My friend did this.

The dealer came up to Sedona, AZ and towed the car to Scottsdale, AZ. The dealer had the car for three weeks. Finally they called my friend yesterday and said there is nothing wrong with the car. They said, "you must have hit the accelerator." They also said, "the "black box" has recorded no abnormality." Also he was told they would not give him another different Jaguar in exchange.

Has anyone experienced any weird flukes like this with their new Jaguars????? Has anyone heard of a sudden acceleration problem? How about the other problems, shaking and steering problems? I have heard of this situation (sudden acceleration) in another new car several years ago, but can't remember what it was. So I know it CAN happen.

Please post your comments. We are desperate to track down this problem as the dealer insists he take this dangerous car back and won't let him out of the lease unless he pays off 75 thousand dollars first! Keep in mind that he recently traded in another Jag for this new one. His last one was a (2002 I think) Vanden Plas. It was one of those stretch models, he did not have similar problems with it. But did have other problems like wind noise in the back side windows.

On top of all this, the dealer is sending him the bill for the tow to Scottsdale, and the three weeks of providing my friend with a Cadillac rental. They said they can't charge Jag for the costs because they couldn't find anything wrong with the car. Jaguar has a lot to learn about customer service. Something I have been involved with my entire career. Usually they give him a Taurus when his car is being repaired. Unacceptable! This time he insisted on a "comparable" rental. I would suggest Jaguar learn a little about stellar customer service from Cadillac! I wonder if Jag would treat a customer the same way if he had purchased the car outright, instead of paying an outrageous lease amount. By the way, the Cadillac was towed back to Flagstaff today for a dead battery, the parking lights would stay on much of the time, and couldn't be shut off. The car was brand new with 3000 miles on it. They now have given him a Camry!

Thankfully my friend is thinking about leasing a Cadillac or Lexus at this point. And never touching another Ford.......oops, I mean Jaguar again!
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Comments

  • The basic problem is that Jaguar (Ford) is broke and for years it has been taking too many shortcuts. I was dealer principal of one of the largest Jaguar dealerships in the U.S. in the late 80s and saw this first hand. I've had about 15 Jags over the years and the story remains the same.

    In 1989 Ford bought Jaguar in a bidding contest with GM for $2.6 billion. Ford then proceeded to loose another $2+ billion on Jaguar's operations. Ford's Chairman Peterson was fired as a result. Most people concede that 15 years later Jaguar still hasn't turned the corner. Is there any doubt that Ford is continuing to take shortcuts in quality with a brand like Jag that looses billions of dollars. Thus, you see transmissions failing, cracks and rattles, and an ongoing series of problems. Ford is fighting to survive. If in the process it produces a part that fails a few years off (and likely out of warranty) and in the process Ford saves $3, that's a good deal.

    Jags are nice to look at, but have always been aggrevating to own. With Ford broke, and Jaguar sales poor for the last ten years, and Jags move down market a failure, expect continued compromises on quality. If you want quality and dependability, buy a Lexus.
  • I have had the same "sudden acceleration" issue with my 2004 XJR. I had it when it was new and it been in ths shop for anything and everything, after the car accelerated on it's own I decided to give it back, the car is not safe and Jaguar tried to say that I had stepped on the accelerator when I didn't. The wheels spun after I released my foot from the brake pedal after I stopped the car. Jaguar knows it has a problem and they won't admit it and they know that it is very serious. I have stopped paying for it and won't take the car back, they have offered a new one but until they figure out the problem, I will have nothing to do with Jaguar.
  • This past weekend, my 2004 XJ8 also had a "sudden acceleration" issue. While parking at a soccer field loaded with kids, I stepped on the break, started to slow down and then started to accelerate. I went into the back of another car and thank God, nobody was hurt. It could have been really bad! Jaguar called me this morning and told me they went through the car from top to bottom and there is nothing wrong. I told them I do not want the car back, I am afraid to drive it again! As much as I love my Jaguar, I will also have nothing to do with them until they figure out the problem.
  • I hope you are still looking at this because my 2004 Jag is doing the exact same thing. My mother is driving it and three times now it has accelerated exactly as you describe. Please contact me at 602 206 8579 to discuss.
    Scottdale dealership is claiming the exact same thing also.
    Steve
  • jaguar09jaguar09 Posts: 12
    Let me know if you have an attorney because I have filed a law suit for this problem.
  • jaguar09jaguar09 Posts: 12
    Let me know if you have an attorney because I have the same problem with my 2004 S type and I have filed a law suit against Jaguar Corporation.
  • mylemon2mylemon2 Posts: 21
    Thank you SO MUCH for your message regarding the brake/sudden acceleration problem. This happened to me, too! I had leased a 2003 Jaguar S-Type for 39 months. Other than having the transmission replaced by Jag, car was fine, so I just re-leased it for another 27 months. Just 5 days into the new lease, I was easying on the brake into a parking space when the car would not stop. I then jammed both feet on the brake. Instead of stopping, the car lunged forward, accelerating, and jumped the curb in front, crossed the sidewalk, and proceeded up the lawn to smash into cement steps. That stopped the car! I KNOW my feet were on the brake! Also, I felt the brake pedal suddenly lose all resistance as my feet and my body slid way down to the floor. When my car was towed to the repair shop, they noted the mileage on it before it got repaired. I later compared it to the mileage noted when I re-leased the car 5 days earlier. The odomoter recorded that the car had put on 440 miles, and I KNOW that I only drove it a MAXIMUM of 100 miles!!!

    My dealer performed diagognostic tests which they sent to Jaguar Cars engineers to analyze. Jag Cars called me to say that they found NOTHING wrong with my car! Regarding the extra 340 miles that I did NOT put on my car, they just dismissed it, saying they had no proof that I did not drive it -or that someone else did not drive it. NOT TRUE!! I did NOT drive 440 miles, and neither did anyone else!! I asked them for a copy of their tests so I could see what they tested. They said it's "proprietary" and no one, not even the dealer or my insurance co. gets to see them!

    I will never drive this car again, so I had it towed back to my dealer and I sent a certified letter to Jag Cars & Jag Credit that I want my lease immediately terminated, and my payment applied to a new Jaguar with a new lease.
    They VEHEMENTLY REFUSE to terminate my lease even though I returned the car to the dealer!!!! Every day I get harassing phone calls from Jaguar Credit telling me I am behind on my lease payment and they will report me to the Credit Bureaus which will affect my credit for the next 7 years!

    The Lemon Laws appear only to protect car manufacturers, not the consumer. Your car has to be in for the same repair 3 times before the Lemon Law applies. I didn't kill myself or anyone the first time, under the Lemon Law, I get 2 more tries!

    Help! I am so frustrated! I don't know what to do! Maybe we need a Class Action Lawsuit. Please reply soon.
  • jaguar09jaguar09 Posts: 12
    I know how you feel and I have filed a lawsuit against Jaguar and awaiting a judge in federal court to decide if I have a case against Jaguar because they claim that this problem does not exist. I also try to file a class action suit but it was denied because I didn't know anyone else with this problem. We need to figure out a way for us to communicate offline.
  • I hope that you can give me some guidance. My father had a 1999 VandenPlas. I say had because 3 weeks ago, he was driving along and the car all of the sudden accelerated to close to 100 miles an hour. He was unable to stop the car and hit a parked truck that slowed the car down. He then hit a lamp post and grass and the car stopped. The airbags didn't inflate and he said the failed transmission message came on in the car.

    He is 81 and I thought that he hit the accelerator but he says absolutely not. After reading the emails on this site, he definitely had the sudden acceleration problem that you spoke about. He was able to climb over the seat and it is a miracle that he walked away with no injuries.
    A month before this horrific accident, he had just paid $5000 to have his gas tank replaced because it was completely rusted. Jaguar is taking no responsibility sudden acceleration problem.
    Any suggestions as to how he can pursue a suit against Jaguar or file a complaint with the NHTSA?
    He is so upset and lucky to be alive!
    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Betsy
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,041
    He'd have to hire an accident recontruction specialist to file any kind of suit, since these types of cases are viewed very skeptically as being caused by driver error. The problem with claims like this is that it requires for a number of the car's sytems to all fail at once, such as engine management system, brakes and ignition, and this then would have to be proven by a technical expert.

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  • I filed my suit over 1 year ago in Federal Count in Atlanta, Georgia and this case my finally get to court at the end of the year. Jaguar does not care about this problem so I would suggest you file a conplaint with the NHTSA and mention my case. Good Luck and I am glad that your father did not get hurt.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,041
    let us know how things turn out for you please.

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  • Mr Shiftright,

    Wht happened with your Jag? Did you have sudden acceleration problems as well?

    Any additional background would be very helpul.

    Best regards,

    betsy
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,041
    No it didn't happen to me. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I'm just very interested in cases like that, as they are quite mysterious and a challenge to the "detective mentality". :P

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  • larry67larry67 Posts: 1
    Add another name to the list.

    Last week my wife's 2004 Jag accelerated as she was parking the car in a mall parking lot. Luckily, she was stopped by a shrub and not a car on either side.

    She has the all wheel drive x-type.
  • gt502gt502 Posts: 1
    Same happened to me today in slow traffic. My 2004 xj8 accelerated towards the car in front of me after I had stopped about two yards behind the car. The breaks were pretty much useless. I was stopped by the bumper of the car in front of me. I had experienced that before stopping at a main intersection and the car tried to pull me into the crossing lane. I thought that I have done something wrong. Now I think that car is a killer
  • blov8rblov8r Posts: 567
    HOLY COW (to quote Harry Caray). This is serious condemnation of one of the most spectacular looking and desireable cars on the planet. I've craved one for ages ... it was high on my list come the end of my present Infiniti lease.

    No mas, no mas (OK, Roberto Duran). I don't need the hassle/risk. Shades of the Audi's of 25 years ago that suddenly lurched into reverse hitting other cars but worse ... squashing kids :( !

    Bart :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,041
    Did you have the car checked for brake failure? The brakes should have easily been able to stop the car from a standing-start acceleration, even with the gas pedal mashed to the floor. No engine can overpower modern fully-functioning brakes from a starting start.

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  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Exactly Jeep did this back in the mid 90s with the Cherokees and Grand Cherokees.

    People said that they were having sudden acceleration problems and that the brakes wouldn't stop the car.

    They did several tests with the gas all the way to the floor, 4wd engaged and the brake pedal fully depressed. They didn't move a bit just sat there nearly blowing the transmission up.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,041
    I suppose the engine management system and the brake system could fail simultaneously, and then the brake system could revert back perfect working order right after the collision, but boy, it's a real stretch to figure out how that could possibly happen.? Would a lack of vacuum still permit the driver to stop the car at full throttle? I think it would but you'd really have to stand on that pedal.

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  • djagmandjagman Posts: 5
    I AM A FACTORY TRAINED JAGUAR TECH.AND I WRECKED A 2001 XK8 ON A TEST DRIVE.THE COUSTOMER STED THAT IT HAD A MIND OF ITS OWN.I JUST TOUTCHED THE THROTLE AND IT LUNGED FORWARD AND HIT A NEW AUDI.6000.00 DAMAGE.I CALLED JAGUAR AND THEY INFORMED ME THAT IT WAS A PROBLEM.THE THROTLE BY WIRE TOOK OVER AS DID THE ABS AND SMASH.I DID NOT EVEN GET A TALKING TO!? DJAGMAN
  • :surprise: Add yet another (ME) to the list of uncontrolled acceleration. This is going to sound bizarre to all of you because i experienced this in my 1994 XJ6. I can't bother whether you are anyone believes me, but alone, i went out to my cherry car in a parking lot, after a session in a nice casino on the poker table. I turned the ignition on and suddenly the engine went to an astronomical RPM scaring me to immediately turn the ignition off. I had not touched the accelerator at all. i was out of town, late at night, and needed to drive home, so i tried it again with the same result. i did try to tap the accelerator to decrease the rpm on this second crazy time. That didn't help. This was all in park. I got out to look under the hood for a stuck linkage and found it to be normal in movement. On the third attempt, it started like normal, amazing me. no accident, but scary. This same thing happened one more time since. this 94 is all jaguar original equipment with regards to carb, computer, electrical, engine, trans, etc. no further action taken. I wish i just had a general idea of what is going on before i get in a wreck. Being a mechanical engineer, and electronics knowledgeable, i have a theory that can't be proved. But hopefully we all find out what is going on. I think it is a computer problem. And to replace the computer might not help anything at all. :surprise:
  • hey DJAGMAN,

    What is "THROTLE BY WIRE" that you put in your message?

    Also, Could faulty ABS feed into the computer be our culprit? A defective ABS sensor or defective ABS sensor wire could send panic signals to computer. Just a theory from other peeps experiences. Computer glitches of all kinds related to ABS problems and ABS trouble lights. :lemon:
  • I must join the club. I have a 2004 Jaguar S type and with under 5,000 miles I encountered the unexpected acceleration. I remember sitting at a traffic light on a very cold day and the car lurched forward and hit the bumper of the car in front of me. I took the car to the dealer and they ran diagnostic tests and told me there was nothing wrong. They also stated that they never encountered this problem before. I guess they never read this forum. I feel like a Toyota owner. I did go through the Lemon Law process and won when I had a Chrysler product but those problems happened before 12,000 miles and they had 3 chances to correct the transmission. They gave me all my money back after usung it for 4 years. Since I never encountered the problem again with the Jag, I really had no case. Of course I never knew anyone else was having thie same problem until I googled it today. Watching Toyota prompted to do so. What can be done to ensure our safety????
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,041
    What makes it hard for technicians to deal with this issue is the fact that if you took your car, put it in drive, stepped hard on the brake, then depressed the gas pedal aggressively, you couldn't lurch forward. Try it and you'll see. Unintended acceleration while moving on the freeway is easier to comprehend, because it's hard to stop a car going full throttle at 60 mph, even with both feet on the brake. But stopped at a light, this idea of gas pedal going full throttle and brake system totally failing at the same moment, and then both systems returning to normal in the next second, is very very difficult to prove as plausible.

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  • gamaegamae Posts: 1
    I had the "lurch forward while stopped in traffic" problem one time. Took the car to the dealer who said it was some kind of "fuel injection" problem; fixed it and told me to always be certain to use the best gasoline available; no stopping at the "7-11 convenience store for no-name petrol."

    Never had the problem again. This car has been the best, most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. It is a privilege to own and drive. I have a 100,000 miles on it and have had NO PROBLEM ever with it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,041
    Well I'm *very* glad to hear you've had good luck with your car----but the dealer's explanation (if I'm hearing it right) that the TYPE of fuel caused an acceleration surge, makes no sense to me whatsoever. Of course, buying top quality fuel is generally good advice anyway. Its like when an astrologer wearing a pointy hat ends up telling you to follow your charts, eat right and get plenty of exercise---well, you're bound to feel better in any event.

    Some cars have rather peculiar shift patterns as they downshift, and this may give the sensation of surging forward.

    But if you're at a light with your foot firmly on the brake, no way that car is going anywhere.

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  • I just paid over 2K in repairs to the bottom of my 1999 XJ8L Jaguar. I was lightly pressing on the accelorator to complete pulling into a parking space. My jag went into "flight mode" and in an instant I was over the concrete sidewalk and almost in the restaurant! I was startled out of my mind! I immediately slammed on the brakes and the car did stop. I put it in reverse and got out to check the damage. The concrete was completely crumbled and my car was pouring oil into the parking space. I had it towed and the repair specialist said I bent my subframe! He said this would have taken alot of power at impact to damage.

    I was so thankful I wasn't at a red light and didn't rear-end someone. I could have caused severe whiplash and damage to another person and vehicle!

    I did have a warning that this was happening two days prior but at the time thought only "hum, that was weird?" I was pulling out of an shopping plaza into a traffic lane and my wheels "burned rubber"! I was shocked. The car drove normal after it and so I let it go as "weird".

    My Jaguar specialist has never heard of these problems and has been working on Jaguars for over 40 years! He said he kept it a few extra days and drove it on errands etc. with no symptoms of my experience.

    Please share other exact experiences so we can prevent future injuries and expense!
  • I have been using BP Premium 93 octane gas with Nitro or whatever that stuff is in it. Do you think that additive is the problem?

    If so, what gasoline brand would you recommend?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,041
    No I can't see any cause and effect there at all.

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