Toyota to investigate Prius brake complaints

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

Toyota Motor Corp. officials may have publicly stated the causes of unintended acceleration that have led to the massive vehicle recall, but the truth could be that it has yet to identify the source of the problem, according to the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Waxman.

Earlier this week, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. President James Lentz appeared on television and said that the problem was restricted to two causes: floor mat interference with the accelerator pedal and a sticky pedal. In a letter written by Waxman to Lentz, he pointed out the difference in what was being said publicly and what its own officials have told them.

The letter said that in a private Jan. 27 meeting with staff from Waxman's committee, Toyota officials said the causes of unintended acceleration are "very, very hard to identify."

In this same meeting, Toyota officials reportedly said that sticking accelerator pedals are unlikely to be responsible for the complaints about drivers losing control over acceleration as the cars get up to 60 miles per hour or higher."

The letter was signed by Waxman, a California Democrat, and Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., head of the oversight subcommittee. In response to the letter, Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight said that Toyota will review the letter and aims to cooperate with the committee's inquiry.

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