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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says his Toyota Prius accelerates on its own

February 03, 2010|Jessica Guynn
  • Apple Inc. co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak is famous for collecting technology he likes, including Segways, iPhones and Priuses.
Apple Inc. co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak is famous for collecting… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)

Apple Inc. co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak has seen his share of software glitches in the gadgets he has created and in those he collects.

But Wozniak said he was surprised several months ago when his 2010 Toyota Prius started accelerating on its own -- to as much as 97 mph -- when he used cruise control to increase the vehicle's speed. He said he had to tap the brakes to stop the car from accelerating.

Wozniak, 59, wanted to alert Toyota Motor Corp. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the possible safety issue, but he grew frustrated when no one would listen.

Thanks to a media blitz Tuesday -- including an appearance on CNN -- Toyota engineers are going to borrow Wozniak's car for a week to diagnose the problem, he said. A Toyota spokesman confirmed that the automaker had reached out to Wozniak.

Toyota has recalled millions of vehicles and temporarily halted sale of eight models because of reports of unintended acceleration. Toyota has not recalled Wozniak's model, which has a steering wheel-mounted radar cruise control.

Wozniak is famous for collecting technology he likes, including Segways, iPhones and Priuses. "No product is perfect," he said. "I would buy another one."

jessica.guynn@latimes.com

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