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House panel wants more Toyota acceleration details

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House panel wants more Toyota acceleration details

Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

The House Energy and Commerce Committee said Friday that documents provided by Toyota Motor Corp. didn't appear to rule out electronic defects and it wanted more information from the automaker.

Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., wrote to James Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales USA, "regarding Toyota's repeated assertions that no electronic defects contribute to incidents of sudden unintended acceleration," the committee said in a statement.

Lentz testified last week before the committee, one of three in Congress that has held hearings on Toyota's big recent recalls. The automaker has recalled 8.5 million vehicles worldwide, including 6 million in the U.S., since November to prevent the risk of sudden unintended acceleration and to fix pedals that can get stuck. The company says it has extensively tested the electronics and found no evidence of a problem.

But U.S. lawmakers remain skeptical. "To date, the documents provided to the Committee fail to show that Toyota has systemically investigated the possibility of electronic defects," the committee's statement said.

Waxman and Stupak asked Toyota to make available to the committee officials who have personal knowledge of Toyota's efforts to test its vehicles for interviews.

They also requested detailed quarterly reports on claims of sudden unintended acceleration, as well as information on the installation of brake override systems and "black box" data. The black box in Toyota vehicles stores information primarily about the operation of the safety systems in the last five seconds before the deployment of an airbag and one second afterwards.

From The Detroit News:


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