|Toyota 'Mystified' by Runaway Prius Case in Calif.|
The senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, said all Priuses are equipped with a computer system that cuts power to the wheels if the brake and gas pedals are depressed at the same time.
Mar. 9: Driver James Sikes talks about his experiences in his Toyota Prius during a news conference held at Toyota of El Cajon, Calif.
JACUMBA, Calif. - A Toyota executive said Thursday the company is "mystified" by a report that a California man's Prius gas pedal became stuck and caused the car to speed out of control on a California freeway.
James Sikes quickly became the face of the Toyota gas pedal scandal after he called 911 to report losing control of his Prius on Monday. His car reached nerve-rattling speeds of 94 mph before an officer helped bring it to a stop.
Federal investigators are looking into the incident, and Toyota officials said they have talked extensively to Sikes.
A law firm representing Sikes said Thursday he has no plans to sue Toyota over the ordeal. A phone message left for the firm seeking additional comment wasn't immediately returned.
|Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, said all Priuses are equipped with a computer system that cuts power to the wheels if the brake and gas pedals are depressed at the same time — something Sikes was doing.
"It's tough for us to say if we're skeptical. I'm mystified in how it could happen with the brake override system," he said.
He attributed the bulk of problematic Toyota acceleration reports to faulty floor mats that trap the gas pedal.
The harrowing story served as yet another embarrassment for Toyota as it fends off intense public backlash over safety issues.