U.S. review finds no defects in Toyota’s electronic throttles

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 9, 2011

In a prepared statement, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declared that no evidence has been found to prove that electronics is to blame for runaway Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles.

The federal safety officials are instead pointing the finger at sticky accelerator pedals and trapped floor mats. These are the two causes that have led Toyota to recall 11 million vehicles worldwide, including almost 8 million in the U.S., since 2009.

LaHood said that the verdict is in, concluding, “There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas. Period.” LaHood said that after the agency undertook the “most exhaustive, thorough and intensive research efforts ever,” they found that the problems were “mechanical, not electrical.”

Toyota has been claiming that electronics didn’t play a role in sudden acceleration cases. After conducting their respective investigations, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA found no proof that electronic glitches or computer problems resulted to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

However, federal regulators are considering new rules to deal with mechanical defects in vehicles. Several safety advocates, and even some members of Congress, assert that electronics is to blame for some runaway Toyotas.

The NHTSA said that the only known causes for this kind of unsafe unintended acceleration incidents are the two mechanical causes of unintended acceleration: sticking accelerator pedals and trapped pedals under floor mats. The agency also mentioned that many incidents were due to human error. [via detnews]

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