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Toyota Speeds Out of Control, Not on Recall List

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San Diego, CAA Prius owner was taken for the ride of his life yesterday when the accelerator pedal became stuck while driving along Interstate 8 outside of San Diego. An officer with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) helped the frightened driver bring his car to a stop, but not before the car reached speeds of 90 miles per hour.

"I pushed the gas pedal to pass a car, and it just did something kind of funny... and it just stuck there," said Jim Sikes at a news conference outside a Highway Patrol office, as reported late last night by CNN. "As I was going, I was trying the brakes... and it just kept speeding up."

Sikes said his problem had nothing to do with floor mats, one explanation Toyota has given for the widespread sticking pedal syndrome. "My mat was perfect. There was nothing wrong with my mat."

Sikes told those gathered at the news conference that at one point he actually reached down to try and physically pull the pedal back up with his hand, in an attempt to release it—"but it stayed right where it was."

As his Prius continued to speed up, Sikes dialed 911. Dispatchers with the emergency service attempted to talk him through some solutions that might stop the car, but nothing worked. Finally the emergency service dispatched a CHP officer, who caught up to the speeding Prius and communicated to the driver over the squad car's public address system to try and depress the brakes and the emergency brake at the same time. That tactic succeeded in slowing the car down to a more manageable 50 mph, at which point Sikes was able to shut the car down.

The CHP said it was extremely fortunate that no one was hurt or killed in the incident.

Sikes told CNN that he had taken his car into a local Toyota dealer to be serviced about two weeks prior to the incident. He gave them his recall notice, only to be told his car wasn't on the recall list.

It was not explained why he had a recall notice in his possession if his car wasn't on the dealer's recall list of vehicles to be repaired.

Toyota has been notified of the incident.



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