We knew this day would come. When the Priuses would start their revolt. According to reports, an unmanned electric Toyota Prius and its charging equipment are accused of starting a fire in the garage of a Corte Madera condominium and killing one of the two cats inside.
The fire was reported around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening after fire investigators believe the Prius' electrical charging system sparked an explosion that set the two-story condo on fire. Prius owner Ronald Gremban says his domestic partner Lynne McAllister, who was home at the time, was able to escape the wrath of the pyromaniacal automobile, but one of the couple's two cats was not so lucky and perished in the fire. The second cat had not been accounted for as of Wednesday.
As for their home: the blaze was controlled in about 30 minutes, causing about $250,000 worth of damage and leaving the home uninhabitable in the process. The garage was apparently engulfed in flames, but the rest of the two-story home on Creekside Court — a quaint little North Bay cul-de-sac — was only damaged by heat and smoke.
Recently in the media, the Toyota Prius has been blamed for rewarding drivers for bad driving behavior and Google's fleet of driverless Priuses have even been spotted going on Taco Bell runs and passing driver's license tests in Nevada, but this is the first report we've heard of one actively trying to murder a human.
Update, March 8th: The New York Times reports the electrical system that caused Mr. Gremban's 2004 Prius to catch fire was an aftermarket plug-in conversion kit. Toyota didn't start making plug-in Priuses until 2012 model year.