Mystery as Stockton cars behave oddly

May 15 2009 by Chris Hole, Evening Gazette

Comments (4)


Daniel Joyce of Stockton whose car alarm went off along with some of his neighbours' for no apparent reason

THE truth is out there!

Or at least a group of baffled drivers hope it is following a morning of motoring mystery in Stockton.

Residents on Leam Lane, Bishopsgarth, woke last Wednesday to find their cars’ electrical systems behaving oddly.

And confused driver Daniel Joyce contacted the Gazette in the hope we would get to the bottom of the problem. “It was early in the morning and a lot of people were having problems starting their cars,” said Daniel, 21, who drives a Citroen Saxo.

“The central locking wouldn’t work on mine so I opened it manually but then the engine wouldn’t start.

“I ended up pushing it around the corner and as soon as I got it away from the street it would work.”

The puzzling problem is believed to have been caused by some form of radio, electric or satellite signal interfering or blocking the signal that some car keys send to the engine.

Each key emits different frequencies, explaining why cars on the street were affected in different ways.

Daniel added: “It’s a bit of a strange one but it’s cost people money for tow trucks and if it’s going to happen regularly it could be a problem.”

Other drivers on the street were also affected, including Bernard Dambrosil, whose Land Rover alarm began wailing at about 6am.

He said: “I opened the car door and the alarm went off. Then I couldn’t start the car so I had to call a tow van. It’s been checked over but there’s nothing wrong with it.”

Neighbour Geoff Saysell says his Hyundai Accent was also affected by the puzzling problem.

The 53-year-old said: “The central locking on my car wouldn’t work so I had to open the door manually. The alarm went off so I had to get under the bonnet and physically disconnect it. I work at Wilton and when I got there the locking worked fine.”

And it wasn’t just cars which were affected. Val Nixon had problems when she tried to open up her newsagent’s. Val told the Gazette: “The remote wouldn’t work for my shutters – they wouldn’t go up or down.

“I had to call out an engineer and I’m expecting a bill of up to about £300. I didn’t know about the car problems until two days later.”

Some believe the problem could be connected to a change in satellites at the University Hospital of North Tees. But NHS Trust spokeswoman Claire Young denied they were the cause.

She said: “It sounds like a mystery. Obviously we need to be careful with these things ourselves because we have a lot of sensitive equipment.”

Do you know what could have caused the problem? If so call us on 01642 234216 or email

    Comments (4)

LudditesRising wrote:

which is a perfect example of what happens when we let
computers rule our lives.
Aren’t there any cars without computer contolled

16/5/2009 14:32 BST on

LuckyChucky wrote:

There are many out there, that they want to get off the road that has no confusers at all in them. I own two of them both are 1966 Chevy vans, all you need is a small amount of tender loving care and they run forever. One has over 466,000 miles and the other has 68,000 miles on her, she purrs.
Invest in an oldie vehicle, they are fun and no computers, this is the best way of going green…. recycle.

16/5/2009 15:03 BST on


kimwalker wrote:

I suspect that the British military conducted a test using the people of Stockton as guinea pigs. People of England- resist the incipient Borg.

16/5/2009 15:16 BST on

Tee wrote:

In the USA there has been talk for years about the HARP system. People say when the HARP is turned on no cars with on board computers will start. Just a thought. Anyway I have a old Jeep so I don’t have to worry about that…

16/5/2009 18:14 BST on

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