once lavished with praise for its reputation for quality and
reliability, took more than a few blows to the chin earlier this year due to concerns of sudden acceleration.
The company began recalling
many of its popular models – including the Camry, Tundra,
Corolla, Highlander, and RAV4 – to replace “sticky” gas pedals.
after examining data from 75 fatal crashes which were blamed on
“sudden acceleration” due to faulty electronics, the National
Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has come to
the conclusion that only one incident was not related to driver
error. The incident in question is the high
profile crash involving a CHP officer driving a 2009 Lexus ES
350. The vehicle accelerated uncontrollably due to improperly
installed floor mats which trapped the accelerator pedal. The crash
resulted in the death of four people including the officer.
NHTSA concluded that the other 74 crashes were a result of driver
error -- specifically, drivers were mistaking the accelerator pedal
for the brake pedal, according
to the Wall
spite of our investigations, we have not actually been able yet to
find a defect" with Toyota's electronic throttle control said
NHTSA associate administrator for enforcement, Daniel Smith.
bound and determined that if it exists we're going to find it. But as
yet, we haven't found it."
NHTSA hasn't completely cleared Toyota, however. The agency still
notes that improperly designed floor mats and sticky accelerators
that were slow to return to the idle were to blame for some crashes.
Toyota itself acknowledged
these finding back in January.
However, phantom electronic gremlins causing Toyota vehicles to
suddenly lose their minds appears to have been tossed out of the
sudden acceleration drama resulted in the U.S. Department of
Toyota $16.4 million for deceiving officials about the widespread
nature of stick accelerator pedals. There are also over 100
pending lawsuits against Toyota regarding sudden acceleration.