The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first began investigating the problem back in November of last year, and up to that point, the government agency had received 26 such complaints. Apparently, there's no rhyme or reason as to when the cars will stall out, and it can happen at any speed, even at a steady cruise on the highway or through an intersection.
According to a letter sent as a response to a query from NHTSA, Toyota is suggesting that this particular issue doesn't create "an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety," calling the problem more of an inconvenience to owners. NHTSA says Toyota even issued a bulletin back in September of 2007 to dealers outlining a fix to replace the ECU with an improved model.
For what it's worth, we'd wager that electronic gremlins are the very last thing Toyota wants the public to hear about right about now in the wake of recalling some 8.5 million vehicles so far this year, most of which were to address potential mechanical problems with the accelerator pedal and ill-fitting floor mats that can cause cases of unintended acceleration. The automaker has repeatedly ruled out electronic problems as the cause of its sudden acceleration issues.