An Abbots Langley man was "shocked" when he found that his brand new car had rolled 60 metres into a wall.

Rob Gabriel purchased a Ford Focus four months before the handbrake failed and it crashed into a brick wall, 25 minutes after he parked it outside his family’s home on Abbots Road. He said he believes the fault in the handbrake was due to the extremely hot weather conditions.

Mr Gabriel said: "I parked it outside the family house at 6pm, I remember because The Simpsons was on when I got inside. I went back outside at half past six and found it had rolled 60 metres down the road. I was shocked. My first thought was that some had nicked it, but then I saw it at a weird angle in someone’s drive.

"It didn’t happen until 25 minutes after I’d parked it according to the owners of the house it rolled into. They said they didn’t even notice it at first, they just thought someone had parked at a bit of a strange angle."

After reading information on various online forums Mr Gabriel said he believes the problem occurred because the temperature of the car and handbrake was so high. When he parked the car the temperature gauge was at 45 degrees celsius. He said the handbrake might have become loose as it cooled down.

Mr Gabriel added: "It could have been so much worse. It can be quite a busy street but it was so lucky there was no one walking and no one was coming up the hill or in a vehicle as it could have easily seriously injured someone."

The 27-year-old said he "had a bit of a go at Ford" when he called them to complain about the incident.

The car manufacturer carried out a basic test on the handbrake on Monday (July 22) which Mr Gabriel said "involved them putting the car on a hill for 25 minutes and seeing whether it stayed there, but they said it was fine".

As they found the handbrake to be working sufficiently, they told him there was no more they could do and Mr Gabriel would have to fund any further investigations himself.

Mr Gabriel said he has already paid over £200 on a courtesy car but he is waiting to find out how much the extent of the repairs will cost. The car, the brick wall and a metal railing are all in need of repair work.

A spokesperson for Ford said: "Ford would recommend that Mr Gabriel contacts his insurance company (he may indeed be obliged to do so). If this is considered to be a Ford concern, an inspection by us and the insurers would normally follow."