A California driver reported that his Toyota Prius took off a reached a speed of 94m.p.h. before a C.H.P. officer help him to stop the runaway vehicle.The C.H.P. officer confirmed that when he caught up with the Toyota Prius he could smell burning brakes as the driver tried to hopelessly stop the car. But what is really disturbing about this incident was that the owner had had the car into a Toyota dealership and was told his car was not part of the recall and was O.K. On one T.V. interview the man who had his Toyota Prius towed back to the dealership stated ‘I am not driving that car again’.

Who could blame the man. I can only imagine the shock of  having a car take off on its own, after you were told everything is O.K. with the vehicle. I am not sure that ‘pissed’ can even describe what I would be feeling. But what is also aggravating an already dangerous situation, is that this incident just adds to the loss of confidence that the public has in Toyota. First it was the floor mats, now a sticking pedal, and some claim it is faulty electronics.

It just adds more fuel to the fire of incidents such as this one:

The latest incident in California was a chilling echo of the incident last August where off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor was killed along with his wife, her brother and the Saylors’ 13-year-old daughter when the accelerator of the Lexus ES350 they were in got stuck.

Minutes later, the Toyota-manufactured vehicle slammed into the back of a sport utility vehicle at about 100mph, veered off the freeway, overturned and burst into flames. All four family members died.

Not knowing to much about the Prius, this comment helped understand how the shifter is different:

On the prius its a lot harder to shift the car while in motion because it doesn’t have a regular PRNDL shifter like most cars. It is completely electronic just like the ignition is a start button. If you move the shifter you feel any clicks like you are used to feeling in a regular car. They build in safety programing for accidental touching of the shifter just like the start button requires a 3 second hold before the car will shut off.
Just a lesson on how electronics DO NOT necessarily make things better.

Interesting. This could explain why the driver was reluctant to try placing the car in neutral. It also explains why it took him three times before he was finally able to shut off the engine.

I also think what is annoying are the smug remarks some people are making on how they would handle the situation. Have some compassion people. It is a scary and live threatening situation that some people may just panic and loss their ability to act or respond to.

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