YouTube Users Prove it is Possible to Stop a "Runaway" Prius

Wednesday March 17th, 2010 at 10:33 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

proving prius brakes workPrius owners defend their cars online

James Sikes now famous runaway Prius story, is still making headlines, but YouTube users are not buying his story. Several Prius owners have posted videos onto the website proving that it is rather trivial to stop a “runaway” Prius.

The hybrid owners in the video have no problem slowing the car down at freeway speeds using the brakes. The videos also prove the car will turn off and will shift into neutral even if the throttle is stuck.

Check out the videos after the jump.

If these people are having no problems stopping their car, even while flooring it, why does Sikes? A preliminary announcement of the investigation of the runaway Prius reveals Toyota engineers have been unable to find any problem with Sikes car that would of prevented him from the stopping the car. A police officer at the scene after the incident noted the brake pedal and accelerator appeared normal. The officer also said the floor mat was not jamming the accelerator.

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Looking at the facts presented so far, this could be a massive hoax orchestrated by Sikes. During the 911 call a dispatcher repeatedly instructed Sikes how to shut off his vehicle. For some reason Sikes did not do this. When a dispatcher suggested Sikes shift the car into neutral, he refused claiming he was worried the car would flip. Taking a look at the YouTube video again it is easy to see you can shift a Prius into neutral with almost no effort. A simple flick of the wrist and the hybrid will shift into neutral. Why did Sikes repeatedly refuse to do what was needed to stop the vehicle?

The 2008 Prius is not part of the sticking gas pedal recall and the vehicle will disable the accelerator if the brake pedal is applied. Sikes was under the mistaken impression that his car was part of the recall, but was turned away when he brought his Prius in.

Several media outlets have reported that Sikes has declared bankruptcy in June of 2008 and has currently over $700,000 in debt. has reported that he is even behind on his payments for the Prius. Could this be a potential motive to fake the unintended acceleration?

Sikes has claimed that he does not plan on suing Toyota and all he wishes is to get a new Prius. Maybe money is not the motivation for Sikes, perhaps it’s all the attention. Could The Prius Man be the next Balloon Boy?

The debate is still raging about Sikes on YouTube and Prius owners are quick to defend their cars. The next few weeks should be very interesting. Maybe Sikes will be proven right in the end and all the people posting video’s of their hybrids stopping will look rather foolish. With the strange series of events that are unfolding, who knows what will happen next in Toyota recall debacle.

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2 Responses to YouTube Users Prove it is Possible to Stop a "Runaway" Prius

  1. Derek says:

    Excerpt from yesterday’s story about the investigation results of Sike’s Prius…

    “Last week the media discovered that Sikes had a history of financial trouble and may have been behind on his car payments, but Sikes assured people he wasn’t looking for a handout or a lawsuit.”

    Read the full story:

  2. francois says:

    What is the background of the original ‘victim’ driver Sikes? I’m hearing he is a very shady character. If indeed this is a hoax, shame on all for blowing this up and not investigating first.

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