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Toyota Finds Nothing Wrong With San Diego Prius


Toyota today cast doubt on last week's story about a Pruis speeding out of control in San Diego county.


911 tape of James Sikes, whose 2008 Toyota Prius allegedly began accelerating uncontrollably on Interstate 8 on March 8, 2010. The 25-minute tape records a dispatcher trying to help Sikes control his car as it revs over 90 miles per hour – and then the sound of sirens as a patrol car catches up to Sikes and helps him bring the car to a stop.

— Toyota today cast doubt on last week's story about a Prius speeding out of control in San Diego County.

Toyota executives today said they found no problem or malfunction that could explain why a 2008 Prius, driven by James Sikes, sped out of control last week. Sikes called 911, telling them he couldn't stop his car. But Toyota investigators, who examined the car later, were able to brake the car and put it into neutral. They say the car's brake override system, which shuts off the engine when both brake and accelerator are depressed, was also working.

Mike Michels, with Toyota Motor Sales USA said, "While our analysis is not finalized, Toyota believes there are significant inconsistencies between the account of the event of March 8 and the findings of this investigation."

Toyota did find evidence the car's brake pedal was depressed 250 times during Sikes' freeway ride, and the front brakes had been worn out. Investigators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have also been able to find nothing wrong with the Prius.

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