March 15th, 2010
04:57 PM ET

Toyota takes aim at California runaway Prius story

Toyota challenged a California driver's story of an out-of-control Prius at a press conference Monday afternoon in California.

A Toyota spokesman, accompanied by engineers from the automaker, detailed preliminary findings of a joint investigation conducted by Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into an incident with an alleged out-of-control Prius.

Prius owner Jim Sikes made national headlines last week with claims that his car's accelerator got stuck as he sped up to pass a car while traveling on California's I-8 highway outside of San Diego and that he was unable to stop the car.

"As I was going, I was trying the brakes ... and it just kept speeding up," he said.

Sikes story is at odds with the findings of the investigation according to Toyota and to a draft congressional memo obtained by CNN.

"While a final report is not yet complete, there are strong indications that the driver's account of the event is inconsistent with the findings of the preliminary analysis," Toyota said in a prepared statement.

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soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Figgins in Souther California

    That Toyota denies the problem exists is not news. It is the same line the car maker has taken all along. That the problem is intermittent means many more engineers will lose sleep and get gray hair before the root cause and solution are found.

    Just because the problem cannot be duplicated in test situations, doesn't mean there is no problem. It just means the conditions that caused the problem have not been duplicated.

    March 17, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
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