In another twist on the Toyota recall saga, U.S. regulators are investigating 10 cases in which owners of recalled -- and supposedly repaired -- Toyota vehicles have experienced further incidents of unintended acceleration.
The announcement comes after several high profile appearances by Toyota executives in Washington, D.C. in front House and Senate committees.
One complaint filed to NHTSA by the owner of a 2010 Toyota Corolla described how even though his car had already been taken in for repair, it experienced speed control that did “not seem to be consistent. [The] RPM meter would go above normal 2000 revs per minute even when the car is in neutral.”
“I do not think it has to do with the gas pedal,” the owner stated. “It appears to be a problem with the [throttle control] as the RPM meter clearly shows the revs are way higher than normal. In fact, after the gas pedal recall repair, our 4 month [old] car now burns more gas than before.”
A Corolla owner in an additional case documented two separate incidents that the owner and her daughter both experienced.
“The [contact's] daughter was driving 35MPH and the RPMs went up and the contact depressed the brake and the vehicle accelerated,” the filing stated.
The complaint went on to claim, “the contact was driving 15MPH and she started to depressed the brake [and] did not come to a complete stop.”
The 2010 Corolla was under recall and had also been supposedly fixed by her dealer.
“The contact vehicle was under recall and the dealer repaired the vehicle. The contact feels like it was not repaired because she has experienced the surge of the vehicle after it was suppose[d] to [have] been repaired.”
The Toyota Corolla is one of several models under recall for unintended acceleration issues. To date, the cause of these problems with Toyota and Lexus products have been attributed to sticky gas pedals or floor mats that can trap the pedals, or a combination of both.
However, the investigation by U.S. regulators sparks further speculation that Toyota’s unintended acceleration issues are not, in fact, related to the physical characteristics of the gas pedal. Many have posited that the problems could be related to the electronic throttle-control system used to manage the acceleration of the vehicle.
Despite these accusations, Toyota has consistently refuted this notion and maintains that their cars are being fixed and are safe to drive.
“We are confident that Toyota vehicles are safe, and we're doing everything we can to ensure that our customers are satisfied with the repairs we are making,” said Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons in an email to Automotive News.
He added, “We have rigorously tested the solutions that Toyota engineers have developed, and are aggressively investigating any complaints.”
NHTSA will report on their findings of this most recent investigation shortly.