Runaway Toyota Prius, Accelerator Pedal and Police Officer

By Peter Chubb - Mar 9, 2010

Toyota has been having a hard time of late due to the recent recall problem – things are about to get much worse for the Japanese automaker. We know that the Toyota Prius has been having problems with its accelerator pedal getting stuck – now the police are involved.

One California Highway Patrol officer had to come to the aid of a Prius driver to help slow down his hybrid vehicle – traveling at 96mph. Thankfully the officer managed to get the gas-electric to a safe stop – we can only imagine how freighting the ordeal was.

According to the Associated Press, the driver was 61 and tried his brakes – only to find that they would not stop the vehicle. The police officer managed to drive alongside the Prius and instructed the driver to push the brakes as hard as he could and to also apply the emergency brake.

The car then slowed to 50mph – still a dangerous speed – and the officer pulled in front as a precautionary measure as the car coasted to a halt. Toyota has since sent a technical specialist to investigate what happened.

The recent recall has not had an affect on Prius sales, which you can read more on here.

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Also See: Another Toyota recall, Prius V requires software update

  • Dan

    I always knew there are people that will take advantage of the whole Toyota recall incident and this guy is just one of them.

    He thinks he can get money from Toyota by holding them to ransom. He should go to jail and pay the community for public mischievous.

    What a liar.

    Send the guy to jail.

  • Guest

    Obviously it is good that this gentleman is safe… But I agree that the brakes would do the job. This driver's comment was that he had to "stand on the brakes". It is easy for us to judge what should have been done. As mentioned, shifting to neutral is the simple answer. In fact, moving the shifter in any direction is better than nothing… Here's the confusing part. I have never seen any freeway where I was able to travel at 96 mph for an extended period of time without meeting some obstacle. Let alone, be in a panic situation, make a 911 phone call, doing 96 mph, one handed, out of control, sustain this speed until a police car is able to come alongside me… At this point we are both side by side, 96 mph, using two lanes, still no other obstacles… Then the story said the policeman told him to apply the brakes as well as the emergency brake… Not sure why we were putting off using the emergency brake, yet we have time for a phone call… I picture a teenager that texts and drives, having trouble juggling all this… Anyway, for that policeman trying to help, neutral is your answer… And if one has to stand on the brakes to slow the vehicle, I recommend standing on the brakes. This story said that the braking system is what ended up saving him… There has got to be more to this story.

  • jim

    NOPE! cannot happen. brakes will ALWAYS stop a car. try it on your own car. modern brakes are VERY good. on even a powerful car, the brakes are stronger then the engine. especially with a wimpy engine like the Prius. I guess that the braking system could also fail at the same time, but highly unlikely, since most cars have a double brake system with backups (I don't know about this car). Something else is going on. . . this makes no sense.

  • Guest

    idiot shouldn't be driving if he cant figure out how to slap it into neutral!!