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Jaguar XJ-Series: Sudden Acceleration
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!