No surprise here: Toyota's stance on the out-of-control acceleration famously experienced by a Prius driver earlier this month will mirror that of U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, the auto-industry-backed congressman who's been meddling in the case (on behalf of whom?) and practically attacking the character of car owner James Sikes.
The Associated Press reports that Toyota plans to cast doubt on Sikes story that the vehicle reached up to 90 miles an hour on a San Diego County freeway as he practically stood on the brakes. The carmaker had a press conference scheduled for Monday afternoon. One issue is the vehicle's brakes: Toyota will claim wear is inconsistent with the scenario.
But a California Highway Patrol officer who came to the aid of the driver stated that he witnessed him practically standing on the brakes, with smoke coming from the vehicles wheel wells.
As we reported previously, there appears to be a smear campaign brewing against Sikes. Fox News is reporting that he had filed out papers for bankruptcy in 2008. It would be interesting to find out who's pushing that kind of blame-the-victim information.
Issa inserted himself into the investigation despite protests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which stated Monday that “we would caution people that our work continues and that we may never know exactly what happened with this car.” Amen.
Keep in mind that NHTSA is the only party involved in the investigation that does not have a horse in the race. Issa has received contributions from the auto industry. Toyota stands to lose millions — and already has — as a result of claims of “sudden acceleration” in its cars.