HARRISON, N.Y. – A housekeeper who reported that her boss’s Toyota Prius accelerated on its own and wouldn’t brake as she hurtled toward a stone wall apparently had her foot on the gas pedal the entire time, according to a police investigation that concluded the driver, not the car, caused the accident.

The March 9 crash in a suburban New York driveway came the day after a driver in San Diego reported that the gas pedal got stuck on his 2008 Prius, resulting in a wild 94 mph ride on a freeway.

The two accidents raised new questions about Toyota’s accelerators. The company has recalled more than 8 million cars over gas pedals that could become stuck or be held down by floor mats.

But in the California case, Toyota said its tests showed the car’s gas pedal, backup safety system and electronics were working fine.

On Monday, Harrison police Capt. Anthony Marraccini said, “The vehicle accelerator in this case was depressed 100 percent at the time of collision, and there was absolutely no indication of any brake application.”

The data came from the car’s on-board event data recorder and computer and was downloaded during an inspection Wednesday joined by Toyota and the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, which also concluded the car was not at fault.

Marraccini said the 56-year-old driver “believes she depressed the brake, but that just simply isn’t the case here.”

She did not try to deceive police, Marraccini said, and she faces no charges.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.