(Thumbnail image: The Orange County Register)

 

“I called 911 right away and they were trying to tell me what to do but I couldn’t hold the phone and hold the steering wheel properly at the same time. … It was just going faster.” (CBS)


What started as a high-speed horror story for Prius driver James Sikes is now being called a hoax.  A leaked report from the government says Sikes’ story isn’t feasible.

  

Media outlets quickly started examining Sikes’ background, focusing in on his six-figure debts, and especially, the $20,000 he owed on his Prius. 

 

Automotive website Jalopnik.com found William Sweet, a former business partner of Sikes’, who believes Sikes is lying for financial gain.

 

“As soon as I heard the words ‘Jim Sikes’ I immediately woke up out of a dead sleep and thought ‘uh oh what the [expletive] is this guy up to now?’ He's trying to do a scam, and get in on that lawsuit for the Toyota thing...”


A CNNMoney writer tells HLN it’s still too early to accuse Sikes of lying.

 

“Maybe what was happening was not that his engine was overpowering the brakes but his brakes were incapable at that point of overpowering anything. It is possible that he is a liar, it is also possible that he simply misunderstood what was happening with his car."

 

But a writer for the Montreal Gazette says the media should investigate Sikes’ claim, not just take the opportunity to dig up more dirt on Toyota.

 

“They have been as determined to not investigate Sikes’ claims as Sikes was to not stop his car. … The media aren’t about to let little things like incredible stories and readily refutable claims get in the way.”

 

And the media might be jumping too quickly to conclusions yet again, says CNBC’s Phil Lebeau.

 

"I don't think there's any way of knowing if it's going to be called a hoax unless Mr. Sikes comes out and says 'Listen, I made the whole thing up.' At this point, all you can say is that the results can not be confirmed. And that's the latest when you look at what happened with this Prius last Monday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration out with a preliminary analysis saying, listen, they couldn't duplicate the complaints when they took the car out for some test drives. And they even say, we may never know the cause of the runaway Prius last week." 

 

A blogger on SFGate.com says if Sikes is lying, it reflects poorly on society as a whole.

 

... it is both a sad commentary on our ambulance-chasing culture and the small-minded greed that drives people to place not just their safety, but the safety of others in peril.”

 

So is Sikes telling the truth about his runaway Prius?  Or is he taking the media for a ride?

 

Writer: Victoria Uwumarogie

Producer: Newsy Staff

Runaway Prius Could Be a Hoax

by Christina Hartman
0
Transcript
Mar 16, 2010

Runaway Prius Could Be a Hoax

(Thumbnail image: The Orange County Register)

 

“I called 911 right away and they were trying to tell me what to do but I couldn’t hold the phone and hold the steering wheel properly at the same time. … It was just going faster.” (CBS)


What started as a high-speed horror story for Prius driver James Sikes is now being called a hoax.  A leaked report from the government says Sikes’ story isn’t feasible.

  

Media outlets quickly started examining Sikes’ background, focusing in on his six-figure debts, and especially, the $20,000 he owed on his Prius. 

 

Automotive website Jalopnik.com found William Sweet, a former business partner of Sikes’, who believes Sikes is lying for financial gain.

 

“As soon as I heard the words ‘Jim Sikes’ I immediately woke up out of a dead sleep and thought ‘uh oh what the [expletive] is this guy up to now?’ He's trying to do a scam, and get in on that lawsuit for the Toyota thing...”


A CNNMoney writer tells HLN it’s still too early to accuse Sikes of lying.

 

“Maybe what was happening was not that his engine was overpowering the brakes but his brakes were incapable at that point of overpowering anything. It is possible that he is a liar, it is also possible that he simply misunderstood what was happening with his car."

 

But a writer for the Montreal Gazette says the media should investigate Sikes’ claim, not just take the opportunity to dig up more dirt on Toyota.

 

“They have been as determined to not investigate Sikes’ claims as Sikes was to not stop his car. … The media aren’t about to let little things like incredible stories and readily refutable claims get in the way.”

 

And the media might be jumping too quickly to conclusions yet again, says CNBC’s Phil Lebeau.

 

"I don't think there's any way of knowing if it's going to be called a hoax unless Mr. Sikes comes out and says 'Listen, I made the whole thing up.' At this point, all you can say is that the results can not be confirmed. And that's the latest when you look at what happened with this Prius last Monday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration out with a preliminary analysis saying, listen, they couldn't duplicate the complaints when they took the car out for some test drives. And they even say, we may never know the cause of the runaway Prius last week." 

 

A blogger on SFGate.com says if Sikes is lying, it reflects poorly on society as a whole.

 

... it is both a sad commentary on our ambulance-chasing culture and the small-minded greed that drives people to place not just their safety, but the safety of others in peril.”

 

So is Sikes telling the truth about his runaway Prius?  Or is he taking the media for a ride?

 

Writer: Victoria Uwumarogie

Producer: Newsy Staff

View More
Comments
Newsy
www2