Over the past two days, two more Toyota Priuses have accelerated out of control—one causing the driver to crash into a stone wall.
A 56-year-old woman was pulling out of a driveway when her 2005 Prius "shot" across the road, Harrison, N.Y., police said. The driver, who was not immediately named, suffered minor injuries, but the impact sent "some pretty big boulders" fairly far, said Anthony Marraccini, acting police chief.
James Sikes, 61, dialed 911 Monday evening to report his  Prius was accelerating out of his control.
"I pushed the gas pedal to pass a car. … It jumped, and it just stuck there" hitting speeds up to 94 mph, Sikes said. A California Highway Patrol officer responded, pulled alongside and told Spikes by loudspeaker to stand on the brakes and also apply the parking brake. Sikes was able to slow the car while the cruiser drove in front, and eventually he could shut it off. –USA Today
The 2005 Prius is one of the millions of 2004-2009 Toyotas that have been recalled for potential issues with floor mats jamming the gas pedal. In this case, however, police have ruled out a floor mat problem because the floor mat in this car was securely fastened to the seat base with plastic ties.
James Sikes told police that he took his 2008 Prius in to the dealer for the floor mat recall and was informed that his car was not on the recall list. Chillingly, his car began to accelerate out of control only a few miles from where last year, a California police officer and his family died when their runaway Lexus crashed.
Toyota said in a statement that dealers do not yet have repair parts for the Prius and that it has told owners to remove the driver’s floor mat until repairs are made. Sikes still had that mat in his vehicle. –USA Today
Does it strike anyone else as ridiculous that Toyota is still claiming that these are fundamentally floor mat issues? How about the way Toyota is implying that customers who don’t remove their floor mats are essentially at fault for these runaway incidents for not following directions? The sooner Toyota takes full responsibility for the faultiness of its vehicle designs and stops blaming it all on floor mats and customer negligence, the sooner it can work on fixing the real problems with its cars and stop putting its customers’ lives in danger.