After paying a $1.2-billion settlement to the US government last year, Toyota largely put the unintended acceleration recall behind it. Although, there were still some civil lawsuits to handle. A new case where the owner of a 2009 Lexus ES350 is petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open another analysis could draw the issue back to the forefront. Investigators are still deciding whether to research these claims further, though.

According to this petition, the owner's wife was driving the ES350 in February 2015. While pulling into a parking space, the sedan allegedly surged forward, and there was a low-speed accident. The claim asserts there are at least two other similar cases in NHTSA's database: one in a 2009 Camry in 2009 and another in a 2010 Corolla in 2014. Specifically, this person wants an "investigation into low-speed surging in different models of Toyota automobiles in which the car starts accelerating and the engine RPM increases even when the accelerator pedal is not depressed," according to the agency.

NHTSA will do further research into this person's claim and will decide whether to conduct a full investigation into the alleged issue. This won't be the first reappraisal of unintended acceleration in Toyotas by the agency in recent months, though. Between September 2014 and May 2015, NHTSA evaluated a similar petition with allegations covering 2006-2010 Corollas, and the government body decided to deny that one because the problem couldn't be replicated.

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INVESTIGATION Subject : Low-speed surging

Date Investigation Opened: JUL 09, 2015
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: DP15005
Component(s): VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL
All Products Associated with this Investigation close
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
LEXUS ES350 2009
Details

Manufacturer: Toyota Motor Corporation

SUMMARY:
In a letter dated June 19, 2015, a consumer petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for an "investigation into low-speed surging in different models of Toyota automobiles in which the car starts accelerating and the engine RPM increases even when the accelerator pedal is not depressed." The petition was prompted by a February 2015 crash involving a model year (MY) 2009 Lexus ES350, which allegedly surged as the petitioner's wife was pulling into a parking spot. He alleges "troubling similarity amongst EDRs of Toyota cars showing sudden acceleration" and cites two allegedly similar incidents of low-speed surge crashes as supporting evidence, a December 2009 crash involving a MY 2009 Toyota Camry and a June 2014 crash involving a MY 2010 Toyota Corolla (DP14-003). The petitioner requests that NHTSA "acquire ALL the data on low speed sudden acceleration that Toyota currently has and constitute a panel to study this problem."

The petition will be evaluated for a grant or deny decision.

Copies of the petition and supporting documents will be placed in the public file. The VOQ (Vehicle Owner Questionnaire) associated with this petition is 10732103.


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