It appears that the Wall Street Journal was correct
when it reported that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
had found that the majority of Toyota
unintended acceleration claims was due to simple human error. Investigators with NHTSA
have reviewed 58 cases of runaway Toyotas
and found that in 35 instances, no brake was applied. That means in all likelihood, the driver may have stepped on the throttle instead. In the remainder of the cases, investigators attributed the company's problem to throttles that were either trapped by floor mats or became stuck mechanically.
What does all of that mean? So far, the NHTSA has found no indication that unintended acceleration is caused by anything other than mechanical issues. Critics and victims of the runaway vehicles had posited that there might be some sort of software flaw that caused the cars to take off. The news vindicates Toyota's findings on the matter, though NHTSA is quick to point out that the issue is still under investigation and that this is only a preliminary report.
[Source: The Detroit News
| Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]