Rust was the official reason given by Renault SA for the strange behaviour shown by a car presumed to be "haunted" in Somerset West recently.
Rust was the official reason given by Renault SA for the strange behaviour shown by a car presumed to be "haunted" in Cape Town recently.
The car had mysteriously "jumped" one morning when the owner of a guesthouse, Ian Schietekat, his family and guests were woken up by a loud crash. In full view of the crowd, it then made a "type of roaring sound and gave two powerful leaps backwards, before it ... was stopped by a hibiscus tree," Schietekat said.
Renault SA has since investigated this phenomenon and published its findings in a report.
Apparently the Mégane's starter was activated by short circuits caused by a rusty starter cable leading to the battery supply pack.
The company stressed that the phenomenon was not caused by a faulty product, as had been deduced by CAR technical editor, Jake Venter. Venter had said that the car's neurotic behaviour had probably been caused by a combination of faulty electronics and a fairly strong wind. Venter on Tuesday noted, however, that a rusty cable on a relatively new car was highly unusual and could be considered a fault in itself.
Renault said since the car was parked in reverse, it jumped backwards whenever the rusty cable short-circuited, igniting the starter. However, the roaring sound made by the car at the time, was not explained.
The car's behaviour was initially thought to be a failed attempt at theft, but the property's gates were still closed, the car locked and the handbrake engaged.