Maybe You Don't Want That Euro Diesel Wagon After All

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

Since editor Ed and big Bertel are in transit to Nashville right now, where they will be meeing me and my girls (Vodka McBigbra and Drama McHourglass) for dinner, there’s theoretically no way they could stop me from headlining this article Jalopnik-style, “THIS is the wagon that could kill you to DEATH.” Let’s just pretend I did. Because this really IS the wagon that could kill you to death.

Luckily, you can’t buy it in the United States.

ComputerWorld brings us the news that about 18,000 Jaguars were shipped with defective cruise-control programming. All of the affected cars were diesel X-Type wagons. That right there brings up the question: How the hell did Jaguar sell 18,000 diesel X-Type wagons?

If the fault occurs, cruise control can only be disabled by turning of the ignition while driving – which would mean a loss of some control and in many cars also disables power steering. Braking or pressing the cancel button will not work.

That’s like whoa. During my time as a car salesman in the Nineties, I remember dozens of customers expressing concern to me that “electronical cruise controls” would go out of control and shoot them down the freeway like rodeo riders on a particularly discontented bull. I patiently explained to them that under no circumstances would a major manufacturer permit such a situation to occur. Just for record, I never promised them that the cruise control stalk wouldn’t catch fire. That would have been rash. I just promised that it wouldn’t disregard the brake or “off” switch. Turns out it took Jaguar engineering to make my customers’ nightmares come true.

The fix Jaguar is offering, if I understand correctly, will disable the cruise control and warn the driver if certain conditions are met. Good idea. That’s much better than, you know, actually keeping the problem from occurring. In the meantime, those of you who are pining away for European diesel wagons can thank you stars that, although Jaguar wasn’t smart enough to engineer a cruise-control system, at least they were smart enough to avoid brining that car to the United States…

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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  • MrWhopee MrWhopee on Oct 25, 2011

    Um, why the defective cruise control programming is unique to the diesel wagon? Wouldn't they be the same for sedans with the same engine? How come the diesel sedans are not affected?

    • See 1 previous
    • Dolorean Dolorean on Oct 26, 2011

      @CJinSD If I remember correctly, the primary use of diesel wagons in Europe would be for Caravan (Trailer) hauling. Therefore the conditions for the electronic code would be different for the wagon vs. the sedan as would the braking system and transmission gearing.

  • Grzydj Grzydj on Oct 26, 2011

    Why don't you call "your girls" Douchy McBigdouche and Douch McDouchlass since you think everybody is such a douche?

  • Lorenzo The unspoken killer is that batteries can't be repaired after a fender-bender and the cars are totaled by insurance companies. Very quickly, insurance premiums will be bigger than the the monthly payment, killing all sales. People will be snapping up all the clunkers Tim Healey can find.
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  • RHD Welcome to TTAH/K, also known as TTAUC (The truth about used cars). There is a hell of a lot of interesting auto news that does not make it to this website.
  • Jkross22 EV makers are hosed. How much bigger is the EV market right now than it already is? Tesla is holding all the cards... existing customer base, no dealers to contend with, largest EV fleet and the only one with a reliable (although more crowded) charging network when you're on the road. They're also the most agile with pricing. I have no idea what BMW, Audi, H/K and Merc are thinking and their sales reflect that. Tesla isn't for me, but I see the appeal. They are the EV for people who really just want a Tesla, which is most EV customers. Rivian and Polestar and Lucid are all in trouble. They'll likely have to be acquired to survive. They probably know it too.
  • Lorenzo The Renaissance Center was spearheaded by Henry Ford II to revitalize the Detroit waterfront. The round towers were a huge mistake, with inefficient floorplans. The space is largely unusable, and rental agents were having trouble renting it out.GM didn't know that, or do research, when they bought it. They just wanted to steal thunder from Ford by making it their new headquarters. Since they now own it, GM will need to tear down the "silver silos" as un-rentable, and take a financial bath.Somewhere, the ghost of Alfred P. Sloan is weeping.
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