Wednesday, March 10, 2010


EL CAJON, Calif. – Before he called 911, James Sikes says he reached down with his hand to loosen the "stuck" accelerator on his 2008 Toyota Prius, his other hand on the steering wheel. The pedal didn't move.

"My car can't slow down," he began when a California Highway Patrol dispatcher answered his call.

Sikes, 61, rolled to a stop 23 harrowing minutes later, he and his blue Prius emerging unscathed but Toyota Motor Corp. suffering another big dent. Toyota has watched its reputation for quality crumble with recalls tied to risks that cars can accelerate uncontrollably or can't brake properly.

He refused to put the car in neutral, or turn the engine off. I'm pretty sure he faked the whole thing in a bid to get money from Toyota.

Won't be the last time that happens.

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