My wife has a 2002 Honda Civic, 55k miles, auto transmission. Today she started it in the garage and put it in reverse (with her foot on the brake). There was lurching so she shifted back to park. She waited briefly then shifted again into reverse with her foot still on the brake. The car immediately shot backwards without warning. She careened down our 60 foot driveway as she was fighting to gain control of the car. The brake felt normal, not sinking to the floor; it just wouldn’t stop the car. She tried to apply the parking brake but it had little effect. When she came to the street she ended up turning 180 degrees and hitting a tree. This stopped the car’s movement, though the front tires were still spinning at high speed against the curb until she turned off the engine.
Naturally we were afraid to drive the car so we called a towing service, which took the car to our local Honda dealer (where all servicing has been done). Though no mechanics were working on Saturday afternoon, the service manager was in. He drove the car in the parking lot and found nothing wrong, though he said he would have to wait until Monday for a full diagnosis.
I have two questions: 1) What happened?; and 2) What questions do I need to ask of the Honda dealer on Monday. After this scary situation, I don’t want to end up with the dealer saying “everything is ok.” Until we have answers, we do not trust the car. Luckily no one was hurt but next time it could be different.