Illustration for article titled Did A Dog Crash This Prius?

A Minneapolis driver's claiming a dog driving a Toyota Prius t-boned his VW Jetta in a parking lot. Wrap your noodle around the silliness while we explain how this is actually possible.


According to a forum member at Star City Racing this was posted to his friend's Facebook page:

"I came out of getting coffee to see a red Prius t-boned my car. Dog in front seat. Lady comes out 2 min later and claims it happened while she was gone. Says someone got into her car and did it. Then she says her dog may have done it. This is what I'm dealing with right now. Awesome."


As much as we all might want dog chauffeurs loyally piloting our cars about town, this is not something dogs are equipped to do. However, we have a feeling even though the story above sounds is crazy, we think it's more plausible than you might first guess.

Illustration for article titled Did A Dog Crash This Prius?

See, the Prius is equipped with a goofy little joy-stick shifter mounted on the angled center console and hooked only to sensors relaying the shifting information to the car. It takes very little effort to slip the car into any gear from the default position if the car is in "Park."

Take a look at the above picture and imagine this scenario: A dog of medium size chilling out in the passenger footwell as the lady parks the car to head in for what-have-you. Once she leaves, the dog, being poorly trained, decides now is a good time to hop into the driver's seat to have a look around. Using its front right paw, it grasps for purchase over the center console and pushes the lever over while the angle of the console causes the offending paw to slide down. Now, the car is in drive and as the dog scampers up into the drivers seat he watches intently as he destroys a Jetta.


This story ignores the fact of the park/brake interlock which makes it impossible to shift from "Park" into anything without your foot on the brake. The lady probably just left it in gear because the engine was off and the car was operating under electric power and parked on a slight uphill grade so it was not moving when she stepped out. Of course, the dastardly dog could have stepped on the accelerator just to be malicious. Unintended acceleration indeed. (Hat tip to 4camtorino!)

[Star City Racing Forum]

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Oh I would be pissed and might loose my cool, but only toward the Prius. I look forward to an update.

BTW, being able to start a car in drive is not that exciting as you may think and neither the the sound of a hurt shopping cart.

BTW even though you can start certain cars without depressing the brake I always depress the brake anyway.

Damn you Minnesota!! I want embossed plates back!