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Toyota, U.S. teams inspect crashed NY Prius

HARRISON - Investigators from Toyota and the U.S. government inspected a crashed 2005 Prius in Westchester County Wednesday to see whether its event data recorder or wreckage could point to problems with the brakes or accelerator.

The data recorder yielded information on engine speed and pedal position. Investigators were still downloading additional data, said Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Wade Hoyt.

A housekeeper who was driving the car told police it sped up on its own as she eased forward down her employer's driveway on March 9 and hit a wall across the street. She was not hurt.

Harrison Police Department Capt. Anthony Marraccini said driver error had neither been ruled out nor indicated.

Hoyt said yesterday Toyota will share the results of its investigation with local police. Marraccini said any definitive information on the cause of the crash will then be made public.

Toyota Motor Corp. has recalled more than 8 million cars since last fall because their gas pedals could become stuck or be held down by floor mats. The Prius hasn't been recalled for sticky accelerators. However, the wrecked Prius had been repaired for the floor mat problem.

Six Toyota inspectors, two inspectors from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other experts huddled around laptop computers as they examined the gray Prius under a tent outside the Harrison police headquarters.

Dealers and experts have had trouble recreating episodes of sudden acceleration.- AP

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