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Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Theory To Explain Sikes

This is purely my speculation.

According to Toyota, Mr. Sikes pressed his brake pedal hundreds of times during his "runaway Prius" event, but did not trigger the engine torque over-ride.

One possible explanation is that perhaps he had a foreign object, such as a soda bottle, wedged under his brake pedal.  In a panic and unable to slow his car down, he wasn't able to remove it until the end.

I once had this actually happen to me, when a water bottle from under my seat worked its way forward, and lodged itself under my brake pedal.  It was a little hairy, but I was able to kick it out of there before getting in trouble.

Giving Sikes this bit of leeway, we're still stuck with the other problem: how did the Prius run away to begin with?   According to NHTSA and Toyota, his floor mat was not clipped to the floor, but was not bunched up under the throttle pedal, either.  But they were unable to move the mat into a position that would have pinned the pedal.  And his Prius was not subject to the throttle pedal recall.

Did Sikes get a stuck throttle and an obstructed brake pedal?  Or did he make the whole thing up for publicity?


FrauTech said...

Interesting. The CHP is backing his story and you would suspect they would have a pretty low tolerance for bs. I get where you are coming from, and I think it's fair to doubt his story. I don't see obstruction being the problem, but am wondering if he just wasn't pressing his break pedal hard enough until near the end of the adventure. The fact that toyota can not recreate the problem doesn't as of yet mean anything to me. The fact that he is a lawyer, but he says he will not sue, says more about the lawyer than it does about him.

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