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The case of the disappearing runaway cars
The case of the disappearing runaway cars

In the early weeks of 2010, television newscasts were full of stories about "runaway" Toyotas. But those accounts dried up after a couple of widely reported incidents turned out to be nothing of the kind. In one case written about in the Washington Post and elsewhere, a Prius driver in San Diego who said he had been taken on a wild ride at speeds up to 94 miles per hour was found to have a checkered past and it turned out that his car was fully capable of stopping on its own.

In another instance, a New York Prius driver who went into a stonewall despite braking was found to have avoided the pedal altogether. According to the Wall Street Journal, an investigation by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, after testing numerous alleged runaway Toyotas, found that at the time of the crashes, throttles were wide open and the brakes were not engaged.

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Last updated December 31 2010: 9:35 AM ET
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