NHSTA investigates runway Prius incident, motorist’s story questioned

Legal news for product liability attorneys. Congressional memo questions the runway Prius events.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) alerts product liability attorneys- Investigators question events of the San Diego runway Toyota Prius.

San Francisco, CA—Federal Investigators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) http://www.nhtsa.gov/ reported that they couldn’t recreate the sudden, unintended acceleration that James Sikes experienced when his Toyota Prius shot down the California Highway and was unable to stop. A congressional memo is now questioning Sike’s experience, as reported by MNSBC.

As Justice News Flash previously reported, James Sikes, 61, called the California Highway Patrol (CHP) citing that he couldn’t stop Toyota Prius, which suddenly sped down I-8. The memo was released after an intense two-day inspection at a suburban San Diego dealership. The investigation revealed “both the front and rear brakes were worn and damaged by heat, consistent with Sikes saying that he stood on the brake pedal with both feet and was unable to stop the car. But if the fail-safe system worked properly, the brakes wouldn’t have been damaged because power would have been cut to the wheels.” The Wall Street Journal also stated, “the wear was not consistent with the brakes being applied at full force for a long period, citing three people familiar with the probe, whom it did not name. The newspaper said the brakes may have been applied intermittently.” The most damning piece of evidence came from the responding CHP trooper who helped Sikes stop his car, in which he stated that he smelled the burning brakes and saw the brake lights on.

The CHP still maintains that their view is there was no evidence of hoax. NHTSA paid $2,500 to Sikes for the gas pedal, throttle body and the two computers from the vehicle, after the tests were completed. NHSTA is also investigating over 60 claims of unintended acceleration among Toyotas even though they have had the necessary repairs.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for product liability lawyers.