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12:15 PM on 03/16/2010
BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TOYOTA FINDS TOYOTA INNOCENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!MORE BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....IN A TOYOTA!!!!!!!!!
12:20 PM on 03/16/2010
12:35 PM on 03/16/2010
Toyota conducted their tests with the NTHSB, and they didn't find Toyota innocent, they were unable to replicate the problem, big difference.
01:24 PM on 03/16/2010
And being unable to replicate the incident makes Sikes a liar how????
11:46 AM on 03/16/2010
Toyota says they couldn't recreate the problem. In other news, Phillip Morris says it could not re-create the occurance of lung cancer in its own experiments and Chinese officials say they can find no evidence that ingesting lead causes any long term effects.

Of course it is not recreatable in 2 hourts of random driving. That's the point; the problem is an unpredictable software glitch that can strike anytime without warning or never at all. It's this unpredictability that makes the Toyota ECT glitch issue so terrifying.

Notice, however, that Toyota only says tehy could not get the car's computer to experience teh same glitch in 2 hours, and does not offer an explanation for how the driver ground down 7/8ths of his rear brake pads and 100% of his front brake pads during that drive and why there was so much brake pad dust recovered from the car proving the brake wear all occurred during that one instance. That is nicely glossed over. If this was a hoax, are they suggesting he ground down his brake pads, replace dteh worn pads and the somehow planted teh brake dust in a large enough quantity to be found after the incident?
11:52 AM on 03/16/2010
If this was a hoax they don't have to suggest that.
12:18 PM on 03/16/2010
It's a good thing you aren't a detective.

First of all, if he was truly applying his brakes at full force causing them to grind down, the car would have stopped. He isn't piloting a 747 down the highway, it is a freakin' Prius with the equivalent of a golf cart motor in it. I can stop a Dodge Ram with the throttle pegged and full brake pressure, you'rre telling me that you can't stop a Prius? Full front pad wear and little rear pad wear is consistent with him lightly applying the brakes and the gas for a half an hour at high speeds.

And brake dust builds up and sticks to wheels and wheel components. Often times it doesn't even come off without the introduction of chemical cleaners and hand washing. Just because there was a lot of brake dust doesn't mean it all happened at once. I see cars everyday whose front wheels are a completely different color than the rears because so much brake dust has built up.

All of these wannabe experts on this site who want to stick it to the big bad corporation don't know the very first thing about how a vehicle operates. You don't even have a modicum of mechanical knowledge. As a matter of fact, it seems that all the people who are familiar with the mechanics of automobiles are the ones talking about how absurd and obviously fabricated this guys story is.
01:26 PM on 03/16/2010
Then why was the police officer driving along side of him...why did he state that he could smell the brakes burning and he could see the guy STANDING on the brakes and the police officer didn't see the car come to a complete stop until some time after.
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I invented the internet.
11:40 AM on 03/16/2010
Sikes may be lying, but if there is a problem with the electronics, it will eventually be impossible to hide. One day the floormats will be remove, the gas pedals fixed, etc. Then, if the acceleration problem continues, Toyota won't be able to blame every instance on either the driver or imply they are lying. Well, they can, but no one will believe them.
11:48 AM on 03/16/2010
Id Sikes is lying, this was a lot of effort. The NHTSA confirmed that they could not recreate the software glitch during the two hours of testing, but that teh brakes were worn down 100% on the front and 7/8th son the back and there was brake dust everywhere indicating it was all fresh.

If he was lying, he should be setting up special effects in Hollywood for a living to have ground down his brakes so precisely and then found a way to secure teh dust to the vehicle prior to the drive so it was available to be found immediately afterwards in just teh right place.
12:10 PM on 03/16/2010
But if his brakes were working enough to wear down that far they were working, if the brakes were working then they should have stopped the car, if not slowed it down substantially.

So either he had an uncontrollable acceleration incident and his brakes worked enough to wear down the brakes but not stop the car, which is not very likely since that's how brakes work - friction, there was enough friction to wear the brakes down but not stop the car? ok


He's lying.
11:49 AM on 03/16/2010
Where has Toyota blamed every instance on the drivers or implied the drivers are lying in any of this?
12:10 PM on 03/16/2010
Wasn't it Jim Lentz, President of Toyota USA who, in front of Congress said people are focusing too much on "technical" issues and not enough on how people are driving their vehicles.. Sounds like shifting blame to me...
Michael Valentine
Retired SEIU Member
11:29 AM on 03/16/2010
Would all the paid Toyota trolls please raise your hands?
12:20 PM on 03/16/2010
Interesting fact that most of these trolls seem oblivious to. as of November 1, 2009, it is now illegal for a paid blogger (or a blogger who receives any form of compensation from or has a material link to a company) to blog about that company and not disclose that fact.

That's going to be Toyota's next big issue; an FTC enforcement action against it for violation of 16 CFR 255 and a massive amount of bad publicity to go along with a few hundred million in fines.
12:26 PM on 03/16/2010
Care to back up your claims with any evidence that anyone here is a Toyota blogger?
12:58 PM on 03/16/2010
Prove that anyone here works for Toyota.

The last defense of the defenseless. Silence the opposition by attempting to discredit them. How very Democratic of you. I would personally be ashamed.
11:19 AM on 03/16/2010
Considering their current credibility problems Toyota would have been wise to have had some highly regarded independent organization test the vehicle. Even if they are correct, this comes off as self-serving and subject to doubt.
11:14 AM on 03/16/2010
"Two outside experts, however, said it would be a mistake not to test for unknown electronic gremlins, such as electromagnetic interference, static electricity or software glitches. Those problems, they said, can gum up electronics and then disappear."

If they do you test for them. How do the police know his buttocks came off the seat?

This seems like a scam. If it works, everyone will be buying Toyotas, and hitting the gas and brakes at the same time to get a piece of the action.
10:50 AM on 03/16/2010
I have read numerous postings by people who are familar with this Sikes fellow. He has quite a history and it does not point in an honest direction. This is just another of his scams to line his pockets. He is a very good actor and the officer who thinks it happened has been hoodwinked along with a lot of hysterical people. I do know that other cars have had various serious problems that have been swept under the rug over the years. It just does strike me that this high focus on Toyota is very timely for GM (Obama saved it with taxpayer funding). It sounds like its scripted to a lot of us. it is particularly strange to those of us who have had experience with some GM cars that had major problems. Let us not leave out Ford on this either. None of them are above scrutiny.
Michael Valentine
Retired SEIU Member
10:50 AM on 03/16/2010
Oh what a feeling Toyota! This would all sound a lot better if the Toyota hadn't put out the memo saying they saved a hundred million in repairs and two billion in lost sales by avoiding a recall.

Toyota, a for profit corporation, will say whatever they can to save a dollar .... even at the expense of their customers lives. And now they are libeling this guy.
11:06 AM on 03/16/2010
It's only libel/slander if the guy is telling the truth, which he MIGHT not be doing.
Michael Valentine
Retired SEIU Member
12:29 PM on 03/16/2010
And you assume he isn't but the corporation is.
"religion is bunk"; Thomas Edison
10:42 AM on 03/16/2010
if Mr. Sikes goes to court (even though he said he wouldn't), he'll win. there is no question a jury will believe him, as he has a CHP officer as a witness. I'm sure the officer also had his camera on, and it will be clear to see that Sikes definitely was applying his brakes, trying to stop.

it's puzzling that Toyota has decided to play hardball here, because this will soon come back and bite them on the butt, big time.

I'm sure CHP officer Saylor is literally rolling in his grave right now. he crashed in a loaner Lexus ES350 (which by the way, has not been recalled for anything but silly floor mats), and Toyota said he had a mat jammed under the pedal the acclerator.

give me a break.

the officer was a certifed CHP pursuit instructor. don't you think he would look there first? I was a passenger in an identical Lexus that went haywire in 2007, and I KNOW it was the electronics, nothing else.

and "experts" who have never experienced this, spare me.

you can't shut off the car (push button start), and moving the gear shift into any gear, including neutral, does nothing. they are both controlled by the haywaire ECU.

and Toyota continues to lie.
11:05 AM on 03/16/2010
Actually no. Anyone who serves on a a jury and believes the testimony of a CHP officer simply because he is a CHP officer, is failing to fulfill the obligations of a juror (to impartially weigh the evidence and decide based on it). The word of a CHP officer has no more validity than anyone else.

It has been proven again and again that it is possible to shift into neutral at high speed.
It has also been proven that with the accelerator wide open a car can be stopped by fully applying the brakes.

The CHP officer says the brake lights were on and he "smelled brakes" that doesn't mean the brake was being fully applied, or with intent to stop the vehicle, only that the brakes were working to some degree, a conclusion supported by the burned off front brakes and rotors.

If the brakes were working at all, which is supported by the CHP officer and the burned out brakes, then the question is why did they not slow the car down? Not applying the brakes hard enough would cause all 3 things to happen (brake lights on, brake smell/burned out brakes, no slowing of car)

Also the officer in the Lexus crash has nothing to do with this incident. So bringing him and or his level of training up is pointless, if anything that officer creates a conflict of interest for the CHP in regards to "out of control" Toyota vehicles.
01:36 PM on 03/16/2010
Why shouldn't anyone accept the testimony of a CHP officer that was driving along side this guy when this was happening?

So, we should just ignore that fact just because you like Toyota?
11:36 AM on 03/16/2010
You clearly don't know the first thing about cars. You can shift anything into neutral while driving, it is a mechanical system.
11:43 AM on 03/16/2010

To take it one step further, if someone couldn't put a car into neutral while driving then manual transmissions wouldn't work.
01:35 PM on 03/16/2010
But the problem with these vehicles is just shifting them into neutral doesn't get them to stop. That's the problem that Toyota has to figure out.
10:41 AM on 03/16/2010
Remember Sikes is the source of the info regarding what happened.

Anecdotes are unreliable for various reasons. Stories are prone to contamination by beliefs, later experiences, feedback, selective attention to details, and so on. Most stories get distorted in the telling and the retelling. Events get exaggerated. Time sequences get confused. Details get muddled. Memories are imperfect and selective; they are often filled in after the fact. People misinterpret their experiences. Experiences are conditioned by biases, memories, and beliefs, so people's perceptions might not be accurate. Most people aren't expecting to be deceived, so they may not be aware of deceptions that others might engage in. Some people make up stories. Some stories are delusions. Sometimes events are inappropriately deemed psychic simply because they seem improbable when they might not be that improbable after all. In short, anecdotes are inherently problematic and are usually impossible to test for accuracy.
"religion is bunk"; Thomas Edison
11:02 AM on 03/16/2010
no, Mr. Sikes is NOT the only source of information.

the 9-1-1 operator taped the call.

the CHP officer was there, too. I'm sure he had his dash camera on. it will clearly back up what Mr. Sikes had said.

the CHP is so confident of what happened, they have closed the case.

...and what does Toyota do?

they trash the guy. they point to his "financial problems". who on earth is not having some sort of financial problems right now?

Mr. Sikes has repeatedly said he had no intentions of suing Toyota. I sincerely hope he changes his mind, and sues them for defamation of character.

what I find most curious is the disappearance of Jim Lentz, Toyota USA's president. when he was testifying before Congress, Rep. Henry Waxman asked Lentz if the floor mat and pedal recalls would solve all of the unintended acceleration problems.

Lentz's answer: "no, not totally".

later that same day, Akio Toyoda was on Larry King. when asked the same question, he said, "yes, absloutely". when asked specifically about the electronics being a problem, he said "absolutely not, no problems".

the big lie had begun, and Mr. Lentz has not been seen publicly since.
11:20 AM on 03/16/2010
Yeah, I listened to the 911 tape it doesn't prove anything Sikes is saying is true.

It proves he refused to shift into neutral even though he was repeatedly told to, and it proves that he claimed to "reach down and pull on the accelerator" which is nearly impossible while stopped, let alone while doing 80+ mph (Sikes states on the 911 tape that he was "at 81 mph now")

The CHP officer was there for the last 5-10 minutes of the incident, so the officer can't confirm anything prior to that.

The is so confident they didn't bother investigating the incident, a sure way to not know what happened.

In addition the possible conflict of interest issue (due to the runaway Lexus killing that CHP officer) CHP has with Toyota makes their failure to investigate the incident have an appearance of bias, which in court is enough to raise doubts.

Plus Toyota didn't "point to his financial problems" Bankruptcy filings are a matter of public record, and anyone that gives a news conference claiming something like this should expect to have their financial status looked at.
11:24 AM on 03/16/2010
The CHP officers word is also anecdotal evidence, and if there was a CHP dash cam, one would think Sikes lawyers would be all over it as well as the NHTSB and Toyota would want to see it to try and figure out what did or didn't happen.
10:29 AM on 03/16/2010
10:23 AM on 03/16/2010
In How We Know What Isn't So, Thomas Gilovich describes the details of many studies which make it clear that we must be on guard against the tendencies to

1. misperceive random data and see patterns where there are none;

2. misinterpret incomplete or unrepresentative data and give extra attention to confirmatory data while drawing conclusions without attending to or seeking out disconfirmatory data;

3. make biased evaluations of ambiguous or inconsistent data, tending to be uncritical of supportive data and very critical of unsupportive data.

It is because of these tendencies that scientists require clearly defined, controlled, double-blind, randomized, repeatable, publicly presented studies. Otherwise, we run a great risk of deceiving ourselves and believing things that are not true. It is also because of these tendencies that in trying to establish beliefs non-scientists ought to try to imitate science whenever possible. In fact, scientists must keep reminding themselves of these tendencies and guard against pathological science.
01:49 PM on 03/16/2010
I agree that Toyota needs to be on its guard against false claims....But in this case they didn't come out with any solid or accurate information that states that this guy was lying. Instead they come out studies that say that it didn't happen when they did it.

That's simply not proof that this guy is lying. Period. And if I have to believe anyone, I will believe the officer that was driving along side of him because he has no invested interested in lying.
06:59 PM on 03/16/2010
If this didn't happen, it is impossible for anyone to prove it didn't happen, because it's impossible to prove a negative..

The guys own story and inconsistencies plus the brakes that were able to engage enough to burn out but not to slow the car down show the guy is lying.

You should believe the CHP officer, the fact that he says the guys brakes were working proves that Skiles could have stopped the car but didn't, since the Prius brakes are stronger than it's accelerating power is.
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09:57 AM on 03/16/2010
The problem is real and not at all new:

Reported incidents of sudden acceleration, include:
1988: 1986 Honda Accords were documented to have had sudden acceleration incidents due to the Vehicle Speed Control component, as reported to the NHTSA.[13]
1997: Sudden acceleration in Jeep Cherokees and Jeep Grand Cherokees was reported by Diane Sawyer in a March 1997 ABC News Primetime segment.[14][15]
2000: Several Ford Explorers were reported about in the UK by a Channel 4 news program where the vehicle was already moving at speed and experienced sudden acceleration.[16]
2006: The 2004 Ford Mustang Cobra was recalled by Ford for accelerator pedals that failed to return to idle after being fully pressed.
2008: Incidents involving the 2005 Kia Amanti and Kia Sephia had been reported that were preceded by a racing or highly-revving engine.[17][18]
2009: Toyota Avalon displays unintended acceleration without floor mat; observed by dealer
2009-2010: Several vehicles were recalled in the 2009–10 Toyota vehicle recalls, which resulted in suspension of production and sales of many of Toyota's most popular models, including the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, Toyota Tacoma pickups, Lexus IS350, Pontiac Vibe, and more.[19] BusinessWeek March 1, 2010 pp. 14-16 "Did Toyota's Traffic Cops Sway the Regulators?"
10:13 AM on 03/16/2010
None of this is evidence that this Prius did have sudden acceleration. It is like accusing a person of murder because people have been murdered berfore.
Robert Nix
My bio is not micro
10:30 AM on 03/16/2010
I was reading a few of those and I did not see one that had a stuck on acceleration which is what seems to be happening with these Toyota. Those seem to be cases seem to be like lurching.
10:57 AM on 03/16/2010
I used to own a 1995 Ford Explorer Sport model. I drove it accross country with a trailer attached to it. However, the onboard computer did not jibe with the trailer's electronics. The entire time I drove, my "check engine" light was on. When I disconnected the trailer, the light went away. However, the problems didn't end there. I was at a stop light with my foot on the brake pedal when suddenly, the car lurched forward. I mashed my foot down on the brake and it eventually stopped, but after the car had pulled forward 20 feet. The incident did not happen again for many months. I think the car's computer malfunctioned. I later heard that Uhaul was not renting trailers anymore to people with certain cars because of a problem with computer malfunctions.
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09:56 AM on 03/16/2010
I don’t buy Toyota’s explanation; and the fact that they are not facing up to the problem makes me not want to purchase one of their vehicles. Sudden unexplained acceleration is not a phenomenon unique to Toyota, but at least you would expect a company to try to get to the root of the problem instead of blaming drivers. There are con artists out there, of course, but this particular individual’s lawyer said he had nothing to gain from the incident. Plus, the police did detect the burning smell.

Also, some are wondering why the driver did not simply shut off the ignition, but the real question is why was he forced to be in the situation in the first place?

I personally experienced the problem many years ago with a brand new GM car and the dealer insisted it was my fault. The car suddenly accelerated and the brakes froze at the same time. Luckily, I was not traveling at a high rate of speed and I was able to shut off the ignition.

It was not until after I contacted the NHTSA that the dealer corrected the problem.
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10:14 AM on 03/16/2010
I did not seek or receive money from GM, nor did I hire an attorney in the matter. You can be d@mn sure that had the problem been made public and I was subjected to unfair accusations, had there been injury involved, or had GM refused to correct the defect, I would have hired a lawyer to protect myself.
10:15 AM on 03/16/2010
So, by all this facing up to the problem that Toyota has been doing for the past two months is "not facing up to the problem?"
Michael Valentine
Retired SEIU Member
10:40 AM on 03/16/2010
It's called damage control.
09:33 AM on 03/16/2010
Communal reinforcement is the process by which a claim becomes a strong belief through repeated assertion by members of a community. The process is independent of whether the claim has been properly researched or is supported by empirical data significant enough to warrant belief by reasonable people. Often, the mass media contribute to the process by uncritically supporting the claims. More often, however, the mass media provide tacit support for untested and unsupported claims by saying nothing skeptical about even the most outlandish of claims.
10:16 AM on 03/16/2010
Maybe "mass media" doesn't want to be sued because people who make "outlandish claims" do it in order to sure the media.