The DoT has concluded its intensive 10-month investigation into possible causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. It has determined that the automaker electronic throttle control systems were not at fault. Improperly installed floor mats, sticky pedals, and driver error have been identified as known causes.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota’s electronics systems, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas.”
Despite the inordinate amount of recalled vehicles made by Toyota, the company held fast that its electronic systems were not to blame. The NHTSA even went so far as to enlist NASA scientists to aid in the investigation.
Click through for Toyota’s statement regarding the NHTSA’s findings.
Toyota Statement in Response to NHTSA/NASA Study
In response to the publication by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of an extensive review of the electronic throttle control systems in Toyota and Lexus vehicles, conducted with the assistance of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Steve St. Angelo, Toyota’s Chief Quality Officer for North America, said:
“Toyota welcomes the findings of NASA and NHTSA regarding our Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i) and we appreciate the thoroughness of their review. We believe this rigorous scientific analysis by some of America’s foremost engineers should further reinforce confidence in the safety of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. We hope this important study will help put to rest unsupported speculation about Toyota’s ETCS-i, which is well-designed and well-tested to ensure that a real world, un-commanded acceleration of the vehicle cannot occur.
“We will continue to develop and equip Toyota and Lexus vehicles with industry-leading safety technologies, including many based on breakthroughs in sophisticated electronics systems. We will also continue to cooperate fully with NHTSA and respected outside experts in order to help ensure that our customers have the utmost confidence in the safety and reliability of our vehicles. Everyone at Toyota – all 30,000 of our team members in the United States and the many thousands of Americans at our dealers and suppliers across the country – is focused on listening to our customers and constantly improving our products and service.”
Regarding the safety and reliability of Toyota vehicles with ETCS-i, the company also noted:
• Electronic throttle control systems have long been standard across the automobile industry, and they provide great benefits to consumers
• Toyota’s ETCS-i has performed reliably in more than 40 million cars and trucks sold around the world, including more than 16 million in the United States.
• This system has also made possible significant safety advances such as vehicle stability control and traction control, which are among the five sophisticated accident avoidance technologies in Toyota’s Star Safety System.
• These enhancements, along with Toyota’s Smart Stop Technology braking system, are now standard on all the new vehicles Toyota manufactures for the North American market.
– By: Stephen Calogera