My friend's automatic Golf accelerated into a restaurant for no reason - can you help?

An friend’s new Golf GTI 2.0 automatic suddenly accelerated whilst being parked and ran into a restaurant. His foot was on the brake at the time it happened but the brakes were unable to hold the car and it only stopped when he managed to turn the ignition off. Fortunately nobody was hurt.

Previously the car had issues including warnings about bulb failures, but when checked the bulbs mentioned were still functional, so it looks to be an electronics or software problem. So far, the local Volkswagen dealer seems to have sat on the problem and always claims to be waiting a response from VW Germany, and the car is in his premises getting apparently no attention. Has this sort of problem been seen before? How do we put pressure on to get a resolution and the car sorted?

Asked on 11 October 2012 by JH, via email

Answered by Honest John
I have never heard of this happening with a DSG. This would require the transmission to lock itself in gear and the engine to involuntarily accelerate at the same time. I'm afraid that the most likely explanation is that your friend drives one-footed and stamped his right foot on the accelerator instead of the brake. Or that somehow he engaged cruise control, but that would normally disconnect as soon as the brake pedal was pressed.
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