A terrified mum's brand new car veered out of control after a garage forgot to remove protective packing when it left the showroom.

Just days after buying the Ford Focus, Sharon Seymour said her car "simply took on a life of its own", as she struggled to control it on a busy dual carriageway.

The terrifying journey started, after the 34-year-old social worker dropped off her two children in Boldon Colliery, Tyne and Wear.

She was rejoining the A19 towards South Shields when the car pulled onto the slip road footpath, then jumped onto the main carriageway.

Fighting to control the steering wheel, the mum narrowly avoided smashing into a Mini, travelling behind her and finally got the car back to her home in Marsden, South Shields.

And it was only when her husband, Paul, went investigate he discovered two red chocks still attached to the car's suspension. The chocks, used to protect the car's suspension springs when it is in transit from the assembly line to the car show room, should have been removed before the car was sold.

Mrs Seymour said: "I was petrified and couldn't stop shaking for a couple of days after it happened.

"The car literally took on a life of its own. I had no control, it felt like the car was possessed.

"The car should have been checked for this sort of thing before it was sold to me.

"I could have been killed. It was by far my worst driving experience in my 15 years on the road."

RAC Foundation chief executive Edmund King said: "Anything that affects the suspension when you are driving can be very dangerous.

"You can't expect the motorist to carry out a thorough pre-sale vehicle check. That responsibility must fall on the supplier.

"In this case there appears to have been an oversight and we would stress that garages are more vigilant with their checks in the future."

The car was sold to Mrs Seymour by Patterson Ford of Newcastle.

Sales director David White said: "The chocks should not have been left on the car and we have apologised to the Mr and Mrs Seymour for that.

"We are being honest about the mistake and have compensated them.

"We believe the situation is now sorted though and have put further procedures in place to ensure this mistake never happens again."