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Man blames TV ad for driving BMW into pond

The Local · 23 Feb 2012, 14:25

Published: 23 Feb 2012 14:25 GMT+01:00

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Keen to recreate an ad he had seen on the television, in which a BMW drives through water, 26-year-old Pascal R. splashed out €151 on an X3 compact sport utility vehicle for the day.

He had been hankering after the vehicle, which he could not afford to buy, for some time, daily newspaper Bild reported on Thursday.

After car rental company Sixt handed over the keys, the machine operator drove to a nearby quarry pond in the hope of fulfilling his automotive fantasy.

He revved the 147-horsepower vehicle and ploughed it into the water, but much to his chagrin, the car started to splutter and the engine cut out in just 50 centimetres of water.

Sixt tried to sue Pascal R. for €9,000 worth of damages, but he refused to cough up, referring to the advert in his refusal letter.

The case then went to court, where the judge denounced the act as “grossly negligent behaviour.”

His excuse that “the car can drive through the water on the TV” failed to convince the presiding judge, according to the paper.

Story continues below…

The judge offered him the option of paying a €4,000 compromise settlement, which Pascal R. accepted.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:03 February 23, 2012 by heathen
15:41 February 23, 2012 by lucksi
I will go out and jump in front of a moving truck, but it will be ok, because I have my KitKat with me and can stop time with it.

On one hand, advertisement showing untruths should be banned, on the other hand, some people need to have their brain examined.
16:11 February 23, 2012 by MaKo
That's an awesome story. I hope television viewing restrictions are also part of the compromise settlement...
16:36 February 23, 2012 by The-ex-pat
Well I did learn one thing from this. The BMW X3 four wheel drive off roader cannot handle 50 cm of water. Just goes to show that it is marketed towards people who think off roading involves putting a wheel on the grass to drive around an abandoned shopping cart at the local Real supermarket!!!
21:58 February 23, 2012 by neunElf
Glad that the judge made this person take responsibility for their actions.

The German society needs to stop this creeping Americanism from taking hold here in Germany. In America, it's always someone elses fault.
02:08 February 24, 2012 by CinemaNoir
neunElf..... I am an American and I agree with you! What is happening here in the USA is a form of social and legal insanity. Here, the jughead who rented the BMW

could have sued both BMW and the rental agency ~~ and won! Please don't allow the USA disease of social/legal insanity spread to Germany ~~ including so-called "political correctness," which is nothing but censorship ~~
04:49 February 24, 2012 by Dizz
@ CinemaNoir. You forgot to mention the misuse of prescription drugs and what that has done to your brain.

@ The Ex Pat. You'd be surprised but 50cm is a fair bit of water for a car or SUV. The previous model Range Rover is rated to 50cm max. The current one apparently can manage 70. Because the bow wave you would push in front of you would be quite spectacular, rising probably another 30 - 40 cms, engulfing the bonnet and more importantly weighing a great deal. Displacing that much water needs a very powerful car. The other problem is with flooding all the bits of the engine and transmission that "breathe". The videos you sometimes see of 4 wheel drives going up to the top of their windscreens in a pond or river are usually cars that have been extensively prepped with wading plugs and snorkels and so on.
11:20 February 24, 2012 by LancashireLad
@dizz Your comment to CinemaNoir is uncalled for. The comment is perfectly valid.

I agree with your comments about the amount of water so one comment would be that BMW should have had a caption on the screen to say that the vehicle had been prepared for deep water. Despite the fact that what is in the picture on the article is a puddle not a pond.

Personally I see this as yet another example of the standard German cultural avoidance of responsibility. Someone else is always to blame. Automatically. And the louder I say it the truer it is.
13:19 February 24, 2012 by 1TruthTeller
I'd like to refer the driver to those "Idiocy Tests" on this site....
17:57 February 24, 2012 by CinemaNoir
Why, pray tell, does "The Local" choose to abridge my initial response to @dizz, then remove my second post, which was my answer to his/her kindergarten-response?

I suspect "The Local's" abridgement of my initial post and removal of my post #2 underscores my belief that so-called "political correctness" is nothing more than willful censorship!
15:50 February 25, 2012 by moshe rosen
His claim seems indicative of our "blameless" society. I am just glad the courts didn't buy into it.

As for the guy, who has to be under 21, he needs to grow up and turn off the television!
16:29 February 26, 2012 by Wrench
Damn people! Don't you know arguing on the internet is like competing in the special olympics. You may win......but you're still retarded.
19:34 February 27, 2012 by willowsdad
Germany needs to emulate the US, where the viewer is told, as if s/he were a none too bright child, that the implausible things being done are being done by professionals and should not be attempted. I've even seen this ads that feature people doing flips and cartwheels. "Professional stunts. Do not attempt."
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