• Aug 10, 2010
It appears that the Wall Street Journal was correct when it reported that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration had found that the majority of Toyota unintended acceleration claims was due to simple human error. Investigators with NHTSA have reviewed 58 cases of runaway Toyotas and found that in 35 instances, no brake was applied. That means in all likelihood, the driver may have stepped on the throttle instead. In the remainder of the cases, investigators attributed the company's problem to throttles that were either trapped by floor mats or became stuck mechanically.

What does all of that mean? So far, the NHTSA has found no indication that unintended acceleration is caused by anything other than mechanical issues. Critics and victims of the runaway vehicles had posited that there might be some sort of software flaw that caused the cars to take off. The news vindicates Toyota's findings on the matter, though NHTSA is quick to point out that the issue is still under investigation and that this is only a preliminary report.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]


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  • 48 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've owned and abused American cars all my life, so you biased Jap car lovers that still believe in the MYTH that Jap cars last longer than American cars, here is my story. I bought a 1987 Monte Carlo with an anemic 305ci, thats a V8 for you ignorant morons, with 92k miles on it. That was in 1993. I beat the living crap out of that car until I sold it in 2002 with a 187k miles on it. I also changed the oil once a year whether it needed it or not. I tried to blow that motor up, it would not die. Before you question my integrity, I am a professional machinist, which means not only can I build motors to tighter than factory tolerances, I also have the instruments to measure said tolerances. I know more about cars than the majority of the posters here. So throw all of your Jap car loving at me with all of your might. At the end of the day, you still couldn't tell the difference between a spark plug and an O2 sensor
      • 4 Years Ago
      How about the cop and his family. I guess that was an incompetent driver, just "like all the rest."
      Wasn't there a bit about T and the NHTSA being in bed? I guess that was "incompetent reporting." Seems to me this stinks from all sides.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure that was concluded to be because of the double stacked floor mats..
      • 4 Years Ago
      Your knowledge of physiology is sad. If you believe you have your foot on the brake when in fact it is on the accelerator you WILL push harder the faster you go. It may take more than a second or to to realize your error. A brake overide system will not prevent this type of UIA.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So what about Steve Wozniak's supposed claim that he could repeatedly cause unintended acceleration with his Toyota? I don't recall hearing any resolution to that issue?
        • 4 Years Ago
        In Toyota vehicles,

        If you have cruise control engaged and cancel it, the vehicle slows down.

        There are 2 ways to resume cruise control:

        1) press the stalk upwards, this will bring you back to your previous speed (ie if you were going 70mph, it will go back up to 70mph)
        2) press the stalk downwards, this will set the cruise at the current speed.



        Maybe, Steve is confusing the first step with his claims.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Okay, so I still want to know - this guy with the Avalon that was able to get the car to a dealer with his accelerator stuck and no floormats in the car...was his problem deemed not electrical?

      http://www.leftlanenews.com/toyota-avalon-displays-unintended-acceleration-without-floor-mat.html
      • 4 Years Ago
      A prime number is a number from Optimus, right?

      And what's my other choice for President, King Edward 1 (Longshanks)? And who's the Dem? Are write-ins allowed?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lets take the emotion out of the equation and look at some logic.
      Electronic hardware can only function with properly installed software. Software components (algorithms) and their interactions can affect the operation of the electronic throttle control: The engine temperature algorithm affects throttle opening during engine warm up. The cruise control resume algorithm affects the throttle opening to increase engine speed to produce the cruise set speed. The traction control affects the throttle opening to reduce wheel spin. An interaction with the cruise algorithm could cause and inverse reaction. The input from the brake switch should also be included to affect the throttle opening in the same manner as the traction control. These algorithms affect pedal input independently to the drivers input to the throttle pedal position sensor. The powertrain control module uses the throttle position sensor on the throttle body to verify the throttle valve position and compares it to the input of the accelerator pedal position senor and engine speed (RPM) to produce the vehicle speed intended by the driver. The algorithms modify that input to the engine control module to produce the intended affect on engine speed. A bug or glitch in the algorithms could cause an unintended acceleration with an out put error to the electronic throttle body. An event data recorder can capture the anomaly that caused the event not the airbag deployment module.

      Vehicles most probably to exhibit a glitch: Toyota Camry SE or XLE with 3.5 V6 engine and smart key, and Lexus ES 350.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I want to know how many of these 58 cases of UA were reported to Toyota and the NHTSA **after** the media frenzy that ensued. My guess is 57.
      • 4 Years Ago
      LOL at Brent.

      Let me guess, you live in a Montana commune with all your other white racist, wear tin-foil hats, stockpile guns and ammo......
      • 4 Years Ago
      So, what this is saying is that in 23 cases of reported Toyota SUA, the brakes were pressed and the car still wouldn't slow down??

      Who cares if they have electrical problems or not. They still have SUA problems that can't be resolved by pressing the brakes. I'm not shocked by these results at all.

      The cases where people pressed the accelerator instead of the brakes, also just show that Toyota pedals are poorly designed and/or engineered.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would love to watch Obama's Hitman Ray Lahood eat crow on live TV.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mike: What data are you referring to? What cover up? I have scarcely seen an automaker more forthcoming in a situation like this in the last 40 years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Mike Cover-up? You realize that the NHTSA knew of this back in 2008, TWO YEARS before this media circus? They concluded that it wasn't significant to warrant investigation. Yet much later LaHood raises about how this was unprecedented and how it was a closely-guarded secret by Toyota.

        Sheer sensationalism, and I can't help but wonder if it has to do with the govt's investment in Chrysler and GM. Why else would LaHood come out and praise US automakers' cars (which seems completely unnecessary)?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ray LaHood is a Republican, he wants to keep his job after this is over. This stinks to high heaven.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I respect obama for keeping it bi-partisan, but La Hood seems to be quite a mouth breather.
      • 4 Years Ago
      THere aren't too many people on this blog who are old enough to remember first hand the 60 Minutes con job and the unintended acceleration claims made against the Audi 5000.

      It turned out all the investigated cases were of people stepping on the gas instead of the brake, including one mother who ran over her son.

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