Toyota Prius Accelerates Out of Control on San Diego Highway

Posted By The McClellan Law Firm || Mar 10, 2010

Thus far, only the 2010 Prius model is covered under Toyota's anti-lock brake system recall. Up until this point, Toyota has mostly denied such problems in other vehicles. Still, it was a 2006 Prius that sped out of control on Monday in San Diego, leading to a terrifying 94 mph ride and police-assisted stop.

It all started when James Sikes tapped the gas pedal in his car to pull past another vehicle. The story, after this, is familiar. The car kept accelerating and pressing down on the brakes did nothing to stop it. Despite Sikes' frantic attempts, the car just would not slow down.

Luckily, this story didn't end with a tragic car accident. After a tense race down the San Diego highway, a police officer was able to pull alongside Sikes and guide him to a stop alongside the road.

While a happy ending for Sikes, this story is nothing but trouble for an already ailing Toyota.

As noted, only the 2010 Prius has been recalled, thus far, over questions regarding the anti-lock breaking system (ABS). In fact, Sikes had been to the dealership a few weeks prior to the incident and was turned away after asking attendants to check under the hood of his car.

Currently, 2004-2009 Prius models only fall under the Toyota floor mat recall.

But cases like this close call in San Diego are sure to raise the question, "Have our cars really been fixed?" The floor mat/gas pedal problem is a relatively easy issue to address, in the grand scheme of things. Most of all, the floor mat and gas pedal are very tangible and understandable for drivers.

A resized floor mat here, a shortened pedal there and, presto, problem solved.

Trouble under the hood is a little hard to quantify and much harder to explain to the public. So far, Toyota has been very hesitant to bestow any merit on complaints of engine trouble or ABS glitches.

But San Diego isn't the only city seeing renewed Toyota trouble. Across the country, drivers with the floor mat and gas pedal fixes installed have experienced continued acceleration problem with their Toyota vehicles.

To be fair, there haven't been many instances - yet. Still, there have been enough to raise serious questions about the methods being applied to fixing these cars and, in the end - even one accident as a result of oversight is too great.

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