The Empire Strikes Back: NHTSA Says Harrison Crash Was Driver Error, Japanese Police Recommends Charges Against Prius Driver
Black box data in New York and Japan shows that crashing Prius drivers had their feet on the wrong pedals and wrongly blamed their cars.
In Harrison, NY, the NHTSA declared that the cause of the Prius incident was driver error. “Computer data from a Toyota Prius that crashed in suburban New York City show that at the time of the accident the throttle was open and the driver was not applying the brakes,” U.S. safety officials said to Associated Press.
NHTSA said information from the car’s computer systems indicates there was no application of the brakes and the throttle was fully open. The NHTSA “did not elaborate,” says AP, but the conclusions are clear: Someone’s foot was on the gas instead on the brakes.
Last week, Harrison Police Capt. Anthony Marraccini said he had no indication of driver error, after a 56 year old house keeper had driven her employer’s Prius into a wall. Wall and car were totaled. Airbags deployed, housekeeper was unharmed. Now, Marracini isn’t so sure anymore.
Yesterday, six Toyota technicians and two NHTSA inspectors descended on Harrison, NY, to inspect the Prius, which had been kept in a Harrison police impound. According to CNN, “two independent inspectors from a forensic technology company, hired by the Police Department, also were aiding the investigation.” There was no shortage of experts. Presence of congressional aides was not reported.
Toyota successfully downloaded data from the vehicle. After receiving their findings (which have not been made public), Capt. Anthony Marraccini said driver error “was a possibility,” the New York Post reports.
All eyes are on Harrison, NY, today. Technicians from Toyota and NHTSA will head to the NYC burbs and pour over a 2005 Toyota Prius that crashed into a stone wall in the tony bedroom town of Harrison. Its driver claimed the hybrid had sped up on its own. Toyota will read out the data recorded in the Prius computer. According to the Associated Press, Toyota techs will “use equipment to determine how many times the driver hit the brakes and gas. It used the same tools earlier this week to cast doubt on a California driver who claimed his Prius sped to 94 mph before a patrol officer helped him stop it.”
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- Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
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