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Dealership Remote Starts Customer's Mustang Into Pond, Car Totalled

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Dealership Remote Starts Customer's Mustang Into Pond, Car Totalled

Mustangforums member "luckydawg003" wasn't so lucky when he took his remote starter-equipped, manual transmission Mustang GT to Brandon Ford in Florida for some service. They remote-started the car in gear and it ended up submerged in a holding pond.

According to lucky, he was at the dealer to pick up his car after some warranty work when the service agent came out with some bad news. When he was going to get the car the agent remote-started the 'Stang while it was in gear with the parking brake off. The car fired up and took off through an empty parking spot, went under a chain link fence and powered itself into a holding pond off the dealer lot where it sank beneath the water.

The dealer has refused to admit responsibility for the incident claiming the lack of a neutral safety switch on the system absolves them of responsibility. The soggy Mustang is totaled and the matter is now in the hands of the insurance companies.

What do you think? Does the dealership owe this guy a new car or is the Mustang owner culpable for installing a remote start system on his car without a neutral safety switch (or for installing a remote starter on a manually equipped car in the first place)?

link:

http://jalopnik.com/5500228/dealership-remote-starts-customers-mustang-into-pond-car-totalled

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The question is... who left the brake off?

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What do you think? Does the dealership owe this guy a new car or is the Mustang owner culpable for installing a remote start system on his car without a neutral safety switch (or for installing a remote starter on a manually equipped car in the first place)?

The owner is not responsible as the system was not properly installed. When installed correctly, anyone can have a remote starter on a manual car and not have this happen.

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"Does the dealership owe this guy a new car"

No, but it's funny as hello.

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Did his insurance company know there was a remote starter system put on the car?

Why was the dealership messing with the aftermarket remote start system?

GM does not put remote start systems on manual transmission vehicles from the factory.

Did the owner know the system was not properly installed with a neutral safety switch?

Did the owner tell the dealership how to work the system the way it was installed?

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I couldn't imagine putting a remote start on a manual transmission car. I always park a car w/ a manual in 1st gear w/ the parking brake on.

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Yup, I leave the Cobalt in gear with the parking brake on. First gear if I am facing uphill, reverse if I am facing downhill, to give an extra bounce of safety.

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Who left the car in gear with the handbrake off? The owner or the dealer's employee?

I think the dealership is going have enough bad publicity over seeming like giant a$$hats for ruining a customer's car then telling him "too bad" they'll wish they'd just handed him the keys to a new Mustang...

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How so?

The car was on their property, in their care, parked by their employee, and the remote start was used by their employee.

Their insurance company will fold immediately.

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Yup, I leave the Cobalt in gear with the parking brake on. First gear if I am facing uphill, reverse if I am facing downhill, to give an extra bounce of safety.

which if one refers to their handy dandy owners manual or dmv literature will suggest the same if i am not mistaken.

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I'm kind of surprised the starter had enough power to turn over the engine with the car in gear.

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Shoot, before starter safety switches, we used to start and move a manual transmission vehicle all the time mistakenly with the starter, with the vehicle in gear. Those old Ford pickups. Wasn't good for them I guess.

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Did his insurance company know there was a remote starter system put on the car?

Why was the dealership messing with the aftermarket remote start system?

GM does not put remote start systems on manual transmission vehicles from the factory.

Did the owner know the system was not properly installed with a neutral safety switch?

Did the owner tell the dealership how to work the system the way it was installed?

Excellent questions...

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