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BMW Park Assist blamed for parking blunder

Man blames Park Assist feature after mounting a parked car in his BMW.

A 27-year-old driver has blamed the autonomous Park Assist feature equipped to his brand new BMW 5 Series for an incident that resulted in him ending up parked on top of another car. The man was trying to park at his local Target department store.

Florida resident Jonathon Libratore was travelling with his young son in the back when Park Assist allegedly malfunctioned. Rather than reverse gracefully into a space deemed suitable, Libratore claims the Bimmer accelerated rapidly, propelling his new ride onto the bonnet of a parked Nissan Sentra.

As you can see from the images taken by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the car accelerated with such force that two wheels drove up the side of the parked car before coming to a halt, having up-rooted a small tree.

BMW North America says Park Assist is not to blame. Spokesman David Buchko told ABC News: “The system does not control the speed of the vehicle at any time. The driver controls the speed of the vehicle with the accelerator and the brake.”

The official spiel on Park Assist states: “BMW Park Assist makes parallel parking simple. Once activated, all you need to do is drive past an available space, at a speed below 20mph and vehicle sensors calculate the manoeuvre for you.

“Instructions are displayed on the Control Display and when you engage the required gear your BMW will steer your vehicle into the space whilst you control the accelerator and brake pedals.”

Martin County police are said to be investigating.

Could a system fault be to blame, or was this a case of a driver blaming anything but himself for a total cock-up? Let us know.

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