Preg­nant pause as mum’s mo­tor ca­reers down hill

Herald Express - - News - BY COLLEEN SMITH

AHEAVILY preg­nant mum thought she was suf­fer­ing from ‘baby brain’ when her car dis­ap­peared from out­side her house – un­til she dis­cov­ered the hand­brake on her Vaux­hall Corsa had failed and her car had rolled nearly 200ft, end­ing up hang­ing over a gar­den wall.

Now shocked Chelsea En­da­cott from Paign­ton is fum­ing be­cause her £12,500 car is wrecked and she be­lieves she may be the lat­est vic­tim of an is­sue with the Vaux­hall Corsa D Model car man­u­fac­tured be­tween 2007 and 2013.

Chelsea, 26, is 31 weeks preg­nant and had left her car out­side her house at 48 Els­dale Road. It rolled back­wards down the hill, veered off to the left, hit a parked car, de­mol­ished a wall and ended up in the gar­den of an­other house in Els­dale Road – nearly 200ft away – bal­anc­ing on top of the low wall.

Fum­ing Chelsea said: “What if it hap­pened af­ter my baby’s born? I was so shaken up af­ter­wards that I felt com­pletely out of touch with re­al­ity.”

Chelsea said she had briefly left her car out­side her house and run in­doors, car keys in hand. When she came back and the car was gone her first thought was that she was hal­lu­ci­nat­ing.

“I’m 31 weeks preg­nant and I won­dered if it was some kind of symp­tom of preg­nancy. I thought ‘Am I go­ing crazy?’ and won­dered if it was baby brain.

“I went and woke my part­ner up and we were look­ing out of the win­dow and we no­ticed there were lots of peo­ple gath­er­ing at the bot­tom of the hill.

“The peo­ple in num­ber 19 were un­load­ing their shop­ping – they could have been hit by my car.

“I was com­pletely shaken up. I felt as if I had kind of lost touch with re­al­ity. I just couldn’t get my head around what was go­ing on.”

Now Chelsea is ask­ing why she wasn’t in­cluded when Vaux­hall sent out let­ters to cus­tomers ear­lier this year ask­ing them to have their hand­brakes checked.

The let­ters stated that if the hand­brake had not been ap­plied cor­rectly, it’s pos­si­ble it could par­tially re­lease. The is­sue af­fects the Corsa D Model (Year 2007 to 2013).

Chelsea said: “I bought my Corsa D brand new in 2014 – but it was man­u­fac­tured in 2013. I have asked Vaux­hall why I didn’t re­ceive the let­ter.

“My car hand­brake was on – the re­cov­ery guy con­firmed it was on, but even when he put it on the re­cov­ery ve­hi­cle it wasn’t work­ing prop­erly.”

A let­ter sent to cus­tomers ear­lier this year reads: “Vaux­hall have re­viewed a num­ber of Corsa Model D Year 2007-2013 hand­brake mech­a­nisms and found that if the hand­brake is in­cor­rectly ap­plied by de­press­ing the re­lease but­ton dur­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion it is pos­si­ble the hand­brake may par­tially re­lease.

“Vaux­hall ad­vises that when park­ing your ve­hi­cle on a slope, cus­tomers should ap­ply the hand­brake and en­gage a gear in line with the rec­om­men­da­tions ref­er­enced in the owner’s man­ual.

“Vaux­hall is in­tro­duc­ing, as a cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion pro­gramme, a mod­i­fi­ca­tion to the hand­brake mech­a­nism to re­duce the pos­si­bil­ity of in­cor­rectly set­ting the hand­brake.”

Chelsea said: “My car might be writ­ten off – it doesn’t look that bad but there is a lot of dam­age un­der­neath. It’s a night­mare.

“My car is the same model and year as the one the let­ters were sent out about. I didn’t re­ceive that let­ter and I only found out when I Googled hand­brake fail­ure and found that a sim­i­lar thing had hap­pened to a girl in Ply­mouth.

“I have con­tacted Vaux­hall and am wait­ing to hear back.”

Vaux­hall UK has been con­tacted for a com­ment.

Chelsea En­da­cott’s Vaux­hall Corsa was left tee­ter­ing on a low wall af­ter ca­reer­ing down a hill

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