A Toyota Prius gave its 61 year-old driver quite a scare when it accelerated out of control on a freeway and its brakes would not work.

A 61 year-old US man apparently experienced the shock of his life when his 2008 Toyota Prius accelerated out of control and sped to over 90 mph (145km/h) along a California freeway. James Sikes told reporters he was driving along the road when he tried to overtake another vehicle. Suddenly the accelerator "did something kind of funny," jumped and got stuck. He says he tried applying brakes but to no avail.

Eventually he managed to call 911. An officer was dispatched and caught up with Sikes. The man used a loudspeaker to tell him to use emergency brakes and switch the ignition off. In the end the Prius stopped with the officer also having eased his patrol car in front of it.

Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Toyota Motor Corporation then sent investigators to inspect the runaway Prius. It was later taken to a dealership in El Cajon, California, where investigations into the incident are continuing.

According to Sikes, he had received a recall notice to take his car to a Toyota dealership but was told upon arrival that it was not on the recall list.

The Prius has also been part of Toyota's recent massive global recall campaign, but for a different reason from the other models.


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