Due to the ongoing NHTSA investigation and several lawsuits involving Toyota, the automaker's in-car "black box" data is coming into the spotlight. However, the Associated Press has conducted an investigation of its own, finding that Toyota has, for years, blocked access to event data recorder (EDR) information, and that the automaker has been inconsistent in revealing exactly what these devices do and do not record.

In this investigation, AP found that Toyota has frequently refused to provide information crucial to crash victims and survivors, and that in some lawsuits, the automaker has routinely provided printouts with key information missing. What's more (this much we knew already), AP reports that Toyota's EDRs use proprietary software (meaning it can only be read by Toyota), and that until just recently, there was only one computer in the entire United States that contained the software needed to rear EDR data.

In a statement to AP, Toyota outlined exactly what information its EDRs collect, including vehicle speed, gear shift position, angle of the driver's seat, whether the seat belt was used, and the accelerator and brake pedals' angles. In the coming months, we'd expect that Toyota starts to make more of this information readily available, especially with its committed cooperation to ongoing safety investigations.

[Source: The Associated Press via Yahoo | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]