ToyotaFederal safety investigators have found no electronic source for sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota Motor (TM) vehicles, ending a 10-month examination into the cause of the problem.

"The jury is back. The verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high speed acceleration in Toyotas. Period," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon announcing results of two studies. "Our conclusion -- that Toyota's problems were mechanical, not electrical -- come after one of the most exhaustive, thorough and intensive research efforts ever undertaken."

Congress requested an examination of the problem last year, following hearings into Toyota's response to claims by owners that their vehicles accelerated uncontrollably. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA, in separate studies, found no evidence that electronic interference played a role in sudden acceleration claims.

The National Academy of Sciences is conducting its own study of unintended acceleration in cars and trucks industrywide. The agency is expected to release its findings this fall.

Adding Brake Overrides?


NHTSA reviewed 280,000 lines of code on nine Toyota vehicles and found no evidence that electronics caused the unintended acceleration. NHTSA also found that human error was to blame in many sudden acceleration claims.

In the wake of these findings, the agency is considering new rules to require brake-override systems and regulating ignition systems and event data recorders.

The results affirm Toyota's long-held claim that incidents of sudden unintended acceleration have mechanical causes or "pedal misapplication."

In a written statement, Toyota said it welcomed the findings. "We believe this rigorous scientific analysis by some of America's foremost engineers should further reinforce confidence in the safety of Toyota and Lexus vehicles," Toyota said. Further, the company said it hopes the study would "put to rest unsupported speculation" about its electronic throttle control system.

Rebounding Stock Price


Claims of unintended acceleration led last year to the largest recall of vehicles ever by Toyota -- some 11 million vehicles worldwide, including 8 million in the U.S. The automaker issued separate recalls to address the problem: one to fix bulky floor mats that may interfere with accelerators and another to address "sticky" gas pedals.

The company also began installing brake-override systems, which shunts input to the accelerator should the brake pedal be pressed at the same time. NHTSA received about 9,700 complaints of unintended acceleration by U.S. drivers during 2000 to 2010, including about 3,000 claims involving Toyota vehicles, alleging at least 93 deaths. Five deaths, however, have been linked to the problem.

Despite its recall woes, Toyota's stock price is at its highest level since 2008. Traded on the New York Stock Exchange as American Depositary Receipts, the shares hit a new 52-week high in trading Tuesday morning -- $89.31 a share. That's up 12% for the year.


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46 Comments

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mdmichel8888

heres an idea if some foreign auto company don't like the way the USA gov't operates ...than don't sell your garbage here in the USA

February 09 2011 at 7:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
karma

What a surprise - now that Toyota's reputation has been destroyed.

February 09 2011 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Smile!

Nine Toyotas tested to represent 11 million affected vehicles? Who are they trying to dupe?

February 09 2011 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
F.Jones

How could it accelerate on its own--Toyota copies all the best designs of
everyone else, then takes credit for inovation and ugliest vehicles on
the road.

February 09 2011 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kmakdn

I have an Avalon now, no problems. I used to have a Camry and every now and then it would speed up. I told my old man, he didn't believe me, I told the guy who sold it to me, he didn't believe me. It happended intermittently for no reason.
Alway's felt it was a sticky gas pedal. I had taken out the mat anyway, so it was not the mat. There is a problem, too bad they can't find out what it is. Sudden acceleration is a very frightening problem, especially when going through a school zone.

February 09 2011 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sanfopar

I have always felt this problem with uncontrolled acceleration was overblown ,,many of the incidents were caused by driver error ,,accidently pressing the gas pedal ,,instead of the brake ,,and I suspect some of the claims were fraudulent , and attempt to collect a payday ,,) ,,,

February 09 2011 at 6:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
segalls

I think Toyota is an excellent simple people car. The findings on the experts is that the problem with the gas pedals is due to sticky gas pedals.
I think Toyota ought to have the sticky pedals cleaned and made unsticky.

steve segall

February 09 2011 at 5:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vlady1000

I have had a battery tip over on the throttle linkage causing wide open throttle (and a small fire) and a very fast bike throttle suck wide open. In neither case did I see a reason to crash or even panic. No big deal there is a key, brakes, tranny with "N", etc all will slove the problem. If a driver can handle such a simple problem he/she should not be behind a wheel, reguardsless of the cause. Mechcanical/electrical things break at times and nothing will ever change that.

February 08 2011 at 10:27 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
jagsguy01

and in other news a man is killed my a Cockfighing rooster with knives strapped to its legs....maybe the family should sue for neglegence. The knife company needs to pay for making a sharp blade.

February 08 2011 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cbowers32

I owned a Chevy back in 1972 which had the problem of sudden acceleration and almost killed my wife. The problem turned out to be a defective motor mount. When the gasoline pedal was pushed down the torque would cause the engine to move and it caused the position of the accerator mechanism to relocate causing the motor to "rev" up. The problem was solved by putting metal braket which would limit the engine movement if the motor mount failed.

February 08 2011 at 8:59 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply