Toyota Prius Unintended Acceleration Actually Fault of Drivers?

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When Toyota Priuses started speeding up on their own, causing accidents and other such mayhem, the Japanese auto company initially blamed its drivers. For this seemingly tone-deaf reaction it was widely mocked. But now, the Wall Street Journal says a new study suggests Toyota might have been right all along when it claimed it really was the drivers' fault.

The Department of Transportation analyzed dozens of data recorders -- a car's "black box" -- from Priuses accused of accelerating suddenly. And what the agency found was that, at the time of the crash, the throttles were open and the brakes weren't engaged. Meaning all those people who said they floored the brake actually had their foot on the gas.

This doesn't mean anyone claiming to own a Zombie Toyota is full of shit. There's still the matter of the company's "sticky" gas pedals and floor mats that can pin accelerators to the floor, as happened to an unlucky California highway patrolman and his family when they were killed by a runaway Lexus.

The government's findings still haven't been released yet. And there are a lot of cars left to inspect. But it looks like, for the moment at least, Toyota might have been telling the truth when it used the Shaggy defense (a.k.a. "it wasn't me").

 
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