Stranded motorists in Kent were forced to turn to Ofcom after a rogue car's central locking system took possession of other vehicles in the same Gravesend car park.
More than 12 cars at the Parrock Street car park in the comfortable yet earthy Medway town decided not to open or start on Tuesday, the Beeb reports.
Apparently this was just the latest in a series of mysterious goings-on in the car park in recent weeks, with cars sounding their alarms spontaneously, refusing to open, or resolutely staying put.
Council officers had suspected either a rogue transmitter or wireless broadband was the source of the problem. Council and police systems were checked, as was the town’s car park vacancy notification system.
After Tuesday’s mass sit-in by unhappy cars, the council called in the cavalry in the form of Ofcom, which took a break from its usual job of working out what to do with the country’s spectrum and fining TV companies for phone-in scams. The regulator’s boffins said they eventually traced the problem to "a small family car [that] was intermittently sending out signals blocking other fobs in a 164ft (50m) radius".
They left a note on the car and the owner eventually ID’d himself, leading authorities to declare the problem solved once and for all. Which it is, if you really believe that the problem was down to a faulty key, and not a more widespread rebellion of the country’s hacked-off hive-brained motor fleet... ®