Sobbing Frenchman Recounts Renault Laguna Terror Ordeal

By Lester Haines
Published Friday 18th March 2005


In July last year we reported that a Renault Vel Satis attempted to do away with its terrified owner when it took him on an hour-long, 125 mph kamikaze Cannonball Run 1. Renault at the time doubted very much the driver's version of events – that the car had refused to respond to appeals to slow down a bit.

On Wednesday, an innocent jaunt near Rouen became another page in the chronicle of the Rise of the Machines™ 2 after a Renault Laguna spontaneously decided to subject its master – accompanied by his five-year-old son – to a forty-kilometre rollercoaster terror ordeal during which the panic-stricken Frenchman could neither brake, decelerate nor use the clutch.

Mr Gamada later recounted to French daily Paris-Normandie: "I always take the same route. I'd entered 87 kmph on the speed regulator because there's a 90 kmph limit on the road. But suddenly the car locked up. I couldn't do anything... except turn the wheel."

A shaken Gamada continued: "I was asked to do one of three things: disengage the clutch, which didn't work; press the start button five times – again, nothing; override the speed control box – still nothing."

Gamada at this point contacted his wife via mobile phone, who in turn alerted the authorities. The police put Gamada in touch with Renault assistance and – after 40 kilometres – a combination of clutch, start button and speed regulator manipulation brought the murderous Laguna to a halt.

The local press report notes that "the offending car is fitted with a mechanical speed regulator – without electronic control". It rather superbly adds: "It seems probable that the driver was not able to disengage the lever."

We await with delicious anticipation the explanation of Louis Schweitzer for this latest outrage. Of course, the report will finger Gamada as the culprit, after which the sobbing victim will be paid off with a family trip to Disneyland Paris.

(1) A 1981 film about a cross-country car race.
(2) A film also known as Terminator 3.


© The Register

EXPLICATIONS

 
par. 1
an hour-long, 125 mph kamikaze Cannonball Run : ordre de traduction :
1 - Cannonball Run (titre de film)
2 - kamikaze
3 - hour-long
,
(virgule)
4 - 125 mph
 
par. 2
a forty-kilometre rollercoaster terror ordeal
: ordre de traduction :
1 - terror ordeal (avec a/ ordeal, b/ terror)
2 - rollercoaster
3 - forty-kilometre
 
par. 4
"disengage the clutch, which didn't work" : which = ce qui
 
par. 5
clutch, start button and speed regulator manipulation : ordre de traduction :
1 - manipulation
2 - clutch
,
(virgule)
3 - start button
and
4 - speed regulator, avec a/ regulator, b/ speed
 

EXPLOITATION

 

I - Quels sont les mots du texte synonymes de / Which words in the text are synonymous with

 

titre
- crying aloud = (one word)
to relate, to tell =
- painful experience = (one word)

par. 1
- to try =
- to question =
- to react =

par. 2
- a ride =
- affected with panic =

par. 3
- afterwards =
- to jam =

par. 4
- disturbed =

par. 5
- by means of = (one word)
- to put in communication with =
- to force to stop =

par. 6
- to be equipped with =

par. 7
- to wait for =
- very recent = (one word)
- to designate =
- the offender =
- to be rewarded with =

 

II - Trouver dans le texte l'équivalent anglais de / Find out in the text the English equivalents for
 

titre
- sanglotant =
- raconter =
- épreuve terrifiante =

par. 1
- rapporter, relater =
- tenter =
- se débarrasser de =
- propriétaire =
- douter de =
- demande insistante = (1 mot)
- ralentir =
- un tout petit peu =

par. 2
- balade =
- soumettre à =
- montagnes russes =
- paniqué =
- freiner =
- embrayage =

par. 3
- quotidien (n) =
- itinéraire =
- saisir (au clavier) =
- se verrouiller =

par. 4
- secoué, encore sous le choc =
- appuyer sur =
- neutraliser =

par. 5
- mettre en contact avec =
- forcer à s'arrêter =
- assoiffé de sang =

par. 6
- article de presse =
- incriminé =
- être équipé de =
- d'un ton supérieur = (1 mot)
- ajouter =

par. 7
- attendre =
- impatience =
- tout dernier, tout récent =
- scandale =
- désigner du doigt, dénoncer (comme) =
- le coupable =
- recevoir en compensation =
- séjour en famille =

 

 

III - Questions / Questions
 
a/ What information do we learn from the byline, dateline and copyright line of the article?

b/ How many incidents are reported in the article? What make of cars is involved?

c/ Each incident contains a humorous reference to a film. What are those films?

d/ The journalist keeps using adjectives denoting fear or grief (chagrin). Draw a list of them.

e/ In the journalist's opinion, who is actually (réellement) to blame for the second incident: the driver or the carmaker?

f/ On whose side is the local press?
 

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© Christian Lassure - EFT

Le 21 avril 2007 / April 21st, 2007

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