In the next few sentences, we will describe how the keyless entry technology works in a BMW and how to disengage the ignition in case of emergency.

BMW uses a ‘throttle-by-wire’, like a lot of other manufacturers, the gas pedal is no longer mechanically connected to a throttle butterfly. It basically is used as an input device to the engine management software that controls fuel and air settings for the engine. But given the recent spate of problems facing one manufacturer and unintended acceleration it might be good to know what to do if a ghost gets in the machine.

On BMWs with the Engine Start/Stop button, you hit the button repeatedly while underway to shut down the engine (about three times – stop pressing it when the engine shuts down). It was one of the first things I learned to do when I got my BMW.

If you experience unintended acceleration, ‘DO NOT PANIC’, apply the brakes smoothly – but forcefully enough to help scrub speed. Move over to the lane nearest the shoulder as soon as possible. Take the transmission out of gear (into neutral, or ‘N’) when off onto the shoulder. Shut the engine down. Shutting the engine down while on the road can result in difficult steering and less power assist for the brakes. Once the engine is off, turn on the emergency flashers and take a deep breath.

Now call for assistance.

Or you can try to determine if there is something interfering with the accelerator pedal. If so resolve it and continue. One piece of advice, practice shutting your car down while underway in a deserted parking lot. That will help if unintended acceleration happens at an inopportune moment in the real world.