Most of us like to think of ourselves and our cars as a team. We look out for them, they look out for us. There’s limits, though, as 57-year old Cathy Bernstein learned, when her Ford Focus called 911 after she hit a truck and a van and fled the scene, according to news reports. It’s pretty sad when your car is the one with the conscience.

Police in Florida (of course) say Bernstein hit the truck, and then rear-ended a minivan before leaving the scene. Her Focus was equipped with Ford’s 911 Assist system, part of Ford’s SYNC offerings. The 911 Assist uses a paired Bluetooth phone to contact 911 in the event of an accident, as determined by the car’s sensors, police said.

After the car called 911, the dispatcher called Bernstein to confirm:

Dispatcher: ... your car called in saying you’ve been involved in an accident. It doesn’t do that for no reason. Did you leave the scene of an accident?

Bernstein: No, I would never do that.

Well, never, except for this time, when you did, lady. So, if you’re keeping track, we’re at two substantial, illegal lies and/or actions from the driver, and the car’s moral track record is still spotless.


Bernstein was arrested. So far, there’s no word if the car will get any sort of special civilian vehicle commendation or award. The lesson here? If you want to do something bad, make sure your car is either in on it or too old and dumb to squeal on you.