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March 9th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

New runaway Toyota claim in California

(CNN) – There's a new, terrifying account today of a runaway ride in a Toyota. The company is sending investigators to California where a driver claims he almost flew over a hill at more than 90 miles an hour in his Prius yesterday.

The Prius was only recalled for braking problems and not the acceleration issue. Our Deb Feyerick has all the details for us.


Filed under: Business
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. G

    Nutral Doesn't Work. Hybrids are not Machines, they are computers. The difference is the pedal, gear shifters, break, and power button can all be overridden by the central computer system. In each case the people experiencing the acceleration issue couldn't do anything because the central computer system of the Hybrid took over control from the driver and ignored the drivers commands to stop, switch to neutral, shut off the engine, etc. Toyota has a major and very dangerious software flaw and they don't know how to fix it. They can't even recreate it. If you own a Toyota that is less than 3 years old. DON'T DRIVE IT.

    March 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
  2. Noelle

    He was told repeatedly by 911 to put it in neutral, shut off the engine, and pull the ebrake. Each time he said he couldn't, or acted like he couldn't hear her instructions. This story is so fake, another example of the news taking false stories and running with it (BALLOON BOY, ANYONE??) before having proof. Unlikely any of the "news" sources will follow up with this when its proven this was all a stunt to get a different car. He obviously wants to sue Toyota, and have documentation to make his claim. Like a 911 call and a police officer to help "solve" the situation!

    March 10, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  3. Justin

    I've been confused to why the news isn't broadcasting the solution, which many have mentioned here...put the car into neutral. I believe that having a driver’s license is a responsibility that must include the ability handle a scary situation, like a car spinning out of control or something as trivial as an acceleration issue. Some people here a mentioning turning off the car, which will cause loss of power steering – agreed this isn't as bad as speeding out of control, but it shouldn't be necessary if the car can just be shifted into neutral. We should be teaching people how to handle the issue and stop dramatizing every single instance.

    March 10, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  4. Bob Pickens, Missouri

    This all boils down to a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I am curious as to how many of the "unintended acceleration" were due to the driver having his hand or finger on the accelerate button or switch controlling the cruise control.

    The gentleman from California driving the "Toyota Hybrid" appeared to be technically savvy, but does not have any common sense or is lying through his teeth, I think the latter.

    The news networks, including CNN should do a little more research instead of just jumping on the horse and riding off in all directions

    Three things that cannot be fixed are "greed, dis-honesty and stupid". These all appear to be involved in this story

    March 10, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  5. Tess Palczynski

    Enough is enough. How more many people have to die or remain at risk? I went through arbitration with Toyota after a near death experience in May of 2008. after my 2009 Toyota Matrix flew up Parleys Canyon in Park City, Utah, hitting over 90 mph. My friend & 2 dogs were in the car. She checked the floor
    mat, nothing was stuck. It kept accelerating,
    shaking, breaks smoking. I almost killed a family in an SUV. I cut off 2 cars. I ran off the road onto rumble strips & almost ran into a man
    under a stalled motor home. I went through hell with Toyota. Nothing was wrong, my floor mats were in position. My new 2009 Matrix, with 5,000
    miles on it sat in my garage till August . As a
    special educator I had to get rides to work,
    share a car and buy a scotter to get around.
    Finally after arbitration, I lost several thousand dollars in depreciation of a new car that threatened my life and the life of many others. They stuck a "go to auction" sticker on the car, so someone else could be put at risk. I was sick, and still am. I don't want money, & due to arbitraton I can not get money. But, I still have my voice . I am one of many "lucky " Toyota owners. I will never buy another Toyota, and no more Toyotas should be made or sold till they fix the problem they made and have known about for years. I want Tiyota to buck up and admit
    their faults, and stop letting their product kill and
    threaten the life of anyone else.
    Larry H Miller dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah is just one of thousands of Toyota dealers kepping and putting peoples lives at steak.
    Hiw many mire people have to have their life threatened or threaten the lives if others because of their defective Toyota.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  6. doug

    according to the lady who testified in congress and to some other accounts, she and they attempted to shift the car into neutral, reverse, etc and tried to shut it off and it didn't work. The California Highway Patrolman called 911 before he crashed and died. I have to believe that he tried to shut the car off and shift it into neutral as well, before he called. This is an electronics problem which not only puts the car into full acceleration, but prevents you from shifting or turning it off.

    March 9, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  7. A. Smith, Oregon

    Yes, I agree, that driver didn't appear to even remotely have the required education to be driving a car.

    He had to be told to use the emergency brake.
    He had to be told to turn off the ignition.

    He didn't attempt to immediately shift the vehicle into Neutral.
    He didn't attempt to simply hold the Start/Stop button in for a mere 3 seconds which would have immediately turned off the vehicle.

    He should have been required to have a drug screening with a follow-up polygraph test to find out if what he reported as a problem actually was truthful.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  8. Dave

    I was the owner of a 2008 Toyota RAV4. I was involved in an accerlation problem accident in October 2009. I was on my way to have my car checked. I had other incidences where the car would just all of a sudden accelerate as I was lightly pushing on the gas peddle. The day of my accident I had just finished passing another vehicle and was in my lane of travel when my car didn't slow down when I hit the soft shoulder of the road and rolled my car 3 times. Luckily I made it through the accident because I had my seat belt on. My problem is what about the people that had problems and accidents before the news media took off with this Toyota problem. Those of us that lived through our accidents and received many medical bills and injuries (both physical and mental). I am still receiving health care because of the accident and some injuries might not be completely solved. We are the silent ones because we were just driving, had an accident, insurance company paid the bills and we move on. But there are problems that might not ever get solved with me physically and mentally because of this accident. Who speaks for us?

    March 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  9. john

    Just another person looking for a way to make a buck. Now he will sue Toyota for pain and mental anguish.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Tess Palczynski

      Don't speak about something you no nothing about. Get in an out if control Toyota with your wife & kids, kill them or have their lives threated, then see what you have to say.

      March 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  10. Stan Morrill

    This driver should have known that pressing and holding the start/stop button for 3 seconds would have shut off the vehicle. All Toyota Hybrids do this.

    March 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  11. MA

    The comments on "turning off the car" sound sensible, but not in an electronic car where the power switch is not mechanical and the shifter is not mechanical. For example, you cannot put a Prius into neutral when the electrical system (i.e. battery) is dead.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  12. Designer

    ...Its time for NHTSA to implement a mandate for ALL cars built to have a Fail Safe Shut off System... This way... No need for Neutral, No need for brakes....Press the Button...car slows to a stop.

    March 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  13. Robert Walther

    This story is ridiculous. If the driver is too stupid to find the Off key/switch or Neutral, the driver should not be allowed to drive. I have a feeling that this is another 'found a bug/rodent/finger in my sandwich' con.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  14. louis

    I had a ford van and part of the air filter broke off and it got sucked into
    the engine it made the throttle stay wide open my van continued accelerate when i let off the gas pedal so what I did was move the shifter into neutral and applied the brake that prevented my vehicle from accelerating I am 100 % positive that all vehicles can be shifted into neutral while driving.

    March 9, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  15. Rick

    TURN OFF THE IGNITION! THE ENGINE CANNOT RUN WITHOUT ELECTRICITY.
    Why doesn't toyota tell the people to turn off the ignition.
    If you turn the key back one notch the engine will stop.Dah

    March 9, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  16. Richard

    I'm just surprised the officer didn't tell the driver to put the vehicle into neutral and optionally turn-off the engine. Like the police officer that was involved in a crash none did this which I find strange. If you were driving a vehicle with a manual transmission the standard procedure would be to depress the clutch/put the shifter into neutral. This is similar to driving on a slippery surface where you don't slam on the brakes if you slide. People need to be prepared for abnormal situations and not panic.
    I'm not defending Toyota, just because I own one, people are becoming too complacent with technology.

    March 9, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  17. Maurice Daigle

    I own a Toyota, why dont they put the car in neutral or does that not work.I have tried it with my vehicle and it works. All we see on the news is people calling 911 that wont stop the car. Maybe it's time to start telling poeple what to do when this happens this might save lives.

    March 9, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  18. Bryan Donahue

    I've seen dozens of reports recently about cars accelerating out of control and nobody ever mentions the obvious- the thing I learned when I was 15 years old – TAKE THE CAR OUT OF GEAR!!! I can't believe the police are telling people to step on the brakes and engage the hand brake when all you need to do is put the car in neutral, negotiate your way to the side of the road, and turn the car off. I've had this happen in my suzuki a few times due to floor mat creep, and putting the car in neutral defuses the situation immediately. Am I missing something?

    March 9, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  19. jack

    I think this is a "put-up" job to sue Toyota – the police car looks like something out of the Andy Griffiths show – Come on – check it out

    March 9, 2010 at 9:14 am |