NY Prius crash

http://www.impomag.com/scripts/ShowPR.asp?RID 618&CommonCount=0
HARRISON, N.Y. (AP) - A housekeeper who reported that her boss' Toyota Prius accelerated on its own and wouldn't brake as she hurtled toward a stone wall
apparently had her foot on the gas pedal the entire time, according to a police investigation that concluded the driver, not the car, caused the accident.
The March 9 crash in a suburban New York driveway came the day after a driver in San Diego reported that the gas pedal got stuck on his 2008 Prius, resulting in a wild 94 mph ride on a Southern California freeway.
The two accidents raised new questions about Toyota's accelerators. The company had already recalled more than 8 million cars over gas pedals that could become stuck or be held down by floor mats.
But in the California case, Toyota said its tests showed the car's gas pedal, backup safety system and electronics were working fine.
And on Monday, Harrison police Capt. Anthony Marraccini said, "The vehicle accelerator in this case was depressed 100 percent at the time of collision, and there was absolutely no indication of any brake application."
The data came from the car's on-board event data recorder and computer and was downloaded during an inspection Wednesday joined by Toyota and the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, which also concluded the car was not at fault. The event data recorder, or "black box," is designed to record the state of the car at the moment of an impact.
Marraccini said the 56-year-old driver "believes she depressed the brake, but that just simply isn't the case here." She did not try to deceive police, he said, and she faces no charges.
Toyota spokesman Wade Hoyt said owner of Priuses can feel secure that "if you step on the brake they'll stop, even if the accelerator is glued to the floor."
The company also issued a statement saying it would continue to investigate "reported incidents of unintended acceleration."
The New York driver, identified as Gloria Rosel, did not come to the door of the house where she works Monday. Calls there were not returned.
Marraccini said the car's computers showed that the Prius' top speed down the driveway was 35 mph; it slowed once when it hit a curb and it was going 27 mph when it hit the wall across the street from the driveway entrance.
The car's front end was wrecked but the driver was not seriously hurt.
The captain displayed a page from the computer readout that showed an accelerator sensor measuring 99.9 percent while a brake sensor showed zero. One critical finding, he said, was that although the throttle was fully open at the time of impact, the gas pedal returned to its normal position after the crash, indicating it did not stick.
Some consumer groups and safety experts have said the problems could be caused by faulty electronic throttles. Toyota has said it has found no evidence of problems with its electronics.
___
Associated Press writer Ken Thomas in Washington contributed to this report.
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Maybe an attempt for her 15 minutes of fame, a court award, or just a need for better ergonomics.
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Or maybe she was just an old lady that made a mistake. Given the level of media hysteria, can you blame her for deciding it was not her fault?
Do you remember the 60 Minutes piece on the Audi 5000 from around 24 years ago? I remember it. They interviewed a parent who had driven an Audi out through the back of a garage pushing a son into the pool (and killing him). The parent was absolutely convinced that it was the cars fault. History shows it was not. But who could blame a parent for not wanting to blame themselves for such a tragedy. I did blame 60 Minutes for using a grief stricken person in such a manner. That case was the most blatant case of automotive related journalistic miss-conduct I have ever seen by a semi-respectable news organization. Only NBC's Dateline came close with their Chevy truck roast.
Ed
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The dealership that went bankrupt won their case again 60 Minutes and the woman as I recall. Worst of all it led to the ignition interlock that we are forced to pay for every time we buy a new car as well.
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I agree. This is not new for 60 Minutes. They open some issues to the benefit of the people, but they also feed on the blood of panic and misinformation.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Which was a hoax based primarily on the fact that he refused to put the car in neutral (making up obviously lame excuses during the event as well as afterward) even after the 911 operator suggested that he do that to end the problem. The man figured he could gain from the publicity - after it was all over with he stated that all he wanted out of the whole thing was a new car.
--
Bill Putney
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