• Jul 13, 2010
After receiving more than 3,000 reports of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation has concluded that driver error was actually at fault. According to The Wall Street Journal, investigators analyzing different data recorders from Toyota vehicles found that at the time of these sudden acceleration crashes, the throttles were wide open rather and the brakes were not depressed. Thus, they have reason to believe that drivers were mistakenly stomping on the accelerator rather than slamming the brakes in an attempt to avoid these crashes.

Of the 75 fatal crashes blamed on sudden acceleration, only one incident has actually been verified as being caused by vehicle fault – the Lexus ES350 accident that killed a California highway patrolman and three other passengers last August. Even so, this case was chalked up as an incident where the floor mat trapped the gas pedal, which Toyota quickly issued a recall for.

The WSJ also reports that U.S. Transportation Department officials have stated publicly that they have yet to find any electronic glitches in Toyota vehicles that could lead to these crashes. The only defects proven to be true are those that have been outlined by Toyota itself – floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals that are slow to return to idle.

So while Toyota may not have been at fault in these sudden acceleration cases, the automaker's image has indeed been seriously tarnished over the past few months. Over eight million Toyota vehicles have been recalled worldwide – a large blemish in automotive history, and it appears that much of the hand-wringing may have been for naught. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]


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  • 135 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've experienced sudden acceleration in a car before (not a Toyota) and can tell you that the car computer would have recorded my foot as being on the pedal even though it wasn't. In fact, I had a car where I would have to regularly fight sudden acceleration with the brakes and would be sitting at stop lights slamming the brakes trying not to let my car launch into the car in front of me or into the intersection.

      The fact that the computers showed the accelerators open is obvious - it's a sudden acceleration issue - how could a car accelerate without the throttle being open?

      If this explanation is true, why do Toyotas seem to have an unusually large pool of stupid people driving them who suddenly can't tell the difference between gas and the brakes? I'm pretty skeptical of these results.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sadly, my wife has had some senior customers (not an Audi or Toyota Franchise) blame their vehicles accelerating by themselves causing their accident(s,s,s...), only to have the deployed airbag data clearly show that the accelerator was the only thing pushed.

      Time to hang up the keys rather than conveniently transfer the blame but then they would be screaming at their elected representatives about something, if they can remember what it was.

      Come to think of it, why didn't Fox or other more respectable news agencies broadcast this story - rather than WSJ?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree with you, but voted you down anyway for calling Fox a respectable news agency.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is coming from the same people that said Kia could be a dead brand next year. :rollseyes:
      • 4 Years Ago
      "ToyoJUNK" It's THE ELECTRONICS! (plugs ears) LALALALALA

      Who am I?
      • 4 Years Ago
      finally the truth comes out... an all out lynching attempt by GovernmentMotors...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wiggy - what comes of American car companies without international support ... nothing !!

      That's why over the past few years American car makers have dwindled on the international market .. ha, ha, ha !!

      Once upon a time. Ford and Holden collectively had 50% of the Australian market but today they collectively achieve 20%.

      Furthermore ... some months sees Toyota single handly sell as many cars as Holden and Ford combined ... oooch !!

      American ignorance (eg drongos like you) is the very tool that undermines American companies and Ford & GM is no exception. Ford was once number 2 but now about 4th or 5th on the global scale while GM is 2nd and falling.

      No.1 will be played out between the VW conglomerate and Toyota alwhile i absolutely 100% assure you Toyota will regain lost ground in North America ... mark my words.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think a part of the blame lies with whoever it was who first started the idea that the right foot should do all the work. [Operate both the gas AND brake pedal] If a person brakes with their left foot [As they should - in a car with an automatic] they will very UNlikely [In a panic] slam their right foot to the floor thinking that THAT should stop the car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There was once a time when all vehicles were equipped with a manual gearbox...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @mapoftazifosho
        Those were the days.
        • 4 Years Ago
        in the case of automatics, using only one foot ensures that you also do not hit the brake with one and the gas with the other.
        Maybe it was all shoes size failure (hitting both pedals with one extra wide foot.
        New rumor, aging toyota drivers leading purchasers of 4E shoes.

        And to whomever mentioned more driving tests, everyone drives like a saint with a cop behind you, the same applies to driving tests. knowing the law (rules/methods) and following it are not the same thing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      yayayaya can we stop talking about this now? I mean the most exciting thing to happen to a very beige (by that i mean boring) car company in years turns out to be people being stupid. How beige is that?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like someone at the WSJ got an under the table payout from Toyota.....

      They are built like shizzle, ask me how I know.....
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think of this as Karma, for killing off all their fun, exciting sports cars that draw younger buyers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A little Wall Street Journal butt kissing, nothing new here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      File this one under "Duh".
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