A roar and the car took off

Two days ago as I was pulling into a parking place my car made a terrible roar and took off like a jet, thankfully stopping by crashing into a tree—as opposed to all the other possibilites. Has anyone else ever heard of anything like that? I drive a 2003 Pontiac Montana minivan.

a montana took off like a jet? something is wrong!

I’ve heard of it! But not usually on a GM.

On Ford’s, it’s because the Idle Air Control motor goes nuts. I know of one person who took out a set of gas pumps as they were pulling into a gas station when the IAC on their Ford went nuts.

So, that’s the first thing I’d check.


Well there’s no recalls about anything like this, and I’ve not heard of something like this so it’s apparently an isolated incident. If this did indeed happen (and I must say I’m not sure how) and you’re not 80 years old, then you need to stop by and see a mechanic.

Are you actually a tester? I think because I’m a woman, everyone dismisses the problem as driver error. I’m frustrated that tho I will never drive the vehicle again, someone else might with deadly results. I feel a great responsibilty to see that that does not happen and do not know how to proceed.

I used to work with someone who had a Cadillac that had this symptom intermittently. I don’t recall the year of the Caddy, but it was one of the last RWD DeVilles, and I do recall researching it on the NHTSA website for him. It turned out that there were quite a number of people who posted the exact same situation with these last RWD DeVilles.

The Caddy dealer was never able to figure it out, and I advised him to have the car crushed in order to prevent some innocent person from being killed in or by that car. Instead, he traded it in and some innocent person was then the next owner.

OP–report this defect on the NHTSA website. Who knows? You might find other reports of the same situation for this make and model on the site.

Thank you so much for the suggestion. I certainly will not sleep well at night until I have an answer or at the very least know that this car is not on the road anywhere with anyone in or near it.

Our daughter has also has a 2003 Pontiac Montana but after 90k miles no problem like yours.
I’m going to advise her of this and tell her to shut the key off quickly if it does happen.

Besides checking the IAC as Tester suggested, have the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) tested too.

Did you not hit the brakes at all or did the vehicle continue rocketing forward even with the brake pedal depressed?

The distance between the take-off and the tree is only about 6 to 8 feet and I was so stunned, I doubt that I even hit the brakes. The only indication that anything was wrong before that, was the very loud roar as I was turning into the parking space. I very consiously thought, “what was that”! I too, in afterthought, would know to turn off the ignition, but it all happened so fast. Thanks for the suggestion about the TPS.

I have never heard of an IAC valve causing this.