Hyundai i20

i20 3-doorI love my little Hyundai i20… it is nice to drive and easy to park and a great little car.  Well actually it was my father-in-laws car and he gave it to us back in April and it is barely 2 years old.

Anyway Saturday bought a new meaning to watching your life go by you in a flash of a moment.  We had been to Belmont House and Gardens in Throwley, Kent to take some photographs.  Having had a beautiful day out.. we were on our way home on the M2.

Now I don’t know if you know the M2 motorway at all …. but as you go past the junction for Rochester and Chatham heading towards London… it is a four lane motorway.  And that junction can be very busy as people use it when leaving the M20 to get onto the M2.

We had just passed the junction… when we came across the lane hoggers.  You know the ones… stick to one friggin lane no matter what speed they decide to travel at.  Well we had to go into the 4th Lane to pass someone… then pulled back in to let someone else go by and this 3rd lane road hogger had no intention of pulling over so the next step was to go back into the 4th lane to pass to him.

Just as he was about to pull out…. he had no power …. no accelerator… absolutely nothing.   At first we thought the accelerator cable must have broken… and it felt like the car was still going… but it wasn’t.

His quick reaction was to switch on the hazard warning lights and get to the hard shoulder as soon as possible… the only problem was we had no brakes and no power steering.  Doing 70mph down a motorway and then have no brakes is bloody scary believe me.

My life was flashing right in front of me… had visions of how people would get into my dogs… and was scared to death.  Eventually after much struggle we got onto the hard shoulder and the car came to a halt.

Now when you stall a car.. you still have the battery and oil light glowing… we had nothing… the key in the ignition was still in the on position… but we had no lights… absolutely no warning lights came up and all the dials were where they would be if you switched the car off… it had lost complete electrical power.

Eventually when we stopped… we were on the hard shoulder and had no alternative but to sit in the car because there was no bank we could get to for safety…  So he switched the bloody thing off, even though nothing was working … amongst a lot of swearing and baffling of what could be wrong…. he had never in all his years driving experienced anything like this.

Well I was googling our breakdown number.. because him indoors forgot his phone… when he said let me see if I have power now… so he switched the ignition key to the on position  and all the dials started to work and then he tried to start it and the car started.  So we drove home with hazard warning lights on.

The next day, Sunday, it took it down to Morrison’s and it was fine.

Anyway… I wouldn’t get in the thing… and he told me to ring Hyundai on Monday morning and tell them what happened.

Hyundai at Rainham were brilliant… they told me to get it there by 3pm and they would put it on the  computer to see what happened.

Well they did and they came back and said they had some very weird and wonderful readings come up… and there is a fault but they can’t pinpoint it.  So they asked if I would leave it with them… and they have given me a courtesy car to use…. which I love…. it is automatic and when you get in to start it up it is like mission control.. button and gadgets everywhere.

So far.. they still can’t pinpoint the problem… and we have told them we don’t want our car back until they have found the problem… when he indoors explained to me… it was safer when it did it on the motorway because you had the hard shoulder to stop… I really felt worried about driving it to Rainham on Monday afternoon… because I wouldn’t have been able to stop in time if this fault occurred again as I would have had no brakes or power steering..

So my apologies to all those that thought I was a Sunday driver on a Monday afternoon trip…  I just wanted to get this car to Rainham as safely as I could and I apologise for doing such a slow ridiculous speed… but it was better to be safe than sorry.

And as we carry our grand-son around in that car… we want the problem fixed before we take the car back… it is not safe to drive on the road.   It might never happen again.. but what if it happened whilst travelling down an road at 40 or 50mph or even 30mph and you couldn’t stop.  You could kill yourself as well as the possibility of killing someone else.  It wouldn’t be bad if the problem happened when you were stationery .. but it happened whilst travelling at speed… which is really scary.

Hyundai have been wonderful through this and understand our concerns and they agree with us that.. until the fault is found they will keep the car and keep trying to find the fault… and we can have the courtesy car.

Talk about your life flashing in front of you… and to be honest.. all these new cars are like this…. so reliant on electronics… it makes me yearn for the days when cars were more mechanical and less electronically controlled by bloody computers and sensors.


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