Toyota Time in Harrison as Company Investigators Show up in Crash Mystery

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCNewYork
    Oh, what a feeling: This Toyota Prius went out of control in Harrison, N.Y. as a 56-year-old woman was leaving her driveway.

    A Team of Toyota technicians showed up with a sophisticated decoder to help find out why a Prius crashed into a Harrison, N.Y. wall. The driver says the accelerator stuck.

    Fresh off a high-profile alleged accelerator hoax in California, the company is mining the Harrison car's "black box" to get answers.

    The decoder reads data from the car's electronics that may show the positions of accelerator and brake at the moment of impact.

    Because the Harrison Prius is an older model, its system won't display conditions in critical seconds and minutes before impact.

    In California, driver James Sykes claimed he couldn't stop his Toyota for almost a half hour at speeds over 90 miles per hour. The company says that car's electronics show the brakes were working and that the accelerator and brakes were alternately deployed during the incident.

    The Harrison driver, a 56-year-old housekeeper, careened out of a driveway and across two lanes of traffic March 9th before smashing a stone wall at a speed police estimate over 40 mph.

    "Toyota is cooperating fully," says acting Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini now. But it was just last Friday that Senator Charles Schumer stood near the Prius, demanding that purportedly recalcitrant Toyota officials send a team to help explain why the car crashed.

    After the California incident was described in the media as an alleged hoax, Toyota aggressively moved to inspect the Harrison crash car.

    Thus, ten technicians arrived Wednesday morning with two federal inspectors. 

    "Harrison Police Department has not ruled out driver error," announced Acting Chief Marraccini, as he awaits investigators' findings. 

    Some Westchester drivers say whatever went wrong, they just want to know.

    "I think they have to get to the bottom of what happened or Toyota's going to go out of business," said Cindy Pagnotta of Harrison.