• Mar 10, 2010
Not one day after a high-profile incident involving a Prius taking off on its owner in Southern California, we're hearing reports that another one of Toyota's popular hybrids has suffered unintended acceleration in New York. This time, instead of the car eventually succumbing to the will of its braking system, it crashed into a stone wall. Fortunately the owner was reportedly just pulling out of her driveway in Harrison, NY and the car only accelerated across the street, though the collision allegedly sent "some pretty big boulders" flying, said one police chief.

The 56-year-old driver reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries, and like the incident in Southern California a day earlier, a floor mat trapping the accelerator pedal has been ruled out as a cause. The 2005 model year Prius' driver side floor mat was reportedly tied to the seat base with plastic ties.

The 2004-2009 Prius is included in an earlier Toyota recall for floor mats that may entrap the accelerator pedal, but the Japanese automaker does not have a fix ready for the cars, which may include reshaping their pedals, replacing floor mats and altering the shape of the floor. These cars are not, however, included in Toyota's other major recall involving drive-by-wire accelerator pedal assemblies that could stick due to wear and other environmental conditions. That leaves no obvious explanation as to why these two Prius models took off on their owners. Toyota has stated it will join California and the U.S. government in investigating the first vehicle, though hasn't commented on whether it will investigate the vehicle in New York yet.

[Source: The Detroit Free Press]


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  • 161 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      wow.... this thread has gotten some people heated

      I think that if you understand human behavior,
      you can explain how toyota drivers could think
      that the car is now responsible for an accident.

      I don't see how it's fair to lay blame or call
      other commenters out.....

      it's surprising how nasty commenters can be.
      .... stay classy everyone. this is autoblog,
      don't ruin the comments section.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I claimed SUA after crashing my car into a building, think they would notice that my Celica has a mechanical throttle linkage?? I think I could get around that with a birds nest of wires and a black box around the throttle body...

      Might have to wait a year until the FT-86 comes out though, maybe I could pull some kind of tradesies...
      • 4 Years Ago
      he probably knew he got clocked and blamed it on the accelerator....perfect excuse to purchase a toyota...common sense...brakes, neutral, e-brake.
      • 4 Years Ago
      " Also, do you have any proof that a national safety programme would make roads any safer (and US roads are some of the safest on the planet anyway)?"

      Really? Provide a link which shows the US fatality rate per capita compared with other countries.
        • 4 Years Ago
        http://internationaltransportforum.org/irtad/pdf/p143.pdf

        considering that, unlike most other countries, the driving age in the US is 16 and teenagers are some of the worst drivers, the US ranking is very comparable to other countries. Of course, those statistics don't take into account the average driving speeds, which again tend to be higher in the less congested US compared to EU countries. Higher average speeds = higher likelihood for an accident to be fatal. And finally, those statistics say nothing about the proportion of fatalities that are due to intoxication, which of course has nothing to do with how safe the roads are.

        Still, you never addressed the usefulness of your proposed "national safety programme".
      • 4 Years Ago
      It’s crazy that a 2005 Prius is JUST NOW experiencing these problems in a big way huh? How did it drive for the past 5 years? Just fine I suppose…

      I bet all these “accidents” wouldn't have happened without the rampant media whoring of the recall. The Prius has a different damn pedal assembly for goodness sake! There’s a reason it didn’t get recalled!

      Everyone needs there 15-minutes of fame I guess!
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's exactly the problem, Toyota knew about it but didn't bother to tell the public. This was happening a lot but was always blamed on the driver. Now we know it's Toyota's fault and news gets out in a hurry.
        • 4 Years Ago
        or maybe, the media simply didnt give a crap about these issues, nor did the customer know it was a large problem...

        Toyota is in the spotlight now... and i personally wouldnt just hit a wall (he was backing out so not going quick) to do damage to my car to collect insurance... the car probubly wasnt totalled, and he will probubly have to deal with all the repairs... totally worth it...

        The media is going to advertize EVERY case... if this wasnt an issue right now, this wouldnt have been adveritzed.

        if this was happening to GM.... all the toyota lovers would be destroying GM right now... funny.
      • 4 Years Ago
      bs
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Franz, as someone else already said, check the black box. It records the last actions taken before an accident. And in regards to job losses. There will be a simple shift of jobs to other car companies that make the sales now instead of Toyota.
        • 4 Years Ago
        BS indeed... the CA one was BS too.. just shut the engine off or put transmission in N.

        • 4 Years Ago
        ...sure 'cause people love going in JOY RIDES and CRASHING their CARS to collect money or fame from TOYOTA. I sympathize with you guys, both you and Toyota seem to have a loose bolt these days.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That is exactly what I was going to post.

        This lady is obviously just trying to get insurance money because she's sick of paying for it.

        Put her in jail for fraud.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is simple really...just check if the brakes were engaged while the vehicle was accelerating. You can easily rule out people who just pressed down on the wrong pedal.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Strange how only now are we hearing about cars made 5 years ago suddenly accelerating. There might have been a report or two about it earlier than 2010, but seriously? If BMW were to have a recall because brakes on 96-98 E36s are known to give out (they don't), reports of people crashing because due to failed brakes would suddenly appear. Almost makes you sorry for the handful of people who really did have a sticky accelerator, now that they're associated with liars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah... we can be pretty sure that from now on anybody who crashes a Toyota is gonna try to blame unintended acceleration to avoid being at fault & paying for it. I sure would hate to be Toyota right now, because they're gonna get screwed no matter if these claims are legitimate or not. The thing I really don't get in this whole saga is the great number of Americans I see on here & everywhere else praying for the downfall of Toyota, not realizing that hundreds of thousands of Americans will be out of a job if Toyota does go under. I don't think they will, but it's a pretty jacked up thing to wish for.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know you guys already raised the BS flag. This just makes is stronger.

        http://sharing.theflip.com/session/9773c358173490d9e5bda837e1c08184/video/11407344
        • 4 Years Ago
        @AC

        I agree with you. The guy in Cali drove for miles without even thinking about shutting the car off or putting it in neutral.

        There is an easy solution to all of this, Americans need to quit being lazy drivers and buy cars with manual transmissions. Quick press of the clutch and you pop it right out of gear. An over revved blown engine is better than crashing into another car going 90mph.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sounds like everyone with a Toyota just wants to collect some insurance money these days.
        And people wonder why insurance costs increase
        • 4 Years Ago
        The timing is pretty ridiculously suspicious. I'd suspect that any half-wit with a Prius who wants to be in the limelight/wants a new car/wants to sue Toyota and get rich is now going to be crashing their Prius.
        Seriously, these incidents were super-rare (30 reported incidents out of millions of Toyotas over several years), but now that it's in the news suddenly everyone's Prius is crashing into all kinds of stuff in high-profile incidents. *sigh*
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey UKNOWN:

        Have you ever driven on a busy California highway for over 30 miles at over 90 MPH?

        Go give it a try...let me know how that works out for ya.
        • 4 Years Ago
        TONY:

        Good points...this whole debacle is more a reflection of the stupidity, ignorance, and greed of the American public than anything else.

        I mean take one look at the moronic anti-American posts here on Autoblog...it's 2010....and yet racist troglodytes are everywhere.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Seriously though, what is going to stop anyone with any vehicle from claiming UA? Get a few BMW owners to claim UA every time they rear end someone and all of a sudden BMW will be in the spotlight. Oh BMW can't find a problem? too bad! cause they've already been labeled death machines. The owners cant be wrong.
      • 4 Years Ago
      FRAUD.

      What a novice crook: she didn't even have the ovaries to leave far from the safety/comfort of her own home.

      At least the crook yesterday left his home. But a crook is a crook and she just made it easier for NY officials to lock her up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're right, people that get into car wrecks are just crooks. Or just want attention. Some are just bored and don't get cable. Thank you so much for that insightful comment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Autoblog - give up this constant anti-Toyota bollocks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Bloke - mind you, even the Japanese are looking at the current-gen Prius.

        http://green.autoblog.com/2010/02/03/report-japanese-government-orders-investigation-of-3rd-gen-priu/
        • 4 Years Ago
        This isn't about destroying Toyota (although that's how it's been played out), it's about making sure people get the safest product possible.

        I don't care if it was a Chevrolet, a Volkswagen, a BMW, an Infinity, a Honda, ect.

        It's about safety on the road.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Regardless of who benefits from Toyota's mistakes, whether it be the media or American automotive companies, they aren't the ones who made the flawed vehicles.

        Toyota made mistakes. Should they suffer from this severe loss of trust and severe decline in reputation? Probably not.

        But they made a bad quality product. So now they must deal with it."


        It's BS! The Prius is been on sale worldwide for almost thirteen years and suddenly it's dangerous? But only in one country, mind you. Pull the other one, it's got bells on. All companies have their share of problems. The one recall one was one thing, and that was enough. But will the American right-wingers leave it at that? Of course not, they will see to it that Toyota - the enemy - is destroyed. And then, ironically, they'll spout that they live in "the land of the free."

        • 4 Years Ago
        I wouldn't want a dangerous car either. But here's what this boils down to. America's largest domestic car company goes into administration, and the only way the country can save itself from effectively going bankrupt by the loss of a company this size - plus others in the financial sector - is for that company to restructure itself under partial governmental control. This brasses off the right-wing element of the country which has always exercised extraordinary influence. While these domestic car companies have made catastrophic mistakes for many years, the majority of the American public didn't see it coming. Their livelihoods, pensions, job security, way of life are all affected and under threat.

        So how do you win back public support? Target the foreign companies which have long posed the greatest rivalry. Step up Toyota, which has faced some recent quality issues ... perfect prey. But instead of focussing on this issues, let's instigate a boatload more ... despite the fact that owners of these cars in the USA have for many years been so satisfied with the product, the very name of the Toyota brand itself has become synonymous with being the pinnacle of reliability. Suddenly, these very products are so unreliable, so unpredictable, that they're actually a danger to the American public? But wait! Look who can benefit! Domestic industry, the media, lawyers, local and national government. A win-win!

        • 4 Years Ago
        Regardless of who benefits from Toyota's mistakes, whether it be the media or American automotive companies, they aren't the ones who made the flawed vehicles.

        Toyota made mistakes. Should they suffer from this severe loss of trust and severe decline in reputation? Probably not.

        But they made a bad quality product. So now they must deal with it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "We heard about Japan's inspection "programme" the first time you posted it. You're a broken record. Just shut up already."

        Hackman - there's a gulf of diffference between the xenophobic American kids on here and true motoring enthusiasts who possess knowledge about the industry globally. And that difference couldn't be more exemplfied here.

        • 4 Years Ago
        I didn't see any opinion injected into this story by Autoblog; they just reported the facts as they had obtained them. Granted, there's a little slant in the headline, but there's so little room to articulate in a header and not bore people to death that this sort of thing happens in a great many news outlets. Maybe a better header would have been "New York Prius Crash Blamed on Unintended Acceleration."
        • 4 Years Ago
        "even the Japanese"

        Incredible. Of course they would. Why? a) Japan operates one of the toughest national vehicle safety systems in the world. b) It builds family cars which are sold globally.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why should they? They are here to report news for us. Maybe you should stop reading since it does not fit your mold of what is news.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If I went out and spent 25 grand on a car, and that same model was experiencing technical difficulties that could possibly put my, and others' lives in danger....

        I would like to hear about it.

        I know the constant write ups and reports about Toyota are getting annoying. I feel the same way. But it has to do with safety. Stuck accelerator pedals = speed. Speed kills. If it was something like faulty A/C or radio, I wouldn't care. But this is a potentially life threatening defect.

        Is it just some sick people trying to make big money off of lawsuits? Maybe. But we still need to hear about it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No please, keep it coming.
        • 4 Years Ago
        'I look forward to you denouncing all those on here who are obsessed with 0-60 times and the Honda CR-Z with a 9.7 second time as being "too slow to merge onto a highway'

        This is a performance statistic and was made intentionally. Huge difference here, buddy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      People are just taking advantage of the situation. "It's happened before, so it's gotta be true. Right?"

      I started looking around for used Prius's. So far the prices haven't come down yet. Hopefully people just get the mob mentally and just start dumping them on the used car market.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Unfortunately Toyota must install black boxes in all its models so they can easily rule out a defect when a driver presses the gas rather than the brakes mistakenly.
        • 4 Years Ago
        With all this crap happening lately, The Black box might come a lot sooner than later, so the Manufacturers can protect themselves in situation like this and to deal with people trying to take advantage of the situation..
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just like that Sikes (Dbag) guy on TV, the driver should have just hit the brakes, hold the power button for three seconds, and guide it to a stop. Times like this is when I want to punch them hard in the face until my fist goes through.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where's the OBDII data logs and ECM blackbox logs?

      If Toyota wants to end this escalation of claims (or verify it's fact), they need to get those logs and make them public, regardless of exposing the [known] fact that new cars recording more than we think.
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