Stomping on the brakes of a 3,500-pound Ford Escape that refuses to stop €“or even slow down €“produces a unique feeling of anxiety. In this case it also produces a deep groaning sound, like an angry water buffalo bellowing somewhere under the SUV €™s chassis. The more I pound the pedal, the louder the groan gets €“along with the delighted cackling of the two hackers sitting behind me in the backseat.
Luckily, all of this is happening at less than 5mph. So the Escape merely plows into a stand of 6-foot-high weeds growing in the abandoned parking lot of a South Bend, Ind. strip mall that Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have chosen as the testing grounds for the day €™s experiments… (When Miller discovered the brake-disabling trick, he wasn €™t so lucky: The soccer-mom mobile barreled through his garage, crushing his lawn mower and inflicting $150 worth of damage to the rear wall.)