Toyota has officially spoken out against allegations that it planted a story in The Wall Street Journal that attributed the majority of the company's unintended acceleration woes to driver error rather than entrapped floor mats or faulty software. The Japanese company's American arm emailed a statement to Just-Auto saying that no one within Toyota has any access to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's research, and that no one in the government agency had reported any findings to the automaker.
As you may recall, The Wall Street Journal article cited "people familiar with" the NHTSA's research on the Toyota unintended acceleration problem. It wasn't long before fingers began pointing back at Toyota for supposedly planting the story with the WSJ. Just-Auto originally cited a spokesperson with the NHTSA who said that the information that the publication used came from Toyota.

In its defense, Toyota has said that any reports that claim that the company planted a news story are absolutely false. In its independent research, Toyota has found a number of causes of unintended acceleration, one of which happens to be "pedal misapplication." For those of us that don't speak corporate, that would be driver error. Whether that means that someone at the The Wall Street Journal managed to get their sources crossed or whether the NHTSA is simply trying to cover its bases after leaking otherwise confidential information remains to be seen.

[Source: Just-Auto | Image: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty]

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