You should be able to shut off the engine without locking the steering column. The turn the key only one notch to the accessory position. You may lose power steering, but the car will be steerable.
i disagree with mcparadise. Although new cars have rev-limiters, it’s still not good to have an engine close to red-line speeds. From personal experience, I agree whole-heartedly with a floor mat. It has happened in my GT Mustang on the HWY. I quickly pushed in the clutch, killed the engine, then turned key on, DID not start it, and pulled mat back down and restarted engine and carefully put it in 4th gear. If you ever have to kill an engine on a road, turn key back on. I’m not questioning your intelligence, but you still need to steer. I wouldn’t rush to lemon-law, but it should be underwarranty. This poses a very dangerous situation, please be careful.
Thank you to all who responded. Saturn went over the car today and found nothing. Gently suggested the possibility of user error. NHTSA hasn’t had any similar complaints. I’m willing to assume, for now, that the accelerator pedal may have got tangled up in an aftermarket floor mat. (Watch those floor mats.) Am practicing quickly shifting into neutral.
this happened to me as well on a vehicle the mats slowly slid forward til the edge contactes the accelerator cable and pushed it forward causing the motor to respond as if the gas pedal had been pushed. It also was a question on Click and Clack a few years back and it was determined to be the mats as well.
Most modern cars with automatic transmissions have many safety features. The console shifter on most automatics can be pushed between drive and neutral without pressing the button. Getting into reverse or park requires the button be pushed. Also, you can shut off the engine with the car in any gear but park without locking the steering, thanks to the safety interlock. Just a few features that may help you out if it happens again.
JOKE! There have been a few complaints but the drivers have not been stopping at the dealer for followup!
I drove a car with a broken left motor mount for a while before I had my WOT incident. I accelerated a little hard on a left turn from a stop light. The engine must have lifted up, pulling the throttle cable, which caused the engine to torque even more, pulling the cable more,… I turned the key off and got the motor mount fixed. (And did laundry)
I literally stood on the brake pedal and fought against the engine to force the car to slow down.
A very stupid thing to do. In the race between a revving engine and the brakes, the brakes will almost always lose. You will melt them, or at least, boil your brake fluid. Either way, you lose the brakes. Some woman in Colorado recently murdered a family in another car because she tried to brake her way out of a runaway engine. As noted before, the correct response is to shift into Neutral, and then brake. So what if the engine blows itself apart? Modern engines may shut off fuel to the injectors if the throttle plate is stuck open, to prevent overrevving, but still, a dead engine is better than dead people.
No No No. In a panic situation, it’s likely that you’ll end up locking the steering column. Besides, you don’t want to lose your power steering and power brakes. Just put the transmission in Neutral and concentrate on getting control of the vehicle and bringing it to a stop. If the rev-limiter works and the tach is sitting at the red line, great. If your pistons are flying out of the hood, that’s a lot cheaper than totally the car and killing innocent people.