National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator David Strickland has released a letter defending the agency's handling of investigations into claims of unintended acceleration by Toyota owners. Republican Senator Charles Grassley has said questions remain about what caused unintended acceleration instances in the Japanese manufacturer's vehicles, specifically whether or not the trouble was caused by electronic glitches. Grassley specifically questioned whether NHTSA had the experience necessary to diagnose the defect. The senator also wondered why NHTSA investigators called in NASA scientists for assistance during the investigation.
Strickland, meanwhile, has responded by saying NHTSA did, in fact, have the requisite experience and that NASA was called upon for a second opinion. The administrator underscored the fact that neither NHTSA nor NASA could find an electronic reason for the claims of unintended acceleration. As you may recall, the government agency concluded in early 2011 that faulty gas pedals and floor mats were to blame for the runaway syndrome.

According to The Washington Post, Grassley's letter stemmed from tips from whistleblowers who claim the runaway vehicles were actually caused by errant strands of solder within the pedal assembly itself. Those strands could reportedly cause shorts within the system.

Strickland responded by saying NHTSA investigated the solder issue, otherwise known as "tin whiskers," and found the issue to cause no more than a jumpy throttle, a stance Toyota agrees with.


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  • 35 Comments
      Harold O
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wish people learned the proper terms so they won't make dumb comments .They were properly "whiskers" not "errant strands of solder" . They happen on things other than solder and it is a known process of grain growth of the metal that produces the whiskers. One thing the Gov't has contributed is to insist on the new "safe for the environment " [low lead etc] alloys for solder. They increase the whisker problem.
        axiomatik
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Harold O
        Just to clarify, it's European regulations, not US, that prevent the use of Lead in solder. (RoHs compliance)
      Roy
      • 2 Years Ago
      At his weight I'm sure most Toyotas can't accelerate much, unintentional or intentional...
      Greyhairedpete
      • 2 Years Ago
      When did Fat Albert get a govment job?
        desinerd1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Greyhairedpete
        Are you talking about Governor Krispy Kreme? Some people call him Chris Christie.
      mylz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am not a fan of toyota but all of the evidence along with the amount of time that this has been going on and swept under the table they are hiding something... The asian culture this is what they do, they try to hide the evidence and will do so to keep their pride or whatever its called.. This has been going on for over 2 decades and documents were shredded. its what they do. It happened to mitsubishi but they are a lot smaller. But toyota is like a god of appliances and people will continue to buy those junk mobiles
        jase.s
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mylz
        >The asian culture this is what they do, they try to hide the evidence... Can you please point us to a culture that doesn't do this? Looking at the banking scandals, oil business, defense contractors, and so on, I'm having a hard time finding a culture that is different than "asian culture." You could claim "they do it more," but I'd say that "American culture" almost bankrupted an entire country... and is still continuing barely unchanged. In any case, for people to claim this is still an issue is absurd. It was investigated, the problems were found, and things were corrected. Just because people (like Grassley) dig up old issues and claim they're still unresolved doesn't mean it's still a problem. People like that will never be satisfied with an answer.
        404 not found
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mylz
        Cool narrative, Morgan Freeman.
      Ben Dover
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sucks when your five o'clock shadow is actually just a real shadow caused by neck fat.
      MAX
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why did Toyota reflash the computers if there was no problem?
        axiomatik
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MAX
        Toyota added a brake override feature that they did not have before. Whether or not they changed anything else, I do not know, but that was the primary objective.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MAX
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Stew
      • 2 Years Ago
      When people have a deep rooted belief, no amount of information will convince some people that they are incorrect. For some people, there isn't any proof that can be found that will change their mind.
      tump
      • 2 Years Ago
      Funny that fat white Americans on here are making fun of the fat black guy in the photo and pretending they're something special -- you're all damned fat hypocrites.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tump
        [blocked]
      Daniel Garay
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why so fat
        NY EVO X MR GUY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Daniel Garay
        Its the honey-glazed bbq sauce. I kid I kid. Its a joke. How about they ban Those smart cars from the highway? There is no way that those car are safe in crashes over 55 mph.
      Karl T
      • 2 Years Ago
      Grassley is an idiot who is apparently afraid of everything, including his own shadow. Unfortunately people in (my) state keep voting for him. It's the old people 'My life is good; why change' approach.
        carfan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Karl T
        he's old and you're am idiot. What's worse?!?
          jase.s
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carfan
          He's not wrong. A few years ago, Grassley led an investigation targeting several of the largest tax-exempt religious groups in an attempt to verify they were appropriately using funds. Sounds good, right? Except... he left out his own religious organization, which is also tax-exempt but was facing scrutiny for influencing regional and national politics. So two birds with one stone: remove larger competing groups while drawing attention away from his own. Though after all, the man is a politician. If he's not lying, he's still not telling the truth.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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