Inspectors looking into last week’s runaway Prius in Southern California are having troubled determining the cause of the incident, and haven’t been able to replicate the braking problem.
During the incident, while reaching speeds over 90mph, the driver claimed to have applied heavy pressure to the brakes, but to no avail. As demonstrated on video, when both the Prius’ accelerator and brake are activated, the engine is supposed to idle.
A memo from during the early testing of the runaway Prius states, “Every time the technician placed the gas pedal to the floor and the brake pedal to the floor the engine shut off and the car immediately started to slow down,” implying that they have been unable to replicate that particular issue.
The memo continues, “In this case, knowing that we are able to push the car around the shop, it does not appear to be feasibly possible, both electronically and mechanically that his gas pedal was stuck to the floor and he was slamming on the brake at the same time.”
One report says that the car’s brakes don’t exactly jive with what the driver has been telling investigators. Inspectors say the pattern of friction on the brakes suggests the driver had intermittently applied moderate pressure instead of the heavy pressure he’s described.
The driver’s wife says she and her husband are fed up with having their motives questioned.
“Everyone can just leave us alone,” she said. “There’s no intent at all to sue Toyota. If any good can come out of this, maybe they can find out what happened so other people don’t get killed.”