Not one day after a high-profile incident involving a Prius taking off on its owner in Southern California, we're hearing reports that another one of Toyota's popular hybrids has suffered unintended acceleration in New York. This time, instead of the car eventually succumbing to the will of its braking system, it crashed into a stone wall. Fortunately the owner was reportedly just pulling out of her driveway in Harrison, NY and the car only accelerated across the street, though the collision allegedly sent "some pretty big boulders" flying, said one police chief.
The 56-year-old driver reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries, and like the incident in Southern California a day earlier, a floor mat trapping the accelerator pedal has been ruled out as a cause. The 2005 model year Prius' driver side floor mat was reportedly tied to the seat base with plastic ties.
The 2004-2009 Prius is included in an earlier Toyota recall for floor mats that may entrap the accelerator pedal, but the Japanese automaker does not have a fix ready for the cars, which may include reshaping their pedals, replacing floor mats and altering the shape of the floor. These cars are not, however, included in Toyota's other major recall involving drive-by-wire accelerator pedal assemblies that could stick due to wear and other environmental conditions. That leaves no obvious explanation as to why these two Prius models took off on their owners. Toyota has stated it will join California and the U.S. government in investigating the first vehicle, though hasn't commented on whether it will investigate the vehicle in New York yet.
[Source: The Detroit Free Press]