400 owners can be wrong: NHTSA closes Tacoma unintended acceleration investigation

As is usually the case when complaints of unintended acceleration are levied against a vehicle, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concluded that no specific vehicular defects have been found in 2004-2008 Toyota Tacomas. The mid-sized truck had been under fire from over 400 owners who claimed their trucks had accelerated without them touching the gas resulting in 51 crashes and 12 injuries. According to Toyota, however, the truck features a drive-by-wire system and its computer records any event of a mismatch between the gas pedal and the engine's throttle. None of the trucks involved in accidents reported any such codes. The NHTSA has closed its investigation and believes that driver error is the most likely cause for the vast majority of complaints while a few could be attributed to loose floor mats.

While the fact that the Tacoma has received so many specific complaints is worrisome, we are not big believers in unintended acceleration and tend to agree that publicity of the issue may well have attracted more erroneous claims. Debris stuck under the brake or pedals that are just closer together than some drivers are used to remain possible explanations, but could hardly be considered defects.

[Source: The Detroit Free Press]

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