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By Drew Johnson

Toyota recently found itself in hot water for reportedly planting false information regarding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s unintended acceleration investigation, but a new report suggests the Department of Transportation has actually completed its probe into the matter.

Although National Highway Traffic Safety Administration head David Strickland recently stated that “several more months of work” are needed to complete the administration’s investigation of Toyota’s unintended acceleration complaints, a recent retiree of the NHTSA has revealed to The Wall Street Journal that the investigation is complete and ready to be published.

“The information was compiled. The report was finished and submitted,” George Person, former chief of NHTSA’s Recall Management Division, said. “When I asked why it hadn’t been published, I was told that the secretary’s office didn’t want to release it.” Person retired on July 3.

The NHTSA fired back at Person’s claim, saying “the investigation remains ongoing.”

It remains to be seen which side is right, but Person’s statement seems to uphold a previous report that pointed to driver error in the majority of Toyota’s unintended acceleration cases. Person says that black boxes recovered from the vehicles in question show the throttle was wide open during the time of impact with no brake input, suggesting drivers were simply depressing the wrong pedal.

“The agency has for too long ignored what I believe is the root cause of these unintended acceleration cases,” he said. “It’s driver error. It’s pedal misapplication and that’s what this data shows.”

Stay tuned to this developing story as we expect more news to break in the coming weeks.



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