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Toyota, NHTSA to Investigate Runaway Prius

March 10, 2010

SAN DIEGO, CA - Toyota Motor Corp. and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration both dispatched teams on Tuesday, March 9, to inspect a Prius that sped out of control on a freeway in the San Diego area a day earlier, Reuters reported. 

Toyota's engineers are investigating what caused the 2008 Prius to suddenly accelerate. Two investigators from NHTSA are also studying the vehicle. 

During the sudden-acceleration episode on Monday, driver James Sikes called 911 for emergency help when his braking wouldn't slow the car down. The car sped up to over 90 miles per hour while traveling on Interstate 8 in San Diego County. 

A California Highway Patrol officer caught up to the Prius and instructed Sikes to apply both the brakes and the emergency brake. Eventually, he was able to shut off the engine and bring the car to a stop. The CHP officer pulled his car in front of the Prius as a precaution, the Wall Street Journal reported. Sikes was not injured. 

Toyota previously announced plans to recall MY 2004-2009 Prius models in the future. The automaker said it is now working on a remedy for the Prius recall. Toyota has blamed the problem on floor mats that can pin down the gas pedal.

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