The owner of this 2016 Jaguar F-Type R came home to a “frantic” property manager yesterday, who informed him that his car was damaged. “I thought he meant something rather minor, because he knows I am pretty obsessive over my car,” he told Jalopnik. It wasn’t minor.
The early estimate, in fact, is around $15,000 in damage for a car that had an original base price of over $104,000. The Jag had been smashed by a lift in an automated parking complex used by the owner, who said he prefers to remain anonymous. He was told that he had parked his car too far forward, such that when the lift raised the F-Type, the front end became a casualty.
“I walk into the car park and see my car is stuck in the air, with the front end squashed,” the owner said. “The machine squashed the hell out of it.”
Here’s a short video that shows how the automated parking system in the owner’s complex works:
You can see from the video that drivers pull in before they eventually hit a bumper that indicates it’s time to stop. The F-Type owner says that he apparently missed the bumper or possibly drove over it, because the bumper for his spot is shorter than traditional bumpers, specifically to not scrape on his low car. If he did drive over it, he says, he “really didn’t feel it.”
Still, he argues that the system, built by a company called Klaus Parking Systems, should have warnings for cars parked too far forward, as they do when your car is not parked forward enough.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Jalopnik, but the F-Type owner said he spoke to someone in Klaus’s west coast office who blamed the damage on operator error.
Operator error or not, it’s now a question for the owner’s insurance company and, possibly in the near future, lawyers. The owner likely won’t be paying for the repairs, but it’s still an open question whether the complex and/or Klaus might be chipping in. He said he’s contacted his insurance company, which is now reaching out to the other parties, though he also says that he might eventually have to hire a lawyer.
“Even if fixed perfectly,” the owner says, “it’s going to result in a massive hit to the car’s resale value.”
And he’s right! This sucks. Here’s some more photos, all courtesy of the owner, of the disaster.
Update, January 20, 1:20 p.m.: Rick Rombach, a spokesman for Klaus, wrote the following in an email:
We are planning to add an additional sensor to the machine. However there is already a curb (wheel stop) on the platform that is there to keep the user from driving too far forward. The machine is quite simple to use, but the car must be parked on the platform and not hanging off as the platforms do move. The users receive instructions on how to park on the machine and are told they should pull forward to the curb on the platform. In this case the user drove over the curb and two feet past the end of the platform. This should have been completely obvious leading us to believe that this particular user was impaired in some way. There are more than 10,000 cars parked on Klaus machines in the US and I don’t know of any other case where the user drove over the curb and two feet past the end of the platform. This would be similar to parking on the railroad tracks after driving over a curb and having been specifically told that a car can not be parked on the tracks or it would be damaged. The assertion that the user didn’t feel it as he drove over the curb seems ridiculous.