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Feds look at Toyota electronics as source of acceleration defects


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Feds look at Toyota electronics as source of acceleration defects

Neil Roland

Automotive News -- February 2, 2010 - 4:21 pm ET

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Transportation is looking into whether Toyota Motor Corp.'s problems with unintended acceleration can be traced to defects in the electrical controls rather than just the mechanical problems cited by the automaker, a Transportation official said today.

“We're not finished with Toyota and are continuing to review possible defects and monitor the implementation of the recalls,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

When asked whether the federal review includes possible electrical problems with Toyota vehicles, a Transportation official who asked not to be identified responded in an e-mail, “Yes.”

Toyota spokesman Jim Wiseman could not be immediately reached for comment this afternoon about the expanded federal review.

Since announcing its recalls and a production halt last week, Toyota has maintained that problems with unintended acceleration were limited to floor mat interference and sticky accelerator pedals.

Shinichi Sasaki, Toyota's vice president in charge of quality, today denied accusations that electronic malfunctions were contributing to the reports of unintended acceleration.

“We have not come across any case in which we have found a malfunction,” Sasaki said in an interview in Japan. “But if any additional reports arise, we will conduct testing using all technology at our disposal.”

Also, in a full-page advertisement that ran in many U.S. newspapers today, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. President Jim Lentz said: “We have launched a comprehensive plan to permanently fix the vehicles we've recalled because in rare instances, accelerator pedals can, over time, become slow to release or get stuck. We know what's causing this and what we have to do to fix it.”

But Safety Research & Strategies, a consulting firm, said in a posting on its Web site: “Neither floor mats nor sticking accelerator pedals explain many, many incidents” of unintended acceleration.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100202/OEM01/100209971/1147#ixzz0eQDulT6S

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Breaking: Department of Transportation Investigating Toyota Electronics as Cause of Unintended Acceleration

According to an unnamed Transportation official, interviewed by Automotive News, the Federal government’s investigation into the pedal issue will include a look at Toyota’s electronics.

Shinichi Sasaki, Toyota’s to man in charge of quality today repeated Toyota’s position that the problem was mechanical and not electronic. The maker of the supposedly faulty pedal, CTS Corp, has said that it does not believe the problem originates with its product.

The accelerator pedal recall affects 2.3 million vehicles in North America, including eight models: 2009-2010 RAV4, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2010 Highlander, 2007-2010 Tundra and 2008-2010 Sequoia.

This news come on the day that Toyota launched an advertising blitz in U.S. newspapers, with Toyota U.S.A. president Jim Lentz quotes as saying, “We have launched a comprehensive plan to permanently fix the vehicles we’ve recalled because in rare instances, accelerator pedals can, over time, become slow to release or get stuck. We know what’s causing this and what we have to do to fix it.”

Apparently the Feds aren’t so sure.



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I only have this to say... can we see ONE faulty pedal. Surely, one dealer has a defective one that they can demonstrate on video for us to see. Until I see this, I feel the mechanical pedal is not the cause for non-floormat unintended acceleration.

  • Agree 1
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