Toyota says tests show no problems with electronics

Automotive News reports on findings that unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles was due to driver error.

Toyota Motor Corp. has reviewed 3,000 complaints of unintended acceleration since March and says the results back its long-held stance: There have been no electronic glitches.

The company has forwarded its findings to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which says its investigation is continuing and no conclusions have been reached.

Toyota says other possible explanations for the complaints abound, including driver error, foreign objects trapping the accelerator, sticky gas pedals and misidentified cases of normal idle-up. And some drivers still are using the wrong floor mats, months after the automaker warned customers to take them out and get them fixed.

"We are still finding people who are double-stacking their floor mats," Toyota spokesman John Hanson said. The company recalled millions of floor mats last fall after determining they could jam the accelerator.

That action was the first of a series of recalls--some to address other causes of unintended acceleration and others to fix unrelated problems--that involved 10.8 million vehicles. But suspicions that faulty electronics may have caused some of the problems continue to dog the world's largest automaker.

Toyota has been examining complaints of unwanted acceleration since March, when it set up a Swift Market Analysis Response Team to scrutinize incidents in the field. The team has reviewed 2,000 cases, and dealers examined 1,000 more, Hanson said.

In cases where an accident occurred, Toyota reviewed a vehicle's event data recorder--the so-called black box that records critical data such as speed, throttle position and braking pressure. In many cases, data showed the throttle in a full-open position with no braking, Hanson said. That could suggest a driver mistakenly stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake.

(Source: Automotive News)

 

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