The report about a 2008 Prius speeding out of control in San Diego, California, just showed people exactly how serious the risks are of driving Toyota's cars. Fortunately, a California Highway Patrol officer had been instrumental in guiding the car's driver to a halt. Toyota has started an investigation of this incident.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. released a statement that a field technician specialist has been dispatched to probe the matter as well as to offer assistance. According to a Highway Patrol dispatcher, a blue Prius was traveling east on Interstate 8 around 1:30 p.m.
Then, all of a sudden, the hybrid car began accelerating on its own, making the car get to a speed of more than 90 mph. The dispatcher said that the trooper gave instructions through a loudspeaker.
The driver soon was able to slow down the car to 50 mph. According to Toyota spokesman Mike Michels, the driver was instructed to push hard on the brakes and engage the emergency brake. The trooper parked in front of the vehicle and the driver then was told to turn off the power button.
The recall was announced last November for gasoline-electric Prius models from the 2004 through 2010 model years. Toyota said that the reason for the unintended acceleration was the result of floor mats that could interfere with gas pedals.
These models are included in the nearly 8 million vehicles recalled worldwide. It's ironic how the Prius incident took place on the same day that Toyota held a press conference to show that electronic malfunctions can't be blamed for unintended acceleration in its vehicles.