March 18, 2010

When I moved to California and went to work for Warner Brothers Music the company leased a brand new Audi for me. I had been driving for less than a year and sometimes when I’d be cruising through a quiet Hollywood street in my new car, I’d suddenly accelerate to 80 miles an hour!

After a few times this happened, it slowed down by itself and I was able to regain control of it. I chalked it up to experience as a new driver and figured I must have been pressing down on the accelerator instead of brake. When I mentioned to some of the execs at my company what I was experiencing, after they stopped laughing, they suggested I take it back to the dealership where I leased it.

I got scared and figured I should take care of this right away, so I went downstairs to the parking lot, but when I got into the Audi it started acting like it had a mind of its own. It stalled on Hollywood B’lvd just before I got to La Cienega…and then when it was time to make a left turn the car suddenly accelerated!

40….50…MPH I was a blur passing Santa Monica and Melrose. I was up to 70 MPH when I got to Beverly B’lvd. I had both feet on the brakes, my left hand on the wheel, and my right hand trying to pull the hand brake out of

its socket. I was lucky there wasn’t much traffic. I didn’t soil my pants, however, until I was about a half a block away from the Audi dealers on Wilshire when I made a sudden turn and the engine stopped as I spun around and slid into the Audi showroom!

When I stopped within inches of the salesman, who was with a customer, casually looked up at me said, “I’ll be with you in a minute”. I jumped out of the car and screamed, “YOU’LL BE WITH ME RIGHT NOW MOTHER F@#KER”

Before I had a chance to scare away any potential customers, the manager took me aside, apologized, and said “don’t worry we’ll get it fixed for you” and gave me a “loaner”. Although no one said anything to me, I sensed this kind of thing happened before.

After one more incident, the Audi was performing perfectly. Although this happened to me almost 40 years ago, with all the problems Toyota is having with sudden acceleration, and with the Honda recall yesterday, I think it might be a good idea to for these companies to put competition aside, talk to the engineers at Audi and work together on a solution that will surely save hundreds, if not thousands of lives!

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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  1. steveo Says:

    knowing the Hollywood streets and traffic the way I do, I would have been scared SH**less, Artie, glad you got thru it….
    How appropo in the sense that years later another car company is having similar problems…perhaps the powers that be were worried about being sued?


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