HARRISON, N.Y. — Computer data from a Toyota Prius that crashed in suburban New York City show that at the time of the accident the throttle was open and the driver was not applying the brakes, US safety officials said yesterday.
The disclosure prompted an angry response from the police captain investigating the cause of the accident. He said his inquiry was not complete and driver error had not been established.
“For any agency to release data and to draw conclusions without consulting with the law enforcement agency that brought this to light could be self-serving,’’ said Captain Anthony Marraccini of the Harrison, N.Y., force.
A housekeeper driving the car on March 9 reported that it sped up on its own down a driveway, despite her braking, and crashed into a wall across the street. She was not seriously hurt.
The accident set off an intense investigation because Toyota has recalled more than 8 million cars since last fall over gas pedals that could become stuck or be held down by floor mats.
Technicians from Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the police department’s own consultants examined the wrecked 2005 Prius outside police headquarters in Harrison on Wednesday. Marraccini said NHTSA also interviewed the driver.
Yesterday, NHTSA said information from the car’s computer systems indicated there was no application of the brakes and the throttle was fully open. It did not elaborate.
Marraccini cautioned that even if NHTSA’s disclosure is accurate, “This is a snapshot. This is not the total investigation.’’