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According to a report in The Washington Post, the event data recorders the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration used to investigate claims of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles have a history of problems. In one incident, a Toyota pickup that struck a tree in a single car accident was recorded as going 177 mph – far faster than any T100 we've ever seen. A separate reading from the same device put the truck's speed at a more feasible 75 mph. The article even says th

For years, Toyota was seen as an infallible, safe choice for consumers seeking high-quality, reliable and safe vehicles. That may still be the case, but recent events have made it abundantly clear that Toyota is as capable of making major mistakes as any other giant automaker.

According to The Washington Post, attorneys working on a class-action lawsuit against Toyota claim that the company has known about issues of unintended acceleration in its vehicles since as early as 2003. The lawyers have reportedly discovered a field report written seven years ago by a technician that outlined an instance of unintended acceleration. The report allegedly called for immediate action due to how dangerous the problem could become and expressed concern about the potential frequency

Inside Toyota's Higashi-Fuji tech center – Click above for high-res image gallery

2003 Toyota Avalon XLS – click above for high-res image gallery

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 find

That's the word from Toyota spokesperson Mike Michels on the automaker's investigation of some 2,000 vehicles reported to suffer from unintended acceleration.

2009 Toyota Corolla XRS – Click above for high-res image gallery

After receiving more than 3,000 reports of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation has concluded that driver error was actually at fault. According to The Wall Street Journal, investigators analyzing different data recorders from Toyota vehicles found that at the time of these sudden acceleration crashes, the throttles were wide open rather and the brakes were not depressed. Thus, they have reason to believe that drivers were mistakenly stomping on the accel

Battered yet again by a series of embarrassing recalls, accusations of a cover-up and its collapse in a widely-watched quality survey, Toyota is taking an unusual step it hopes will bring things back under control.

Failed Lexus IS350 valve spring – Click above for high-res image gallery

As investigations into how Toyota handled faulty steering relay rods in the company's pickup trucks and SUVs continue, critics suggest that it's quickly becoming clear that the company has mishandled repair and recall efforts. According to a USA Today article, Toyota had repaired vehicles with the defect for over 11 years in the U.S. before deciding to initiate a recall in Japan, and a recall for the 977,000 affected American vehicles didn't occur until one year later.

Toyota's Star Safety System campaign – Click above to watch videos after the jump

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now estimating that 89 deaths may be attributable to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles here in the United States between the year 2000 and May of 2009. Previously, it was reported that 52 deaths were possibly related to the throttle defect.

Jim Lentz, President and Chief Operating Officer of Toyota in North America has taken some time to update Congress on the company's progress as the company sallies forth through a mountain of recalls. Lentz says that around 3.5 million fixes have been executed so far, including 1.67 million sticky accelerator pedals, 1.62 million floor mats and 118,000 anti-lock brake system program updates. Those figures mark 70 percent of all of the vehicles under the sticking-accelerator recall and Toyota say

The Los Angeles Times scoured public records and discovered that the number of deaths possibly linked to Toyota's unintended acceleration issue could top more than 100 – twice the amount previously reported earlier this year.

Throughout all of the recent Toyota recall talk, the automaker has stated on numerous occasions that it has never found any sort of electronic defect that would cause unintended acceleration. Instead, Toyota insists that only floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals were to blame for the problems that owners have cited in recent months.

Last Friday, Toyota's stock closed at $79.56. That represents a 12-percent drop in market capitalization. For those keeping track, that's a loss of $15 billion. Naturally, there are a number of none-too-pleased shareholders hanging on to their stock in the Japanese automaker.

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