US House Rep. Darrell Issa wondered aloud Monday whether last week’s sensational incident of a runaway Toyota Prius was a hoax, telling CBS’s Early Show that some drivers may be lying about problems with their cars to gain fame.
The California Republican pointed to news that investigators from Toyota and the federal government were unable to duplicate the incident in testing last week.
That “doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but let’s understand it doesn’t mean it did happen,” said Issa, who is the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been investigating the recent Toyota recalls over stuck accelerator pedals.
“In some cases, people didn’t understand how their car worked, and so they thought something was unintended acceleration when it wasn’t,” Issa said. “And in some cases there will be people who, quite honestly, want the notoriety.”
Last Monday, Prius owner James Sikes called 911 from a California freeway to report his car was accelerating to above 90 miles per hour and he couldn’t stop it. Police helped bring the car to a stop.
But even before news emerged that Sikes’ mishap couldn’t be duplicated, accusations began flying that the incident was a hoax. Blogger Matt Hardigree at Jalopnik suggested Sikes may have had a financial motive to claim wrongdoing by a corporation: Sikes reportedly declared bankruptcy in 2008 and is $700,000 in debt.
Theodore H. Frank, a lawyer who represented General Motors in lawsuits over sudden acceleration, also suggested Sikes may have been faking it. “Somehow no one in the press has asked Sikes how it is he could stop the car once it had slowed to 50 mph, but not when it was going 90 mph,” Frank wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner. “Have Balloon Boy and the finger-in-the-chili taught us nothing?”
But Sikes’ lawyer has stated Sikes is not interested in suing Toyota over the incident.
Toyota’s woes have mounted in recent weeks as the carmaker repeatedly expanded its recall of cars that could suffer from stuck accelerator pedals. Most recently, Orange County in California announced a lawsuit against the Japan-based company.
This video is from CBS’ Early Show, broadcast March 15, 2010.
High school wrestling coach posted photo that mocked George Floyd’s death — but insists ‘I’m not a racist’
A high school wrestling coach in the town of Spanaway, Washington drew criticism this week after he wrote a Facebook post that mocked the death of George Floyd and defended the police officers involved in the tragedy.
Local news station KOMO reports that wrestling coach Dave Hollenbeck this week posted a photo of himself smiling and giving a thumbs-up signal while another person put their knee on the back of his neck -- a clear reference to the video showing a police officer with his knee on George Floyd's neck shortly before he died.
Central Park incident just one more example of white women using their status to terrorize black men: NYT’s Charles Blow
Amy Cooper is just the latest example of white women using their privilege and femininity to terrorize black men, according to a new column from Charles Blow.
The New York Times columnist explains that a video recording of an incident involving Cooper, an investment manager, and Christian Cooper, a science editor, has a long and shameful historical precedent.
"This racial street theater against black people is an endemic, primal feature of the Republic," Blow write. "Specifically, I am enraged by white women weaponizing racial anxiety, using their white femininity to activate systems of white terror against black men. This has long been a power white women realized they had and that they exerted."
How coronavirus contact tracing works in a state Dr. Fauci praised as a model to follow
After weeks of keeping people home to “flatten the curve,” restrictions on U.S. businesses are loosening and the coronavirus pandemic response is moving into a new phase.
Two things will be critical to keep COVID-19 cases from flaring up again: widespread testing to quickly identify anyone who gets the virus, and contact tracing to find everyone those individuals might have passed it to.
It’s a daunting task, but states are working hard to take the necessary steps to reopen safely. When Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, explained that task to the U.S. Senate recently, he pointed to South Carolina as a model for the country, one that he would “almost like to clone.”