Now, after a full investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ruled that this accident was likely caused by driver error, rather than a faulty brake system. NHTSA delivered this message to reporters:
Toyota spokesperson John Hanson says that the accident is being looked over by the Harrison, NY police department, and that the automaker will not comment until the investigation has completed. And while Toyota did join in with the investigation of Sikes' Prius, it is not clear if the automaker will take a closer look at this second incident."Information retrieved from the vehicle's onboard computer systems indicated there was no application of the brakes and the throttle was fully open."
With the validity of Jim Sikes' story coming under attack and the incident in New York likely being a true accident, we have to wonder how many other runaway Toyota incidents have been much ado about nothing other than driver error, intended or otherwise. With both the NHTSA and Toyota under a microscope, each one will likely be investigated by the feds and local authorities, as well as possibly Toyota too. Neither high-profile incident mentioned above has resulted in a solid case against Toyota and its products, a streak that may or may not continue depending on the result of each investigation going forward.
[Source: USA Today]