Hyundai Replaces Car Destroyed In BMW Parking Lot Attack

About a week ago, a woman tried to park her BMW X5 in a gym parking lot in Thornhill, Ontario. For some mysterious reason, she instead drove over two other cars and sat on top of them for a few seconds, like a big game cat savoring her kill. Then she drove off.

One of the demolished cars was a 2004 Hyundai Elantra that the owner had just finished paying off, and on Friday Hyundai gave him a new car.

Luckily the incident was caught on a security camera, so if you haven’t seen it yet, here ya go:




The 62-year-old driver returned to the scene of the crime—she was a member of the gym—last week, where she was identified by a gym employee with a special interest in solving the case. The Globe and Mail writes, “She was identified when an Extreme Fitness staff member, whose own car had been crushed in the Oct. 22 incident, spotted a similar-looking SUV in the parking lot again Wednesday morning [October 28] and called police.”

The Elantra owner, Todd Jamison, was surprised last Friday by a Hyundai representative in the parking lot:

…when colleagues called him into the office on a pretense, he found a shiny 2010 Hyundai Elantra in the lot along with a smiling Hyundai representative. “”We wanted to help the guy,” a Hyundai spokesman told TheStar.com. “This was our random act of kindness.”

Either that, or it’s the best viral advertising video for both BMW vehicles, and Hyundai customer service, that I’ve ever seen.

“VIDEO: Hyundai steps up to remedy world’s worst parking job” [Autoblog] (Thanks to GearheadGeek!)
“Woman charged after parking escapade becomes viral sensation” [The Globe and Mail]
“‘Worst parking job’ victim given car” [TheStar.com]

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  1. ecwis says:

    I always doubted the off-road capabilities of BMW SUVs but it’s proved itself here! Also, this is a great, cheap, and effective way for Hyundai to advertise. It will probably make that customer very loyal too. I’m liking Hyundai more everyday.

    • remington870_20ga says:

      @ecwis: the off road capabilities are poor. I remember when it first came out. They paired it against a Range Rover ( as pretty as they are they can offroad pretty good) and they had to soften the course for the bimmer :/

    • ElizabethD says:

      @ecwis:
      We’ve been an all-Hyundai family for 4 or 5 years now, and we are very pleased with the value and the service. I love my Santa Fe, and when I downsize once the last kid is out of the house, I will stay with Hyundai for a smaller vehicle.

  2. West Coast Secessionist says:

    WOW!

    Historically I’ve been skeptical about Korean cars, but this move showed a lot of care and initiative on the part of Hyundai–and in a situation where no one would have expected H. to even be involved. Bravo! With one kind move, they’ve moved their brand up a few ticks on my buy-o-meter.

    I think if I was that guy and I walked in the room and got handed the keys, I wouldn’t have even believed it myself! :)

  3. elemeno says:

    I said ‘laaaydaaay, step inside my Hyundai’ (not on it)

  4. WraithSama says:

    I’m glad they caught her when she returned later. A small scrape is one thing, but you crush two other cars monster truck style with your SUV and then book the hell out of there? And then come back? That granny had some brass balls under that skirt.

    I’ve got a super-rare 2001 Toyota MR2 Spyder in mint condition and someone at my complex hit it and left while I was at home sick a couple months back, causing $2,400 in damage. People who do hit-and-runs suck!

    • TheWillow says:

      @WraithSama: one of my co-workers got hit by a car while she was jogging. She wasn’t hurt badly, but apparently the woman was like: “what just happened?” and my coworker yelled “you ran a stop sign and hit me!” and the woman drove off.

      So…. yeah. Hit & run drivers are scum.

      • babyruthless says:

        @TheWillow: A friend of mine in college was hit by a car while crossing the street (in a cross walk, with a cross signal). The driver was talking on her cell phone and was turning right. She knocked my friend over, but she was luckily unhurt, but understandably shaken. My friend yelled at the woman “you hit me!” and the woman gave her a dirty look and sped off. Other drivers I guess got her tag and called the cops. My friend was walked back to her apartment, and the cops were there, along with the woman. Who was still pissed at my friend for having the nerve to get hit by her car.

        • danielly37 says:

          @babyruthless: One of my friends got hit by a car when she was jogging in the crosswalk (with the walk blinking) and although the driver didn’t run off, it was somehow a NO-FAULT accident. Insane.

    • kexline says:

      @WraithSama: It’s stupid, maybe, but I want a garage almost as much as I want a house. There’s no point in fixing the dents on my very pretty car as long as I have to park overnight on the street or at an apartment complex.

      • DH405 says:

        @kexline: Amen. This is a part of why I bought my house. I may park in the driveway because the garage is now project space, but it’s at least MY driveway.

      • WraithSama says:

        @kexline:
        Yeah, I haven’t repaired the damage to my Spyder yet. I’m worried it’ll just happen again. I can’t wait until I can buy another house so I’ll finally have a garage to park it in.

    • lilyHaze says:

      @WraithSama: It’s happened to my parents. Some idiot hit their property, hard enough to rip through the brick and interior wall. There was a security camera, but it wasn’t good enough or in the right position to get the license #. Insurance covered most of it. But it still doesn’t make up for the fact that it wasn’t their fault.

    • Amish Undercover says:

      @WraithSama: Hopefully that granny now gets some jail time.

      @babyruthless: Did that woman get jail time for the hit and run? Isn’t this a felony?

      @danielly37: I’m hoping your story is not representative…

    • trujunglist says:

      @WraithSama:

      Yeah, if I had seen this person doing this they would be dead. I don’t care if you are a 65 year old lady. In fact, if you are a 65 year old lady, you should more sense than to drive off you fucking moron.
      Let me tell you why: at about 2:30 in the morning after working for 20 hours straight, I was awakened to the sound of both of my car alarms going off. I went outside and both of my cars had been completely totaled by a hit and run driver. The driver left his car and ran to his house and pretended to be asleep when the cops showed up. Total cost in damages to my cars: $20k+. I have had to pay several thousand dollars out of pocket for various things even though insurance should be covering it. Awesome. Next person that fucks with me gets a shoe to the teeth. I am completely serious.

  5. coren says:

    I wonder if they mistakenly stomped the gas instead of the brake for some reason (I can’t imagine why you’d need to going that slow, but even so…)

    What happens for the employee, who’s the owner of the other car in the video I assume?

  6. djanes1 says:

    Best viral advertising ever!

  7. GitEmSteveDave_ H1N1 Symptoms List says:

    I don’t think it was a BMW, I think it was a Canyonareo!

    But Chris, you are correct, it did act like a wild/feral auto:

  8. Tim says:

    So … what about the other car? No pressure here, mystery company. But uh … look what Hyundai did. Just sayin’.

    • ZekeSulastin says:

      @TCama: There shouldn’t be any pressure. There’s a reason above and beyond means going above and beyond the reasonable expected standard of service. Hyundai is taking advantage of (comparatively) cheap advertising, but this is the sort of thing generally handled by insurance.

      Would a new car have been given if this wasn’t already huge on the internet? Probably not. The victim would have been covered under his insurance – at least, until the driver could be identified to take their insurance money.

    • sprocket79 says:

      @TCama: That reminds me – Last week some metal rods and cross beams fell down on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. The car that was damaged the most was a rental that a couple from Canada (wtf is it with all this crap happening to Canadians?) who had just arrived and rented their car from the airport 30 mins earlier. I wonder what happened with that rental company!

      Actually, another car that got hit was a rental Ryder truck. The only other car to get hit was the driver’s own car.

      [sfist.com]

  9. viqas says:

    [www.southparkstudios.com]

    was that a stop sign?

  10. H3ion says:

    This makes me want to run right out and by a BMW SUV. Think about it. Would you want to be the car on top, which did a monster truck routine and was still able to drive away, or the car on the bottom which is now a convertible? In fact, I’m going to see if I can get a Hummer 1. Might as well go all the way.

  11. runswithscissors says:

    So what if she crushed some lesser cars? She’s driving a Beemer. It’s her road (parking lot in this case) so everyone else should just get outta her way.

    /sarcasm borne of too many encounters with Beemer drivers

  12. utensil42 says:

    Towanda!!!

  13. scoobydoo says:

    Quite the bitchy move to drive off. I wonder what she would have done if there was no threat of her being identified?

  14. ColoradoShark says:

    Is it time for an “Abover and Beyonder” category?

  15. bkdlays says:

    I would seriously punch this woman

  16. JiminyChristmas says:

    Are insurance laws in Canada similar to those in the US? If the evildoer has now been identified, the Hyundai owner could make a claim against the BMW driver’s auto insurance…regardless of the fact he was given a new car.

    Likewise, it’s not clear if the Hyundai owner had collision coverage that compensated him for the book value of the car. Not that that still wouldn’t suck. I have a 2000 Honda Civic and dread someone hitting it. I plan on driving it until it dies and would hate to have to replace it.

    • floraposte says:

      @JiminyChristmas: 1995 Civic with 60k on it after 12 years. Totaled when rear-ended. Book value was a joke. I still mourn.

    • magstheaxe says:

      @JiminyChristmas: “If the evildoer has now been identified, the Hyundai owner could make a claim against the BMW driver’s auto insurance…regardless of the fact he was given a new car.”

      The Hyundai owner STILL ought to file a claim against the Beeme-driver’s insurance. The fact that Hyundai went above and beyond should have nothing to do with it–it’s not like the driver had a reasonable expectation that Hyundai would just hand him a brand new car for free.

      The insurance company needs to settle up with the Hyundai owner, and then drop the Beemer-driver.

  17. Mackinstyle says:

    Give us a break. We’re used to snowmobiles and dogsleds.

  18. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    That’s awesome of Hyundai!

    That woman, on the other hand, should be put in stocks and publicly stoned. Not for making a mistake, but for backing up, pondering for a moment, and going on her way like nothing had just happened.

    Ah, but I digress. Thank you, Hyundai!

    • Clumber says:

      @☠Grяrяrяrяrя, portrait of a chickenwolfmoosepig.: “pondering for a moment” …. when I watch the video, I see that pause as the driver looking all around to see if anyone in the lot might have witnessed it, before driving off.

      But I have a generally poor impression of people so it may just be my cynicism speaking…

    • biswalt says:

      @☠Grяrяrяrяrя, portrait of a chickenwolfmoosepig.: To be fair, we don’t know why she left. It’s very possible that she might have gotten jostled or injured. For all we know she might have driven to the E.R. next. She also might not be totally 100% right in the head.

      When I watch that tape I don’t think she’s trying to “get away” as much as she’s too embarassed to walk back into the Gym and tell everyone what happened. If she was just trying to get away, why go back to the gym? Why not get a new membership elsewhere?

      No! That lady drove away b/c she didn’t want to have to go in to the gym and say, “excuse me, I seem to have had a bit of an accident and drove up three feet onto two cars in the parking lot.” If it had been a regular fender bender ding normal rules of etiquette apply. You’ve got to make some sort of understanding allowance for what an embarrassing parking attempt this was.

  19. LoganAdams says:

    I went to high school with this girl who had something of a knack for hit-and-runs. She would just do all sorts of fender-benders while parking her car and then take off before anyone could catch her.

    I want to post this video on her facebook wall.

  20. Moosenogger says:

    Of course there are a billion “Women drivers! LOL!” comments for the youtube video.

    I hate stupid people.

  21. hoyagrrrl says:

    By no means am I excusing this woman’s actions, but this woman needs compassion; it looks as though she has been under extraordinary stress. Her son died of cancer earlier this year. Perhaps I lack imagination, but I can think of few things more horrifying and incapacitating than living to witness the death of your own child.

    [www.oeconomist.com]

    [www.canadianmortgagetrends.com]

    • K-Bo says:

      @hoyagrrrl: She could have easily caused the death of someone elses child driving like that. Would that be ok because she was grieving her child? I have been in a position before that I was so full of grief I couldn’t function normally. I actually called a friend to pick me up at school, and another friend brought my car home later. It wasn’t for me to risk causing someone else grief by driving when I was unable to focus on the task at hand.

      As my mom always told me, never drive when you are distracted, never drive when you are crying, never drive when you just can’t pay attention. It’s not worth your life or anyone elses. I didn’t always listen to her, but after almost having a wreck on the way from the cemetery to my grandmas house after her funeral, I’m a pretty big believer in this, and I make sure someone less emotional drives.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @hoyagrrrl: She gets compassion for her loss but that doesn’t extend to causing property damage and never taking responsibility.

      What if someone had been in one of the cars she ran over?

  22. wezelboy says:

    X5 drivers are often the biggest a-holes on the road. Not always, but often enough for me to notice.

  23. Blackneto says:

    hopefully Hyundai gave him enough money to cover the taxes that this income event created.
    I don’t know how canadian taxes work but in the USA this would affect his AGI.

    • ElPresidente408 says:

      @Blackneto:

      I came here just to ask that same question. The US tax code has different rules for all types of unearned income. I’ve seen for contests, the fair market value of your car would be taxed at your current bracket.

    • c_c says:

      @Blackneto: Still cheaper than buying a decent car to replace the totaled one.

  24. imsnowbear says:

    My next car will definitely be a Hyundai!

  25. wagnerism says:

    Maybe the X5 should be sold to pay for the damages.

    The driver’s license will probably be suspended/revoked for a while anyway. When she returns to driving, her insurance rates will be much higher.

    All this talk about her grieving is irrelevant. There is a huge difference between leaving while panicking (then coming forward) and never turning yourself in.

    She was caught. She never took responsibility. She was only made to be responsible because there was security camera footage and an alert employee.

    That’s dirtbag behavior regardless of what you’re going through at that time in your life.

  26. zippygaelle says:

    That grandma wins the “World’s Douchiest Driver” award. Would love to hear the follow up on whether the gym employee’s unidentified car company stepped up and matched Hyundai’s brilliant PR move — if not, maybe Hyundai will strike again!

  27. corinthos says:

    In 2001 I was watching tv and heard a smash. Some guy on a motorcycle drove through my apartment parking lot and ran into my Eclipse that i had less than 4 months. I rushed to put pants on to check on the car and by the time I went down three flights of steps he was gone.

    Cops did catch him though and I wasn’t the only one he ran into. Some 15 year old kid borrowed his dads motorcycle and ran into 8 cars that day.

  28. whim17 says:

    @Blackneto: @ElPresidente408: This is one of the few upsides to Canadian income tax law. Because this was an unexpected ‘windfall’ gain, it does not fall within the definition of ‘income’ and is not taxable. Same with lottery winnings, raffle prizes, and the like. If the lucky Hyundai owner turns around and sells her new car, then he has to pay income tax.

    Sorry that this does not come up as a reply. I’m on a strange, strange, European computer.

  29. hagirl says:

    That’s great and all but I know my experience from Hyundai was less than stellar. Their 100,000 mile warranty is covered when they feel like it and that includes when parts they replaced/work they performed fails.

  30. tresser says:

    $15K to make a guy happy and prove to people, like me, that there are car companies that have a heart.

  31. ct_price says:

    Seems pretty viral to me. Hard to know what is real and fake these days. 20 commercials during Sunday NFL games won’t garner Hyundai the attention equity this unfortunate incident will cause. Can’t wait until the evening news starts playing it up at 11 next week!

  32. incognit000 says:

    Dammit Ricky, you know this happens when you let Corey and Trevor drive! Let’s get oot of here before the cops come!

  33. P_Smith says:

    This is why SUVs should be banned, and also why people over 50 should be retested for their license annually.

  34. Sian says:

    62 isn’t old enough for a senior moment. This lady is a bad driver and knew exactly what she was doing when she drove off, then had the nerve to come back next week and think she wouldn’t be caught.

    I hate to propagate the stereotype of BMW drivers, but why do they have to make it so easy?

  35. The Cranky One says:

    We have a Hyundai, we loves it! We like the company eve more now!

  36. Gracegottcha says:

    What a lousy move on the part of the “lady.” I think she ought to be identified by name and picture. What a bitch! She just backed up and left? I’d love to slap the shit out of her!

  37. nocturnaljames says:

    Sad to say typical BMW driver…

  38. Aquasol says:

    Wait, it’s actually not okay to drive your SUV over other cars? I thought since parking diagonally, horizontally, and generally inbetween two spaces are considered “okay”…

  39. flugennock says:

    I agree with some other commenters here who suggest that it looks as if, at the last moment, she hit the gas instead of the brake. (One of the video responses on YouTube suggests it’s an argument for hands-free mobile phones, but you can’t really see into the driver’s side well enough to tell if she’s on the phone or not)

    One other interesting thing, though, that’s easily missed: watch at about the 00:14 mark, as she’s making her wide turn to pull into the parking spot — and look how close she comes to clipping the rear end of another car that’s parked in the lot. As I said, I can’t actually see inside the BMW well enough, but it’s the near-collision prior to doing the monster-truck thing which, to me, suggests she was on the phone at the time.

    My wife is about ten years older than I — she’s 61 — and has some depth-perception issues as well, and she’s constantly scaring the shit out of me by waiting until it’s almost too late to brake when approaching a line of cars waiting at a stop light or a toll plaza. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen how fast she’s closing and had panic attacks anticipating the imminent ass-plowing of the car in front of us.

  40. brianguyy says:

    doesn’t say how old the car was, but not much of a testament to Hyundais if they can be totalled just like that. that the X5 had nary any damage is pretty telling however.

  41. dohtem says:

    @ecwis: No. Stop making excuses for this kind of behavior.

  42. GearheadGeek says:

    @floraposte: I’m thinking she didn’t see the security camera video on the news and thought she could just go back to the gym after a while, when no one came calling to accuse her.

  43. supercereal says:

    @Cant_stop_the_rock: Yeah, Hyundai has really stepped up their game over the last few years. Kudos to their CEO for turning the brand from the bastard stepchild of Korean cars into a respectable, reliable car maker.

  44. thedeepfriedboot says:

    @WraithSama:
    “right before climbing Mt. Hyundai”

    Wow, for some reason that made me laugh hard.

    Ive seen accidents like that around here in Tucson, not in parking lots though. I dont know why but for people around here it seems normal to rear end each other at red lights like some sort of greeting. In some of the accidents I am not even sure if people used the breaks at all. At least there all in small cars which is why I drive an old suburban. Steel bumpers FTW!

  45. Cyberxion101 says:

    @thedeepfriedboot: Dude, all those accidents were the very reason I never bothered to get my license in Tucson. I just took the Sun Tran instead. It was always loaded with crazy folks and high-school kids, but at least I felt a little safer on the road. :P

  46. pockygt says:

    @WraithSama: It’s very similar to Toyota and Honda when they first entered the US as well. They were the junk boxes, but now after many years, they are known for being the most reliable things on the road.

    It’s funny how that works out sometimes.

  47. remington870_20ga says:

    @thedeepfriedboot: Thats a great idea and all but the problem is if you get hit good enough it will warp the frame. A bent frame is a little more expensive than replacing a bumper ;)

  48. jeffbone says:

    @shiznannigan: That should make for an interesting conversation at the rental counter:

    renter: “I can’t return my car here, because some crazy old woman crushed it with her BMW.”

    rental agent: “That’s too bad, you now owe us the full value of the car, plus loss of use, immediately payable in cash.”
    –or–
    rental agent: “Aren’t you glad you bought the additional coverage”
    –or–
    rental agent: “Well, I see you bought the additional coverage, but you still owe us the full value of the car, plus loss of use, because our additional coverage doesn’t cover vehicle abuse”

  49. ColoradoShark says:

    @Covertghost: She was probably trying to cancel her membership and drove over the car in frustration.

  50. ElizabethD says:

    @LastError:

    Another Happy Hyundai person here!

  51. HogwartsAlum says:

    @LastError: Sounds like if I ever get the chance to get a newer car, I should look at one of these.

    But that will never happen *sigh*.

  52. Elvisisdead says:

    @remington870_20ga: If you get hit from the rear hard enough to warp a frame, then you will have problems that even a bumper couldn’t have stopped.

    In all likelihood, the hitch is high enough on a Z71 that it would peel open the hood/grill of the offending vehicle like a can opener and slide on top of that car. Mangle the hitch and possibly the bumper, but I doubt it would warp the frame.

    Hitches and their associated mounting bars do not add structural integrity to the frame of a vehicle, they simply tie a load to it. If it’s welded on, you might break the welds before you bent the frame.

  53. dp05 says:

    @jeffbone:
    –or–
    Rental agent: “Well, I see you bought the additional coverage, but you still owe us the full value of the car, plus loss of use, because our additional coverage doesn’t cover vehicular cannibalism.”

  54. Ebriosa says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: Yeah, that’s the problem with all these new great safety stuff – it keeps you safe, but the slightest bump destroys the bumper and it’s expensive to fix. It’s like helmets – you fall off and bang it, it’s no good anymore BECAUSE it’s so good at keeping you safe, while older ones that could last forever didn’t do so good a job.

    Makes me super paranoid when parallel parking these days though – even nudging another car could do some damage (paint transfer sucks, even).

  55. ivanthemute says:

    @cluberti: This!! She knew she had an accident, and ran. Look at all of the other “senior moment” accidents. Individual runs down a bunch of people at a farmers market, or crashes into a building. Every one had the driver confused as hell, remaining on scene and taken to the hospital. The criminal ran from her crime, then had the balls to come back later, thinking she got away with it.