Out-of-Control Prius Stopped by Patrol Car

Last updated at 12:29 a.m. EST

On the very day Toyota was making a high-profile defense of its cars, one of them was speeding out of control.

It was a pretty frightening Monday afternoon for a driver in San Diego. The California Highway Patrol said the driver of a Toyota Prius, James Sikes, called 911 around 1:30 p.m. to say the car's accelerator was stuck and he couldn't slow it down.

The caller was driving eastbound on Interstate 8 near San Diego as this was happening, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. At one point the car was traveling at 90 mph.

The Highway Patrol responded. To get the runaway car to stop, they actually had to put their patrol car in front of the Prius and step on the brakes. The car eventually stopped near La Posta Bridge, but the whole even lasted for about 20 minutes.

"I pushed the gas pedal to pass a car and it did something kind of funny... it jumped and it just stuck there," the 61-year-old driver said at a news conference. "As it was going, I was trying the brakes...it wasn't stopping, it wasn't doing anything and it just kept speeding up," Sikes said, adding he could smell the brakes burning he was pressing the pedal so hard.

In a statement, Toyota said it has dispatched a field technical specialist to San Diego to investigate the incident.

Toyota has recalled some 8.5 million vehicles worldwide - more than 6 million in the United States - since last fall because of acceleration problems in multiple models and braking issues in the Prius.

Toyota owners have complained of their vehicles speeding out of control despite efforts to slow down, sometimes resulting in deadly crashes. The government has received complaints of 34 deaths linked to sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles since 2000.

One of the crashes claimed the life of a CHP officer last August.

Off-duty CHP Officer Mark Saylor was killed along with his wife, her brother and the couple's daughter after their Lexus' accelerator got stuck in La Mesa.

The Toyota-manufactured loaner vehicle slammed into a sport utility vehicle at about 100 mph, careened off the freeway, hit an embankment, overturned and burst into flames.

More on Toyota's Troubles:

Toyota Fires Away at Acceleration Theory
House Panel Seeks Details on Toyota Recall
New Reports of Post-Recall Toyota Troubles
No Fix? Trouble with Some Repaired Toyotas
Senate Committee Members' Toyota Links
NYT: Troubles Predate Recalled Toyotas
Poll: 49% Say Toyota Hiding Something
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