Skip to comments.Man at Wheel of 'Out-of-Control' Prius Has Troubled Financial Past
Posted on 03/12/2010 12:50:06 PM PST by Red in Blue PA
The man who became the face of the Toyota gas pedal scandal this week has a troubled financial past that is leading some to question whether he was wholly truthful in his story.
On Monday, James Sikes called 911 to report that he was behind the wheel of an out-of-control Toyota Prius going 94 mph on a freeway near San Diego. Twenty-three minutes later, a California Highway Patrol officer helped guide him to a stop, a rescue that was captured on videotape.
Since then, it's been learned that:
Sikes filed for bankruptcy in San Diego in 2008. According to documents, he was more than $700,000 in debt and roughly five months behind in payments on his Prius;
In 2001, Sikes filed a police report with the Merced County Sheriff's Department for $58,000 in stolen property, including jewelry, a digital video camera and equipment and $24,000 in cash;
Sikes has hired a law firm, though it has indicated he has no plans to sue Toyota;
Sikes won $55,000 on television's "The Big Spin" in 2006, Fox40.com reports, and the real estate agent has boasted of celebrity clients such as Constance Ramos of "Extreme Home Makeover."
While authorities say they don't doubt Sikes' account, several bloggers and a man who bought a home from Sikes in 2007 question whether the 61-year-old entrepreneur may have concocted the incident for publicity or for monetary gain.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Okay,at least he didn’t go thru a 7-11 window!
How do you get 5 months behind on your car payment and get repoed?
I have 4 PM tuesday march 15, 2010 on the over/under for this to be declared a hoax
Shoulda tried the old Wendy’s Chilli finger.
CHP says the officer smelled smoke and believes it to be genuine. If it was an NBC journalist, we’d have to go back to the tape of the “exploding gastanks” to make a ruling...
This guy is probably also a Democrat and a Union supporter that is piling on. The Rat’s smell blood and they are going for it.
He really didn’t like the status symbol he was driving, and it sure is odd all these cars are failing.
Next week, I expect him to accidentally send his kid into the sky aboard a home-built helium balloon.
How is that damning? I'm going to reserve judgment.
...the real estate agent has boasted...
Wait. He's a real estate agent? Put him in jail.
It didn’t pass the smell test for me from the beginning. Who makes a cell call if your car is going 80 mph and gaining speed?
It seems like it’d be easy enough to keep the accelerator pushed down while also applying the brakes enough to make the brake lights visibly come on for outside observers’ benefit, though I don’t know exactly how the Toyota’s brake system would react to that..
That was my exact thought too.
I’ll take the under.
why did he not put it in neutral when the cop was yelling on his PA to do so?
Looks like a wheeler-dealer.
Has anyone else noticed that these Toyota malfunctioning cars only began AFTER the recalls began.
You just set the bar for the Post-of-the-Thread Award.
Hey driving 35 miles at high speed, calling 911 on his cell while driving and in all that time he can’t manage to reach down and put the car in neutral? I’m mean, please maybe the dumb ass tree huggers who buy these things believe his story but I doubt anyone else does.
It has that funny smell. . . . . .
Not quite sure how to go yet. March 15, 2010 is a Monday... Tuesday would be March 16.
The government has killed more Americans than Toyota’s been accused of by forcing them iinto smaller cars: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2468420/posts
A government/union thug conspiracy to destroy Government Motors stiffest competition?
When you consider the MILLIONS of great vehicles Toyota has put out, and a relative HANDFUL of complaints against them, this appears to be a big government/union-puke-driven media circus.
BUY TOYOTA, HONDA, FORD (union made, but at least they didn't rape the taxpayers).
The only “American” car I will ever consider in the future is Ford.....and this comes from a guy who has NEVER bought a foreign car.
I would consider one now that GM and Chrysler are off of my list.