x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Driver of runaway Land Cruiser stuck at 120kph files complaint

A Ras Al Khaimah driver who lost control of his Toyota Land Cruiser after the cruise control got stuck at 120kph has filed a complaint with the Ministry of Economy.

RAS AL KHAIMAH // A driver who lost control of his 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser after the cruise control became stuck at 120kph has filed a complaint with the Ministry of Economy.

"Today Al-Futtaim Motors and Toyota Corporation visited Abu Dhabi to check the car for a technical report," said Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, the consumer protection director at the ministry. "In two days the technical report will be with me."

Dr Al Nuaimi said the problem was probably specific to the one car.

"People should not be worried about using cruise control," he said. "In two days it will be clear from the Ministry of Economy what happened with this car specifically, and with the model."

It is the third such incident in the Arabian Gulf region this year.

In January, police in Saudi Arabia stopped a Land Cruiser with the cruise control stuck at 210kph, the Saudi newspaper Al Rayat reported.

And in February, a driver on the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain motorway had his cruise control stuck on 160kph.

"Al-Futtaim Motors is offering full support to the respective authorities to determine the facts surrounding the Land Cruiser incident, which happened earlier this month," said Simon Frith, managing director of Al-Futtaim Motors.

"Until the vehicle has been fully inspected and tested we are unable to make any further comment."

The driver in the most recent case, Abdulla Al Mulla, said he would sell the car and vowed never to use cruise control again.

"I was just waiting to see what would happen. I was waiting for the end," Mr Al Mulla said.

The cruise control on his 4x4 became stuck on the E311 as he drove from Dubai to RAK on August 12.

"I went to stop at the petrol station and I saw that the car was not stopping," Mr Al Mulla said.

Police cars surrounded his vehicle then guided him to slowly apply the handbrake and drive on to a sand dune. The rescue was led by Capt Tariq Al Sharhan.

"I wasn't on duty but I was just sitting there with my friends, policemen," said Capt Al Sharhan. "I took my car and I drove out as fast as I could because there was no time."

He drove at more than 200kph to overtake the 4x4 and slow it down.

"He did his job and risked his life to help," said Mr Al Mulla, 25. "I feel bad about what happened to me, I thought I would die. My family are not happy."

He has not decided if he will take action against Toyota.

"We don't know," Mr Al Mulla said. "After the reports, after everything, we will see what happens."

azacharias@thenational.ae