Thrum Issues Recall Of Siya Hovercar
NEWS 10/06/2039 4:19 PM ET
Thrum Issues Recall Of Siya Hovercar
by Lidija Glasnovic

CC0 1.0 Untitled by Unknown | Writer image: CC0 1.0 Untitled by mohammadaasim | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only. Image changes released under the same license as the original.
Thrum headquarters, Chico, CA.
Thrum is issuing a mass recall of its troubled Siya hovercars after another high-flight incident.

Spokesman Ichiro Kunuzuni today said Thrum is, "Recalling immediately all affected models globally and will place on hold all sales until the issue is rectified."

The recall is believed to affect 15,000,000 vehicles worldwide.

Katelyn Browning of Grand Rapids, Michigan, found herself approximately 60 feet in the air on Tuesday while travelling along I-196 to Holland.

According to Thrum, a malfunction occurred in the front-left secondary thrust coupler, which dramatically increased power delivery to that vent. The car accelerated at an approximately 30 degree angle for ten seconds, leaving Browning perched above traffic on the interstate before the safety override engaged and lowered her beside the freeway.

"I gave it a little gas and it tilted and just took off into the air," Browning said to local media.

This is the fifth high-flight malfunction in the past three months with the Siya. Over the past year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 1,200 reports of "false jumps" in which the vehicle suddenly bucks 1-1.5 feet into the air before falling to its hover position about 15 inches from the ground.

The NHTSA is working with MIT scientists to locate the precise cause of the Siya high-flight glitch. Thrum has been working independently and has downplayed the need for regulatory involvement, despite the high-profile cases which have dragged its stock price down since July.

In early August, Robert Fitcher of Tucson, AZ, experienced an approximate 100ft jump when his Siya suddenly ascended while travelling to Sierra Vista.

Three weeks ago, Sally DiPiella of Syracuse, NY, lost control of her vehicle as it bucked three times and then rapidly jumped 120ft before free-falling. The car's safety override engaged 10-12 feet from the ground.

Speculation has dwelled on the possibility Siya is vulnerable to hackers and that the malfunctions are actually software penetrations. Thrum has dismissed the talk as baseless and remains focused on a mechanical fix.

It is unclear how the recall will affect Thrum's second generation hovercar roll-out. The Eyrie, Kalladon, and Brench are due for release in February. A self-driving Siya is due for release late next year.

The Siya, operating in near silence, uses a Boosted Hydrogen-Fusion engine to achieve vertical positioning.

CEO Larry Hopfman has stated during interviews that development of BH-F technology was begun in the early 2020's when he was introduced by a mutual friend to University of Texas graduates Callum Shomacher and He Kun. Hopfman, then a Wall Street hedge fund manager, privately financed the pair's research into BH-F technology until the first concepts were produced in 2027. Following investor interest, the Siya prototype was developed in 2031.

It was released in December 2037 to significant acclaim around the world as a milestone in automotive engineering; during its launch Hopfman famously drove a Siya from the cargo hold of a 797 flying at 5,000 feet, landing safely at Thrum headquarters in Chico, CA.

In 2034, Ford, GM, and Chrysler each announced their intention to launch a hovercar by 2035, but each manufacturer has experienced multiple setbacks. GM is presumed to be the next firm to release a hovercar in 2040 or 2041.
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