Ready to play armchair Johnny Cochran? Here's a story about a horse that got led to water and then dove in. A Mustang Forum member, luckydawg003 (LD), took his manual-tranny 2007 Mustang GT in for warranty repair to Brandon Ford in Tampa, Florida. When he went to pick it up, the service manager departed to retrieve his car, then came back ten minutes later to say he had some bad news. According to LD, someone left the car in gear without the parking brake on, and when the service manager pressed the remote start button twice to start the car, it leaped to life and drove out of the dealer's lot, through a chain link fence and into a pond, getting completely submerged.

Other twists to the tale: LD had an aftermarket remote starter that bypassed the clutch and would start the car even if it weren't in neutral. A forum poster going by the handle Tylus linked to the posts wherein LD asks for advice on how to achieve the particular bypass he was after. Some folks think it's the dealership's fault, saying the 'Stang was in their possession and the service manager didn't need to use an aftermarket remote starter to retrieve the car. Some feel it's LD's fault, having left an jerry-rigged system in someone else's car. And some say there's enough blame for everyone. Question is, what is LD left to do about his scuba-diving Mustang? Pictures of the car post-dive in the gallery below.

UPDATE: An employee from Brandon Ford has added a comment laying out the dealership's side of what happened. You can find the full text of the comment after the jump.

[Source: Mustang Forums]

COMMENT FROM BRANDON FORD (You can also find it in Comments)

Frddealer 12:28PM (3/26/2010)

After reading many posts of the last few days that were either incomplete or just entirely inaccurate, I decided that it was finally time to set the record straight. The incident involving the Mustang that drove itself, unoccupied, into a body of water, occurred at our dealership. The simple, unquestionable facts of this unfortunate event are as follows:
• The vehicle was equipped with a remote start system.
• The system was installed in such a way as to circumvent the factory safety
systems that would have prevented it from starting in gear.
• By the vehicle owner's own admission with a County Police Officer present, he stated that he personally installed this aftermarket system and intentionally disabled the factory safety system.
• The vehicle owner used a remote that did not have a "start" button on it.
• The vehicle owner admitted that he never notified our service personnel of the remote start system on his vehicle.
• Despite numerous posts to the contrary, the emergency brake had been set when the vehicle was parked. This was verified by the recovery team.
• The method that was used to park and secure the car is in accordance with manufacturer guidelines.
• The service personnel simply attempted to unlock the vehicle with the remote which led to the remote start event.
• The vehicle owner had conversations with a remote starter installer prior to the installation. He was advised that his chosen method on installation was "unwise."
• Several posters advised the owner against his choice even calling it "irresponsible behavior."

Despite industry professionals advising against his method of installation, the owner of this vehicle apparently chose to ignore this advice. We were extremely fortunate that no one was injured as a result of this as we would be discussing who would be held criminally negligent had there been an injury or death. In light of some of this information, I hope that many of you will start to contemplate the safety of yourselves,
your friends, or even your families. Through reading these blogs, I have come to understand that this is an all too common decision made by people on their vehicles. Perhaps this event, however unfortunate, will shed some light on what we believe to be an extremely dangerous and irresponsible modification being performed on many vehicles. This should serve as a wake-up call to anyone considering performing this modification to their vehicle. Thankfully it was only a car lost and not a life.

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