Doubts Over Another "Runaway" Toyota Prius in NY

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Federal officials are casting doubt on a New York woman's story that her Toyota Prius sped out of control and could not be stopped. This is the second story this week of a "runaway" Prius that seems to have no evidence behind it.

On March 9, a 56-year-old woman said her Prius suddenly accelerated as she pulled out of a driveway in Harrison, New York. She said she slammed on the brakes, but the car wouldn't slow down. It eventually stopped when it slammed into a stone wall. The woman suffered a knee injury.

Well, engineers at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have examined the vehicle's onboard computer systems. They found "no application of the brakes and the throttle was fully open." That would contradict the woman's claim that she hit the brakes.

Acting Harrison police chief Captain Anthony Marraccini said that after reviewing the data, it appears "human error" may have caused the crash. Marraccini told ABC News the woman told him right after the crash that "the car accelerated and continued to accelerate. She said she tried to brake."

Marraccini said his department checked to see if the floor mat might have caused the accident. "From our investigation, it doesn't appear the floor mat was the cause," he said.

Both NHTSA and Toyota said its examinations on James Sikes' car -- which he said sped out of control on a highway near San Diego last week -- showed no evidence of sudden acceleration.