Cover Story: Just How Safe Is That Prius?

Peggy's new Prius had less than 600 miles on the odometer when she tried merging into traffic one day. The car accelerated on its own instead, and even though she pumped the brakes over and over, she was half a mile down the freeway before it shut down.

Peggy didn't trust her Prius after that.

It's tough to say much bad about the Prius. It is, afterall, the car Arianna Huffington calls a two-fer: "a pleasure to drive and patriotic to boost."

But the Houston Press heard all kinds of wild stories like Peggy's while we worked on this week's cover story. And Peggy was lucky; plenty of Prius drivers crashed after unexpectedly speeding down the road.

"Unintended acceleration," as it's known in Prius circles, certainly hasn't hurt the car's dominance, though, considering it remains the only hybrid that sells like a mainstream vehicle. A woman in Florida loved her Prius so much that even after she couldn't stop her car one time, she told us she wouldn't think of getting rid of it. That's loyalty maybe only Prius owners can understand.

Check out "Wild Rides" to find out more. We'll never look at a Prius the same.

Twitter? Get in on our Prius conversation here:

AmberNAmbrose: Maybe I'm just a schmuck, but I totally want a prius, although I loathe some prius owner's "holier than thou" thumb up their asses attitude.

toyota_europe: the Prius? I have nothing but praise for it. :-)

brandius: I punch Prius owners.

homesicktexan: My mom has one and it's a blast to drive.

writeacher: what's the Prius's reliability rating at Consumer Reports? I haven't checked because the car is just so ugly!

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