Californian Jim Sikes, owner of a 2008 Toyota Prius, went on a wild ride yesterday despite already having the recall work performed on his vehicle. As he was driving on Interstate 8 near San Diego, his accelerator stuck. Sikes quickly began to apply the brakes in a firm and consistent manner, as Toyota has instructed, but the car continued to speed up.
Ultimately, this four-cylinder, eco-friendly Prius went up to 90 mph, and Sikes was scared. He called 911 and unfortunately none of the suggestions from the 911 operator worked. Eventually, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer was dispatched to help avert potential catastrophe. The portion of Interstate 8 that Sikes was traveling on is hilly and curvy, not a place that is easy to navigate at 90 mph.
Thankfully, the CHP officer was able to provide a new tactic to Sikes via the officer’s public address system — use the brake and the emergency brake at the same time. This worked well enough to slow the vehicle down to about 50 mph, which allowed Sikes to turn off the car and let it coast to a stop. As a precautionary measure, the CHP officer parked his car immediately in front of the runaway Prius.
Although this story ended well for Sikes, it raises new concerns about Prius recalls. Sikes had already taken his 2008 Toyota Prius in for the recall work and was told that it wasn’t on the list. If the dealer was correct in stating that his vehicle wasn’t on the official recall list, this is bad news for Toyota. There may be even more affected vehicles out there than originally thought.
For more information about which Toyota vehicles are affected by these recalls, visit the official Toyota Recall Information website.