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  (Source: LeaseTrader.com)
Driver error cited as cause of fatal crashes in 74 of 75 cases

Toyota, 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.

However, 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.

The 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 Street Journal.

"In 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.

"We're bound and determined that if it exists we're going to find it. But as yet, we haven't found it."

The 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 equation.

The sudden acceleration drama resulted in the U.S. Department of Transportation fining 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.



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RE: What I don't get is...
By fleabag on 7/14/2010 12:53:02 AM , Rating: 1
To answer your question... This sudden acceleration thing actually happened to me and it was caused by the floormat. Now you ask yourself, how does this happen? There are anchors on the floormats and sometimes people don't anchor the floormat due to carelessness (in my case it was my dad), so the floormat when it's NOT ON AN ANCHOR will eventually slide up right under the accelerator pedal, getting caught between the floor and the accelerator.

Essentially, it's user error and since most users don't know squat about why something is the way it is, things like this happen. The reason why I didn't crash and maybe other people did is because I was calm and had the frame of mind to workout what was going on, and instead of shifting into neutral for fear of damaging the engine, I thought about the problem a little more (mind you I was having a very hard time keeping the car's speed under control) before I finally just ripped out the floormat, completely resolving the issue itself.

This NEVER would have happened had the floormat been properly anchored.


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