9-1-1 Audio from James Stikes, 61, when the runaway Toyota Prius is reported to have reached 94 mph, and led to a California Highway Patrol officer helping Sikes slow down and stop his vehicle.
Overall, Toyota has recalled more than 8 million cars and trucks worldwide because gas pedals and floor mats that can cause the accelerator to become stuck. But judging from the comments on YouTube, many people think the action of James Stikes was staged.
Monday, Stikes called 911 to report his Prius was accelerating out of his control. Sikes was driving eastbound on Interstate 8 near Lake Jennings Park Road at 1:30 p.m. Monday when he tried to pass a slower car. Sikes then noticed that the Prius seemed to be accelerating on its own. Sikes reported he attempted to bring the car under control himself, then called 911 when the vehicle hit speeds over 90 miles per hour. Sikes claims his vehicle reached 94 mph.
A California Highway patrol car caught up to Sikes when he was east of Kitchen Creek Road — a distance of over 20 miles from the location where the incident began. CHP officer Todd Neibert approached alongside the Prius and gave Sikes instructions over the police car’s public address system.
After instructions from officer Neibert, Sikes used his brakes and his emergency brake to slow the car down. Sikes said the car slowed to 55. After several attempts to shut off the car by using the ENGINE START STOP button, he was successful. The officer could smell the brakes, and Sikes remembers looking out the window of the car while he was looking at the police car and standing on his own brake pedal.
The Prius will be investigated by federal officials, and Toyota will also investigate the Prius. Toyota officials also want to interview Sikes.
Toyota Instructional Video: Stopping Procedure for sticking accelerator pedal.