The chief suspect after undergoing forensic examination – a hybrid Toyota Prius – after a widely publicised “runaway” car episode in California.
US safety investigators have examined the vehicle and have found nothing to suggest its accelerator pedal was malfunctioning at the time of the incident.
A California highway patrolman had to put his car in front of the speeding Prius to slow it down after the driver Jim Sikes called 911 to say his vehicle was out of control.
Now Toyota says there is no evidence to support the driver’s version of events.
Toyota spokesman Mike Michels, said: “While our analysis is not finalised, Toyota believes there are significant inconsistencies between the account of the event of March 8 and the findings of this investigation. To say this incident was sensationalised would be an enormous understatement.”
The incident comes at a delicate time for Toyota which has had to recall eight and half million of its vehicles over floor mat interference and technical problems with accelerator pedals.
John Gomez, attorney for Sikes said: “The problem is that this problem is sort of a ghost in the machine that is in the Toyota system. It doesn’t leave a fault code, it doesn’t leave a footprint and you can’t make it happen on demand.”
Toyota is being careful not to level accusations of dishonesty against Sikes. He sought bankruptcy in 2008 but Gomez insists his client is not seeking fame or fortune and is not looking to sue the carmaker.