Toyota agrees with NHTSA investigation of runaway Prius, but not calling Sikes a liar

, Posted by Sports Cars Fans at 2:27 PM

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Toyota walked a fine line this afternoon when it revealed that its own two-day investigation of last week's runaway Prius near San Diego, CA had reached the same conclusion as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's investigation. That is, the brakes on Jim Sikes' 2008 Toyota Prius should have been able to stop the car. Toyota did not, however, go so far as to call Sikes a liar.

The investigation determined that the front brake pads were worn so far down from overheating that the rotors were scraping the pads' metal backings. According to investigators, this could have only happened if the brake pedal were applied lightly (less than 50% or so) for an extended period of time, not pressed firmly to the floor as Sikes claimed he was doing. Only by "dragging" the brakes lightly could they become so overheated and worn, as firmly pressing the brake pedal while the car is accelerating would engage the brake override system that cuts engine power.

Though asked repeatedly if they had concluded that Sykes was lying, representatives for Toyota insisted that was not their judgment to make and they could only say that the investigation's findings were not consistent with the scenario that Sikes describes.

Follow the jump for Toyota's official statement in which it details all eight points of its findings.

[Source: Toyota]