(WASHINGTON) — Korean officials are now investigating whether dashboard camera video that shows an elderly Korean couple speeding through crowded city streets and then plowing into another vehicle at 80 mph is evidence of sudden, uncontrolled acceleration by the vehicle.
Footage of the May 6 crash, in which 17 people were injured, was posted on an Internet forum by the couple’s son, who told Korean media he didn’t think that the police or the auto manufacturer would believe that the crash was caused by sudden, unexplained acceleration.
The son, who would only give his family name, Kwon, to Korean media, said his father, the driver, suffered fractured ribs and fingers, and his mother needed an operation to stop internal bleeding.
The incident, which occurred in heavy traffic in Daegu, one of South Korea’s largest cities, was captured by a camera mounted on the Sonata’s dashboard and facing forward. In the 29-second clip, the car accelerates quickly from a complete standstill. The driver weaves in and out of traffic, trying to avoid impact as his wife blurts, “Oh my God, what is going on?” The driver then slams into the back of a stopped car at 129 kilometers per hour.
On Monday, the Korean government said it planned to investigate the incident, and that it is also investigating several other incidents of alleged sudden acceleration.
In a statement to ABC News, Hyundai Motors said, “The Vehicle is being inspected by the Korean National Forensic Service. There is no time estimate for the conclusion of the investigation.”
On May 5, Hyundai announced that all its cars are now manufactured with brake override systems, which are designed to stop sudden acceleration incidents. According to Korean media reports the vehicle from the Daegu crash was a 2009 Sonata.
ABC News has reported extensively on alleged sudden acceleration incidents in Toyotas. Toyota recalled millions of vehicles to address sticking accelerator pedals or misplaced floor mats. In all other cases, Toyota attributed complaints of sudden acceleration to “driver error,” saying its research has shown the driver mistakenly pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
David Goldman, CNN Newswire
Jeff Wuorio, Deseret News