• Jul 15, 2010
When The Wall Street Journal reported that crash data obtained by the U.S. Department of Transportation pegged the blame for Toyota's unintended acceleration on drivers, one line stuck out:
"A NHTSA spokeswoman declined to comment on the findings, which haven't been released by the agency."
With no official word from the DOT or NHTSA on its findings in the case, the WSJ's sources have been called into question.

According to an unnamed NHTSA spokeswomen speaking with Just-Auto, "The story was planted by Toyota. Toyota is the source – yes we know that for definite [sic]. It is [the] Toyota PR machine. We knew they were going to put it out."

There's no doubt Toyota is in close contact with the DOT and NHTSA, so there's a good chance that Toyota has been privy to the findings ahead of their official release. However, until something official comes down from the Feds, the exact causes of unintended acceleration aren't simply open and shut.

We're in the process of contacting both NHTSA and Toyota about the story and will update you as more information is collected.

UPDATE: A NHTSA spokesperson has confirmed that the agency hasn't released any information to the WSJ, but declined to comment if Toyota has gained advanced access to the agency's findings.

UPDATE 2: A report by the Detroit Free Press quotes NHTSA Administrator David Strickland as saying that the agency has "several more months of work" to complete before it can definitively come to a conclusion on the cause of unintended acceleration.

UPDATE 3: We've asked Toyota's National Manager for Environmental, Quality, and Safety Communications, John Hanson, if NHTSA has been supplying information to Toyota on its investigation. His response: "It's been a one-way valve [to NHTSA]. We've been supplying information and sending it to NHTSA. We are not aware of any study. We are not aware of any report. We've been compiling our own field reports on unintended acceleration and as we investigate them, we send them to NHTSA. The WSJ report was news to us."

[Source: Just-Auto]


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  • 46 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      So is Toyota just leaking the same findings the NHTSA was going to announce anyway? If so... who cares?

      Of course if the findings turn out to be different, that's another story... but lets wait until we get something from a NAMED source before we all freak out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      And so many wonder why the media can't be trusted.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I didn't read the actual WSJ article, but the last AB post made it seem very wishy-washy:

      "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."

      Sounds like the story actually states that they haven't found anything yet, and driver error is the next logical choice. The title makes it seem like someone actually came to a concrete conclusion, which it would now appear they did not.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was a bit surprised at the timing of the original story as well considering the November elections arent over yet...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wally, Toyota already said some gas pedals were "sticky" (no accidents attributed to this) and floor mats could "trap" gas pedals (the issue that has caused some fatalities, along with drivers hitting the gas pedal instead of the brakes).

      At issue is the false allegations of electronic problems from NHTSA officials (with zero engineering knowledge).
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't name my source, but my source says that this story that the Toyota story was planted was planted by Yugo.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And then a piano fell from the heavens.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah...but the Corolla was just trying to avoid an overturned Reliant Robin when its power steering wigged out...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Unfortuantely while trying to manuever around a dead lexus in the middle of the road a runaway corolla unintentionally hit the yugo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's the WALL STREET Journal, not the MAIN STREET Journal. Of course they are going to be sympathetic to the big corporation.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice knowing you Toyota. Wait till the National media gets ahold of this...
      • 4 Years Ago
      As I said the other day, the WSJ report that was based on an "un-named" source was 100% B.S. The Toyota girls on here will cling to any supposed ray of hope... sad. In truth, this was probably someone affiliated with Toyota, doing as Toyota wanted to do all along: blame the customers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Doesn't surprise me. Why doesn't WSJ just name their source?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Are you f-ing serious? Journalism 101...source confidentiality is a HUGE part of the business...

        NHTSA is simply covering their asses now because they have done a piss poor job handling EVERYTHING to do with this. They're inability to have a solid understanding of the "problem" shows just that!

        Ray LaHood is an idiot that lacks ANY engineering prowess...

        This is gonna get ugly!
        • 4 Years Ago
        "This is gonna get ugly! "

        +2

        And you thought the iPhone4 vs Consumer Reports stuff was the drama queen story of the day.

        Thinking about it, CR is all over the place causing drama.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Murdoch expects us to pay for these 'news', I would rather pay for a lobotomy.

        BTW, where is that idiot Richard Shelby to wipe clean Toyota's @sscheeks?
      perkonkrusts
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let's suppose Toyota's "black boxes" actually showed that the gas was pressed and the brakes were never pressed. So what, it still doesn't prove Toyota's innocence. A lot of people suspect that no matter how hard the brakes were pushed, the car's electronics made the gas go down instead and incapacitated the brakes. So even if drivers were doing the right thing, the electronic malfunction will trick the black boxes into showing the drivers were at fault. Garbage in, garbage out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @perkonkrusts
        I don't know anybody credible that is spouting the claim that pressing the brake pedal caused an acceleration event and disabled the brakes. That is garbage...
      • 4 Years Ago
      When is the NHTSA final report coming out?
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