Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Heard It Here First

Remember that runaway Prius? Faithful readers will recall that I immediately wondered whether the story might be a hoax. It didn't ring true -- if your car were running away with you at speeds of up to 90 miles an hour, I asked, would you reach for the gear shift, the ignition key, or your cell phone? Cell phone seemed like an odd choice.

Lo and behold, questions are emerging about the story. Both NHTSA and Toyota find that they can't replicate the problem. Toyota says that the car's brakes were working and would have stopped the car if firmly depressed. Meanwhile, the driver's lawyer says that the new findings don't cast doubt on the story.

My question is, why does the driver have a lawyer?

Once again, I'm not accusing anyone of anything and I'm not saying that the story is a hoax. But it sure is puzzling.

Oh, and by the way, James Sikes, the driver? Apparently he filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and had more than $700,000 in debt (including $19,000 owed on the Prius). Does that make anyone say "hmmmmm"?

And when he called 911, the operator repeatedly told him to shift into neutral. He didn't -- because he was afraid it might slip into reverse.

More hmmmmming.

Stay tuned.

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