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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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Hit the brakes
By jkostans on 7/14/2010 6:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/how_to_d...

The brakes will stop the car even with the throttle wide open. Shutting the car off, or shifting to neutral works too.




RE: Hit the brakes
By gamerk2 on 7/14/2010 8:03:11 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, first thing I learned was that even when in a moving car, you can shift into neutral to stop accelerating. Its amizing people have no clue how to stop a car in those cases.

Then again, I see people trying to merge into 55MPH traffic [or at least LISTED 55MPH traffic] while moving at 35MPH...


RE: Hit the brakes
By YashBudini on 7/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: Hit the brakes
By chunkymonster on 7/15/2010 12:52:22 PM , Rating: 1
Totally agree! Heck, with a center console automatic, I sometimes have to be careful not to accidentally knock the shifter into neutral.

When the report came out of California with a Prius driver claiming that the did put the car into neutral in an attempt to stop it from accelerating, and it didn't work, I knew the guy was full of shit. And, lo and behold, the guy was called to task and finally admitted that he lied.

Sadly, Toyota paid the US government to leave them alone far too soon. Shame they couldn't have waited for these reports to be released before condemning themselves. Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose.

Proud owner of a 2002 Camry V6 XLE with 130,000 miles that still drives and rides as smooth as the day I bought it.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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