It's official: the German automotive industry fell to the Lizard Alliance on 5 March when a 26-year-old UK man recorded the first incident of murderous Teutonic automobile: an R-reg BMW 318 which took its terrified victim on a high-speed white knuckle ride of near death before self-destructing on a roundabout.
According to a sobering BBC report, Kevin Nicolle was at the controls of said vehicle on the A1 near Thirsk in North Yorkshire when the car started to accelerate - and not at his behest. What followed will chill the hearts of all members of the neoLuddite Resistance Army (NRA): a 60-mile, 135mph dash down the hard shoulder, police helicopter in hot pursuit while Mr Nicolle frantically attempted to bring the Todesauto back under human control.
Nicolle explained: "I was travelling down the motorway and I came to traffic in front of me. I took my foot off the accelerator because it's automatic - but I wasn't slowing down at all.
"I hit the brakes. They were braking ok, they were keeping me at about 70mph. So I phoned up the police after I called the AA and they said straight away 'stick your hazard lights on and headlights on - we've got a helicopter en route to you'."
Nicolle attempted unsuccessfully to stick the Beemer in neutral, but found the gears jammed. "Then the brakes started burning out - I could see smoke coming from the brakes," he said.
After 60 miles - during which Nicolle was in constant contact with the police on his hands-free - his options ran out. Approaching a roundabout near Blyth he saw there were "a load of cars parked waiting to go onto the roundabout, so I went on the inside on the hard shoulder to try to get around it.
"But doing that sort of speed there was no chance and I hit the roundabout head on. I remember the 999 lady saying 'he's crashed'."
The car quickly ensured that any investigation into the cause of the ordeal would be made as difficult as possible - by duly bursting into flames. Nicolle admitted: "I survived the accident but I thought I was going to die in the fire."
Police duly towed away the car and "BMW said they would carry out a full investigation". We all know what that means; a suspicion confirmed by BMW's UK media relations manager, Duncan Forrester, who said: "I would certainly like to reassure anybody driving any BMW that we see this as really nothing more than a freak accident. We have absolutely no record of anything such as this happening in the past, hence the reason why we want to take a close look at it."
Regular monitors of the Rise of the Machines™ will find these words spine-tinglingly familiar. Back in 2004, an incident during which a Renault Vel Satis subjected a sobbing Frenchman to an hour-long, 125mph involuntary speed trial, provoked the firm's CEO Louis Schweitzer to declare: "Every time there is an incident like this, we have to look into it on the principle of basic precaution. But the way this has been described to me, I find it very surprising and most unlikely."
For the record, Nicolle survived the impact with the roundabout unscathed. He is unsurprisingly considering giving up driving altogether. ®
Thanks to NRA scout Kiel Goodman for the sighting. Stay vigilant.
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