MISSOURI — It was a hair-raising, 110-mile-an-hour ordeal for Lori Ubelstad when her Kia Sorento’s accelerator got stuck while she was driving on the interstate.
For a half hour, Ubelstad dodged in and out of traffic at high speed, at times veering off the road to avoid crashing.
In 30 minutes, Ubelstad traveled almost 60 miles, from Missouri into Iowa, with one patrol car in front of her and another behind.
She yelled at other drivers and begged for help, trying everything the 911 dispatcher could offer, but she still couldn’t stop her SUV.
“All of a sudden it just started picking up speed and picking up speed and I’m going like 80, almost 90 miles an hour. I’m headed to Bethany, and I’m scared to death!” Ubelstad said.
The 911 calls showcase Ubelstad’s terror.
Dispatcher: “OK, are you able to hit your brakes at all?”
Ubelstad: “I’ve tried everything, my husband…”
Dispatcher: “OK, have you put your car in neutral?”
Ubelstad: “I can’t get it to move. I can’t get the car to shut off.”
Dispatcher: “Lori, have you tried to slowly put your emergency brake on?”
Ubelstad: “Yes, I have, I have it all the way on.”
Dispatcher: “468, she has the emergency brake all the way on. You’re doing a really, a really good job, OK?”
Dispatcher: “We’re right next to the car! It’s OK. They’re going to clear the roadway.”
Ubelstad: “That stupid car didn’t move and we almost hit him!”
The Kia Sorento had a push-button start, so Ubelstad couldn’t turn off the car with the key, and the brakes burned up, and she couldn’t get the gears to shift.
In the end, a trooper was able to climb into the vehicle and put it in park. It’s still unclear how the accelerator got stuck.
Kia Motors America released a statement to FOX6 News regarding this incident:
“Kia Motors America (KMA) places a priority on vehicle safety and takes reported customer concerns seriously. Upon learning of this incident from the customer, KMA requested an initial inspection and test drive of the vehicle by authorized Kia service technicians and alternate transportation has been provided to the customer. Our technicians have been unable to duplicate the issue and this appears to be an isolated incident. KMA will continue to investigate and analyze the facts of this situation and will work with the customer to resolve the matter in a timely manner. As always, any Kia customers with questions regarding their Kia vehicle should contact KMA’s Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia).”