‘Car in own world’: Jaguar i-Pace goes rogue, driver blames EV for 160 kmph run

  • Can a fault in the battery of an EV make it accelerate without any control, apart from steering, left for the driver?
Jaguar i-Pace
The Jaguar I-Pace that allegedly sped off on its own is seen here boxed between police patrol vehicles. (X/@garethhunt21)
Jaguar i-Pace
The Jaguar I-Pace that allegedly sped off on its own is seen here boxed between police patrol vehicles.

It was 35 minutes of absolute nightmare for 31-year-old Nathan Owen. Except he was wide awake and behind the wheel of an electric vehicle that he claims sped off on its own accord and left him with no controls over any function. It could have been fatal, not just for the man from North Wales but for hundreds of fellow motorists on UK's M62 motorway if police officials had not been able to bring the EV to a halt.

The 2019 model i-Pace from Jaguar is a popular EV choice for many in many countries across the world. But Owen is unlikely to recommend it. Speaking to Daily Mail, he explains how his car suddenly accelerated to 160 kmph on the busy motorway. He claims he had no control over the braking system and all he was thinking about was how he would either end up killing himself of many motorists that he had to somehow manage to dodge.

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It took a large team of officers from Merseyside Police to launch a mammoth effort to bring the EV to a halt. As many as eight patrol vehicles had the speeding car surrounded and it was eventually slowed down and brought to a halt by being wedged between two Matrix patrol cruisers. “It came up on the dashboard saying there was a battery malfunction in my car. I kept trying to press the brakes but nothing was happening. So the next thing I thought I should do was call 999 and tell them what was happening," Owen was quoted as saying later. “The car was in its own world - it just had no brakes. The worst thing about it is that it's happened before."

According to Owen, his Black-coloured i-Pace had suddenly accelerated to 190 kmph in December of last year on another motorway. It is not clear how he managed to regain control or if emergency services were pressed into action even then. But he does add that Jaguar handed back the car to him within 24 hours when he took it in for inspection.

At around 80,000 British Pounds (approximately 84 lakhs), the i-Pace is an expensive car by standards within the UK automotive market. But regardless of which price bracket a car sits in, any vehicle taking over acceleration on its own and disallowing braking can easily be a massive road risk for the persons inside and for everyone around. At the time of filing this report, it has not been established by competent authorities as to what led to Owen's EV doing what it did, twice.

First Published Date: 07 Mar 2024, 16:04 PM IST

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