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Problem w/Chrysler Cirrus-takes off with foot on brake

wolfgangkwolfgangk Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Chrysler
My father just bought a Chrysler Cirrus and he's had two instances where the car took off(lunged forward) while he was stopped with his foot on the brake. His foot was not touching the gas pedal. One time he almost hit another car, and the second time almost hit a motorcyclist when he was stopped at an intersection, and the car took off on him.

He has had the car checked out at the dealer where he bought it(Bergstrom-Chilton WI), but they could not find a problem, so they put a bunch of wires from the engine to a button on his visor, and if it happens again he's supposed to press this button within 45 seconds after it happens, to trace the problem. Our fear is that if this happens again he could get in accident where he gets hurt, or someone else gets hurt, and this button trace does nothing to solve that problem.

He bought this car a couple months ago, only had 11,000m on it when he bought it. It really sucks that they just stuck him back in this possible death trap of a vehicle.

What are his options legally, or to get the dealer to take care of the situation in a better manner than they have? They tried to insist that the floormat or something got caught by the gas pedal, or his foot was on the gas pedal and he didn't realize it, but that was not the case, and he wouldn't be wasting so much time without his car to have a fake problem looked at. He is really unsatisfied with the dealers responsiveness and service, and very unsatisfied with the potential safety of the car. Has anyone else been in a similar situation?


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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I don't think this is possible. The engine cannot possibly overcome a firmly applied brake on a modern car from a standstill. You can't even do this with the emergency brake applied, much less brakes on all four wheels locked under high hydraulic pressure.

    I'd guess this is driver error, and that he have the pedals customized to avoid this or trade the car in. This is exactly what happened to Audi 5000 drivers some time ago, remember?

    The "sensors" the dealer put on the car is an interesting comment...I suspect that the dealer wishes to record that the throttle plate is fully open, and that only a foot can do this.

    I'd suggest that dad take this point of view even if he is skeptical, and intervene on his own behalf rather than to presume a factory defect that is not under his control. Smaller pedals, smaller shoes, no floormats, etc.
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    sonjaabsonjaab Member Posts: 1,057
    Why dont't you drive the car for a week and
    see if it does it to you. Maybe driver error ?
    Good luck.........
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    joebob6joebob6 Member Posts: 239
    "He bought this car a couple months ago, only had 11,000m on it when he bought it. It really sucks that they just stuck him back in this possible death trap of a vehicle."

    Did you try to locate the previous owner to find out if this happened before or maybe the car was considered a "lemon" from another state? Maybe you should do what you can to research the car's history.

    But as Mr Shiftright said...it really does sound like driver error.
    There is no possible way that the vehicle could develop enough torque to overcome the applied brakes...unless it has over 500 HP and you would hear some loud squealing.
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    namfflownamfflow Member Posts: 202
    Actually, it does happen. I just traded in a 99 Stratus V6 that did the same thing. Betwwen that and the fact the 4 wheel anti-lock brakes wouldn't stop the car I couldn't put up with it anymore. In fact all automatics do this to some degree or another. What happens is many of us just put enough pressure on the brake pedal to hold the car there. But when the fans kick in and so forth it ups the revs a little so the car will act like it is lurching.

    The cure is to make sure you step firmly on the brake at lights and so on.

    As I stated though, this is not limited to Cirrus/Stratus. It happens on my trucks and every automatic I have ever driven. One reason I prefer sticks, I just wish I could get my wife to learn to drive a clutch. Oh well....
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, but the original post implied quite clearly that the car lurched from a standstill, and roared off at high speed with the brakes mashed to the floor.

    This is, I say, not possible. Sure, you could run your idle up to 2500 and put the car in drive and you will lurch forward a few feet until you can apply the brakes.

    Brakes on a car just don't come and go. Even with the power brake booster disconnected, you cannot overcome brakes at idle by flooring the gas pedal.
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    namfflownamfflow Member Posts: 202
    There is another possibility with these cars that I also discovered (more reasons why I got rid of it and bought a truck). The brake and gas pedal are very close together. If you have any neuropathy and have diminished feeling in your feet you may not feel that you are stepping on the gas pedal the same time you are stepping on the brake. Also the steering column interfers with the brake so you can mash the brake and in reality are not pushing the pedal much.

    I am not singling out these cars but it seems that more and more cars are becoming less "senior friendly" I love cars but it got so I couldn't drive my stratus so I bought a Dakota. Took a 4 grand loss to make the switch.
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