Hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander Rolls Into the Water, Catches Fire While Owner Unloads at Boat Ramp

The owner mistook the SUV's "Auto Hold" function as a parking brake and was nearly run over when trying to save his car and trailer.

A British Columbia man is counting his blessings after losing control of his SUV while launching his trailered speedboat on a ramp. Video surfaced of the incident where Amir Hashemi was seen unloading his vessel at Port Moody Rocky Point. While he was on the deck, Hashemi’s boat trailer could be seen suddenly rolling backward, followed by his vehicle which rolled into the watery depths.

Hashemi panicked and immediately tried to jump overboard to stop his SUV from rolling but his efforts were too little, too late. Hashemi fell after jumping out and just narrowly missed getting run over by his car.

“So lucky I’m still here,” he told local Canadian news affiliate, CTV News. “I tried to jump out to hold the car, but I couldn’t. It was so fast.”

Hashemi relied on his Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Hybrid’s “Auto Hold” automatic brake, which only holds the brakes for a brief period. It’s mainly for instances such as automatic hill-start assist to prevent a car from rolling back when a driver moves his or her foot from the brake to the gas pedal. Mitsubishi states in its instructional material that the Auto Hold function only operates when the driver’s seatbelt is buckled and that it does not substitute nor double as a parking brake.

“I thought Auto Hold could hold the car…looks like it didn’t work this time. I thought maybe the boat was going to sink too,” Hashemi continued. “Lots of people tried to help me out. Thanks to them.”

To make matters worse, after Hashemi’s Outlander was recovered, it suddenly caught fire after its 12-kWh lithium-ion battery shorted from being submerged under saltwater.

Bystander Josh Bishop recorded the instance from a distance but when he saw Hashemi was in dire need of help, he jumped to assist.

“He didn’t know what to do in that situation. I don’t blame him,” Bishop explained.