The latest update in the California 'Runaway Prius' case is the official word from Toyota. As promised, Toyota released the initial findings from its two-day examination of Jim Sikes' Prius and the conclusion is: WTF?
Toyota's full release is available after the jump, but the gist of it is that the things Sikes said happened don't seem to mesh with what the Toyota engineers were able to observe and analyze (earlier, we heard pretty much the same thing from the Department of Transportation). The engineers looked at the components involved and downloaded data from the vehicle, but did not find any diagnostic trouble codes. Then there's this:
Toyota hedges a bit by noting that a final report is still in process, but does say, "there are strong indications that the driver's account of the event is inconsistent with the findings of the preliminary analysis." Toyota also said there "should be further examination of Mr. Sikes account of the events of March 8." This'll probably be the last we hear of this, don't you think?Toyota engineers believe that it would be extremely difficult for the Prius to be driven at a continuous high speed with more than light brake-pedal pressure, and that the assertion that the vehicle could not be stopped with the brakes is fundamentally inconsistent with basic vehicle design and the investigation observations.